Are you worried that your kids won’t enjoy a trip to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park or any other national park sites? Well in addition to seeing beautiful scenery, playing outside, and enjoying animal sightings, kids can enjoy the Junior Ranger Program! Almost every national park and National Park Service site has a Junior Ranger Program for kids, who are given a booklet and a pencil. This booklet takes you to places all over the park and helps you learn about the park, its animals and plants, and nature and history. Once you complete as many pages in the booklet as it says for your age, you can go to a visitor center (there are often multiple visitor centers at each park). There you recite a pledge, get a really cool badge, and become a real junior ranger!

But remember when you get your badge you become a junior ranger for that PARK ONLY. There are so many parks to explore and get badges. Some kids even like to collect the badges and become a junior ranger at every national park. If you finish the book after the visitor centers close you can mail it to the park and they will send you the badge with your book so you can see what amazing adventures you had there.

I’ve been to more than 20 parks and have become a Junior Ranger all over the United States. This summer, we visited the parks in Washington state. I loved becoming a Junior Ranger at North Cascades National Park because I also got to wear a real ranger hat while I was reciting my pledge. Head on out to a park and earn your own badge today!