Whether you are 4 or 94, our beautiful 63 national parks offer a Junior Ranger Program that is an exploratory, educational, and fun experience for the whole family. It’s a great way to learn interesting facts, archeology, preservation of ecosystems (including forests, plants, and waterways), cultural pieces of history, wildlife, and more.
Becoming a National Park Junior Ranger requires a promise to learn about helping to preserve our treasured national parks and sharing the knowledge obtained with others for future generations. Don’t let the name “Junior” fool you. It is a wonderful program for all ages.
Participating in the Junior Park Ranger Program is Easy
Pick up an activity booklet at the Park Visitor Center to get started. Instructions for activities are clearly outlined and are based on age groups, with a checklist provided to explore the park, participate in a ranger-guided tour, and complete the assigned activities in the booklet.
After you have completed the booklet, simply return it to the visitor center for a park ranger’s review. The ranger may give you a hat to adorn while you raise your hand and take a pledge promising to educate others about what you have learned.
We promise you will have so much fun and be surprised at what you learn. You may find yourself pondering and wanting to learn more about our national parks long after your visit.
There are also Citizen Ranger programs in our National Parks.
While similar to the Junior Ranger Program, the Citizen Ranger program is more in-depth and requires most activities to be completed in the park. Individuals, families, or groups design their path or “a do-it-yourself learning adventure” to become a Citizen Ranger. Upon completing your personalized “Quest,” you earn a unique Citizen Ranger certificate and patch.
Citizen Ranger Quests are designed for persons 12 years of age and older, and younger children participating with adult assistance. For more information, ask a park ranger how you can get started in the Junior Ranger and Citizen Ranger programs at any national park you visit.
Be sure to share a photo with your badge and certificate with us @one_planet_life and an interesting observation or fact that you learned. Most of all, have fun!
Enjoy your experience and share your photos with us on Instagram @one_planet_life. Download the One Planet Life app to earn points for your nature journey.
Interested in learning more about our National Parks? Get our Insider Tips for these parks: