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Junior Ranger badges

We've had our kids to a few dozen National Park site and find that the Jr. Ranger badges are becoming sort of "obligatory" part of our visits. Any suggestions on how to keep things fresh and exciting? 

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Re: Junior Ranger badges

Good question... our younger kids were definitely into them, but it kinda depended upon their mood and energy. I think they can be a great program to get kids actively engaged, esp. if the "tasks" are connected to specific learning outcomes. But, it can become another "side mission" in an already packed schedule. Perhaps devise a "bonus quest" associated with each badge?

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Re: Junior Ranger badges

Some of the NPs have patches that can be earned in addition to the standard badges. 

Also, get a display banner to put all the badges on: https://www.eparks.com/product/109345/Junior-Ranger-Badge-Display-Banner/

My kids also like the passports and try to collect all the stamps they can. 

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Re: Junior Ranger badges

Heck Fire ... My wife and I enjoy doing the Jr Ranger badges. We are 58 & 60. Yep still kids at heart! We get to learn more about the environment we are camping in. My wife has them sown onto her day pack.

Dont fret if the kids are not interested. You go do and have fun and enjoy. The kids will willilng come along after they see you have fun and sew the patches on their bag or get the pins for their walking stick if they complete the Jr Ranger program.

jay


@Gray_Man wrote:

We've had our kids to a few dozen National Park site and find that the Jr. Ranger badges are becoming sort of "obligatory" part of our visits. Any suggestions on how to keep things fresh and exciting? 


 

 

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Re: Junior Ranger badges

We use the backpacking trip as the time to finish ranger badges 

kids timed out last year but all the badges are their work and the one at the bottom of gcnp takes a little work. They all enjoyed it and have different opinions of whichever is best or who has the most but if you can make sure they have the time to do it on their own it’s a pretty good program. Glad to see you out with kids 

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Re: Junior Ranger badges

Love this thread so far and had to include this video of a junior ranger REI Member Stories: Evan the Junior Ranger

Happy Trails!

Jason O

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: Junior Ranger badges

I sprung for the ranger vest and the passport book.  We (50yo mum with 11yo boy) actually fought over who gets to put the stamp in the book! This summer we took a long trip-visiting 12 NP, NM, NL- and we became a bit fatigued towards the end.  Until we hit Badlands NP where the park offered multiple patches, which required extra work, in addition to the badge workbook. Finding a fossil in situ was amazing to see in real life (for both of us!) and earned him a patch (the fossil was left for others to discover too).  Then some late night astronomy earned him the second patch.

For the several parks that gave patches, they are residing in the big pocket on the ranger vest and the badges adorn the front and back of the thing.  I let him put the completed junior ranger books in a binder which he loves to revisit.  We came to love the ranger-led hikes, presentations and activities--especially a guitar wielding ranger who led a " Bear Aware!" sing-a-long in Yellowstone-Canyon. 

Our road trip cooler is loaded with stickers from places we visit..a lot are freebies. Happy trails!

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