Grand Teton Launches Youth Ranger Club

Participants of the Ranger Club learn about
emergency medical services from park rangers.
March 12, 2010
In collaboration with the Van Vleck House and Teton Youth and Family Services, the Teton County 4-H Program, and Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, Grand Teton National Park staff recently launched an innovative new youth program titled, “The Ranger Club.” Through a variety of activities, 12 young people—from the third, fourth and fifth grades—are learning about Grand Teton and its natural and cultural resources. The young participants are also making personal connections to their local environment, and discovering how to be responsible stewards of the natural world.

The Ranger Club is a five-week educational program that gives young people an opportunity to: meet rangers who are responsible for the park’s law enforcement functions, fire management, and emergency medical services; interact with park biologists who study and monitor wildlife (pikas, grizzly bears, wolves, moose, bison, and elk); and learn from park naturalists who provide information to visitors through interpretive presentations and guided hikes.

Participants in the Ranger Club program personify the motto of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program: Explore, Learn and Protect. At the culmination of the Ranger Club sessions, park staff will award participants with a Junior Ranger hat. To prepare for this award, Ranger Club members will design their own personal hat band with images that convey their interpretation of national park values. The ranger hats and handcrafted hat bands will be featured in a photo exhibition during the 2010 National Junior Ranger Day celebration on Saturday, April 24, at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyoming.

Local youth clubs, such as the Ranger Club, are made possible through partnership agreements and special grants awarded to community organizations like Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, the Van Vleck House, and Teton County 4-H program, as well as a host of other organizations and community groups. The youth club program is administered by the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department and coordinated by Van Vleck House. The program is designed to promote educational, cultural and social-learning opportunities for local children who may benefit from supplementary and affordable after-school activities.

For more information about the Ranger Club, please contact Grand Teton National Park at 307.739.3399, or the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department at 307.739.9025.

If you have further questions about the variety of youth clubs, please contact Emily Sustick at 307.733.6440 or Mike Estes at 307.732.5761.