This year's "Campaign Season" is just starting up for me and my kids again. This weekend we're going to work on the Junior Ranger patch for the Richmond NBP's outer battlefields. My son and I did this at the end of January at Tredegar with his cub scout pack. This is a really neat program for kids 6-16 or so (varies at different parks) during which they do a sort of historical scavenger hunt around the park(s). After they successfully complete the booklet (free at the front desk at Tredegar at least) the rangers will grade it, and give them either a park-specific patch or badge. My son & I like the patch, it is in color and very distinctive.
I was wondering, my earlier search (granted I didn't have much time to actually search during lunch at work) didn't turn up a central page. Does any one know if the National Park Service has a central internet page set up on their site or related sites where one can find information about which parks offer a Jr. Ranger Program (not necessarily just the battlefields) and any details about what the kids actually need to accomplish? I'd really like to spend some time with the kids at various parks doing this sort of thing this year. Andrew got a lot out of Tredegar, and I'd like to expand on that experience some. I may even be able to talk the pack leaders into bringing the other cubs along too.
Tim I would imagine Calcav can help you with the ranger program. I have seen at various parks and battlefields information posted about doing junior ranger at the site . I did it with my cousin's kids at the missions in Southern Arizonia. They had so much fun .
I think it is such a good idea to do this with your kids. They will always remember the time they spend with you doing this. Hope the other scout leaders will join you . What a good thing for the scouts to do.
On the menu on the left click on "For Kids & Teachers". This will take you to a new page and on the right you will see a link to "Web Rangers" an online version of the Junior Ranger program.
Each park designs and implements its own Junior Ranger program. At the main website click on "Find a Park" and you can go to the individual park run websites. Most will say if they have a Junior Ranger program in place at the park. If you don't see it listed on the website give them a call, they may have the program but for some reason did not include it on thier website.
There has been a Junior Ranger program at Shiloh for many years. Here at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center we have been developing a program for the last 8 months. Recently we had a dry run of the program and invited 30 children and thier parents to use the booklet and comment on it. We got some good feedback and we are making some changes. Hopefully it will be up and running before summer.
It really is a wonderful program for the kids, but parents beware: You might learn something too.
See I knew you would know , Tom. I think it would be so much fun to do this with kids. As a former teacher I wish I was close enough to a battlefield to help develop a program. I found when I was teaching anytime the kids could act out history or science they learned so much more. Kids still tell me about how much they liked Pilgrim Thanksgiving or Dragon Day etc. As they got older they had Colonial day , Oregon Trail experience and 24 hours befoe the Mast which I got to go on as the teacher hurt her back, NO i did not push her as some claim I did to get to go. Poor thing was walking across the floor in the cafeteria and fell. I was no where near . But I was in the Principals office the next day telling him not to cancel the trip as he had to get a substitute for the class anyway. So I went . The ship never leaves the dock but you pretend you are with Dana on his voyage from New England to California . I was up all night and loved it . I saw kids at VMI Hall of Valour being given instructions and then marched out to the Field of Lost Shoes. They will never forget that experience I am sure.
I took your advice, looked at the WebRangers page, and below was a link to the Junior Ranger Program that had exactly what I was looking for. There doesn't seem to be any header information with which to form a link, so I'll just talk about it. It actually does list all the parks, in alphabetical order, that had junior ranger programs at the time of its writing. I say it like that because the links I've tried have all moved, so it is evident there have been some changes, but fortunately the links are not far off target and simple to find the programs for each of the parks.
My kids had fun, although it was quite blustery here this weekend. It felt as if one could SAIL across the field at Cold Harbor if one jumped into the wind. The really neat thing, is besides history they have put other subjects in the booklets and tied them into the experience.
As an example I present the following Math problem: "The cannon crew fires a cannon 2 times per minute. The battle of Gaines' Mill lasted for 5 hours. How many times could this cannon crew fire during that time period?"
Wonderful idea! I hope the others are as well done. At the Richmond parks, the materials are free of charge, some of the others charge a small fee. Either way, well worth it. My kids helped make the ranger's day too. Nice to return the favor, he helped make ours.
Tim sounds like you and your kids had a great time. Nice to know there is such a program. I wish I had some kids to take on such a field trip. Oh and that I was close enought to go to the battlefield period. Good to know about it , I will let others in our Civil War community here in Southern California know about it .