National Parks Passport and the Junior Ranger Program

I want to make sure our kids learn something while enjoying our vacation to Wyoming.  There are so many topics that you could choose to try to teach them that it can be a bit overwhelming.  I did a Google search to try to find lesson plans.  Unfortunately, most of them were for on-line learning instead of learning while at the parks.  But I did come across a great resource that we’ll be using when we go – the Junior Ranger Program.  Kids “complete a series of activities during their park visit, share answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger badge or patch and Junior Ranger certificate.”  The program has activities at many of the National Parks, including Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Yellowstone also has a Young Scientist Program.  In this program, kids “investigate the mysteries of Yellowstone by completing activities in the visitor center and the field…Once your investigation is complete, you will be awarded an official Young Scientist patch or key chain.”

The National Parks Rangers have a series of programs at both parks.  At Grand Teton National Park, they hold Campfire Talks, Featured Creatures, and Jenny Lake Twilight Talks (and many others) for kids and adults alike.  Click here to get the listing of current activities around the Grand Tetons and here to get the listing of current activities around Yellowstone.

We want to expose our kids to as many National Parks as we can.  When I told a friend about that, she suggested that I look into the National Parks Passport.  It is a booklet that tells you about the National Parks and gives you a place to collect stamps at the National Parks that you visit.  They also have a Kids’ Passport.  I really like the Kids’ Passport even for adults.  The Kids’ Passports organizing the National Parks by theme (e.g. Civil War Stories, Stories about African Americans, Stories about Our War for Independence, Stories of American Presidents, etc).  eParks.com sells both of these items.  If you are interested in both, I’d suggest getting the Passport to the National Parks 25th Anniversary Edition and Kids’ Passport Companion Set.  This comes with both items and a National Park System Map and Guide (wall map).

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