First impressions matter!
For many children, Junior Ranger is their first national park experience. A child choosing to participate in Junior Ranger receives a workbook with lively and engaging activities. These workbooks and activities are specific to Shenandoah National Park. As the child proceeds through the workbook and answers questions, draws pictures, etc., s/he works toward becoming a Junior Ranger. Upon successful completion of the program, which is reviewed by a Park Ranger, the child participates in a “ceremony” wherein s/he takes an oath to protect his/her national park, and receives a Junior Ranger badge or patch. There is much pride taken in this accomplishment. The goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to provide children with a positive educational experience in their national park, hoping that it will be the foundation for a life-long relationship and sense of stewardship.
Many children visit Shenandoah National Park for one day or shorter, and want to be able to become a Junior Ranger during that visit. The park realizes that its Junior Ranger program is too lengthy for many children to complete in one visit. It therefore wishes to redesign the program so that its goals are achievable and more children can achieve success.
Additionally, the park believes that no child should be required to incur any costs to become a Junior Ranger. Through a grant from the Shenandoah National Park Association (a partner non-profit), all printing and publication costs will be covered so that the new Junior Ranger workbooks will be free of charge.