Grand Teton Celebrates Junior Ranger Day

A Junior Ranger recites her pledge with Ranger Nelson Turner
April 16, 2009
The National Park Service has declared Saturday, April 25, as National Junior Ranger Day for 2009. To mark this occasion, Grand Teton National Park will offer educational activities for children of all ages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming. Children who participate in two or more of the scheduled activities on Saturday will earn their Junior Ranger title and receive a Junior Ranger badge or patch.

A variety of activities and learning experiences will be offered to inspire children and encourage them to become partners in helping to preserve not only Grand Teton, but also national parks throughout the United States. Indoor activities will include instruction about climbing in the Teton Range, a scavenger hunt to explore the state-of-the-art exhibits in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, an Animal Olympics competition where children can test their skills against the abilities of certain wildlife species, and a chance for children to don an actual ranger uniform. Outside, in the visitor center parking lot, children will have the chance to talk with rangers and explore a park ambulance, fire engine, patrol car, plow truck, and other equipment that rangers typically use to protect the park and its many visitors.

More than 225 National Park Service sites across America will host youth-oriented activities on Saturday, April 25, for the 3rd annual National Junior Ranger Day. The official motto is “Explore, learn, protect: Be a Junior Ranger.” Acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk said, “The Junior Ranger program is the National Park Service’s signature program for young visitors. Throughout the year, children earn badges and certificates after completing age-appropriate, park-related activities at their own pace.”

In addition to scheduled Junior Ranger Day activities, the National Park Foundation is asking youth across the nation to share ideas on how to protect and preserve America's National Parks through an essay contest. Children aged 9 to 12, with the help of a parent or guardian, have until May 1 to submit an essay of no more than 500 words on the theme, “Why are our national parks important to you and what is your best idea to protect our parks for the future?” The first prize winner will receive a $1,000 Visa gift card and the opportunity to direct $5,000 to support a favorite national park. To submit an entry online and view the official rules go to:

For further information about Grand Teton National Park’s Junior Ranger Day events, please call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.