America’s 63 national parks offer a Junior Ranger Program that is exploratory, educational, and fun for the whole family. It’s a great way to learn interesting facts about archeology, wildlife, the preservation of ecosystems, cultural history, and more.

But don’t let the name “Junior” fool you. Whether you are 4 or 94, becoming a Junior Ranger is fun for all ages!  National Park Junior Rangers pledge to learn about preserving our treasured national parks and sharing knowledge with others.

Participating in the National Junior Park Ranger Program is Easy!

To get started, pick up an activity booklet at any Park Visitor Center. Activity booklets are based on age group with clearly outlined instructions.  Each booklet includes a checklist to help aspiring rangers explore the park, participate in ranger-guided tours, and complete the assigned activities in the booklet.  You may be surprised by what you learn!

After you complete the junior ranger booklet, simply return it to the visitor center to be reviewed by a certified park ranger.  The ranger will then lead you as you raise your hand and pledge to educate others about what you have learned. 

Give it a try! We promise you will have so much fun. You may find yourself pondering about America’s national parks long after your visit.

Park Ranger Materials
Dive deeper by participating in a National Park Citizen Ranger program.

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 participate in a “DIY learning adventure” to become a Citizen Ranger. Upon completion of 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, although younger children can participate with adult assistance. Ask a park ranger how you can join the Junior Ranger and Citizen Ranger programs at any national park you visit. 

If you do become a Junior Ranger or Citizen Ranger, let the OPL community know!  Celebrate your accomplishment on the Community tab of the One Planet Life app. Then share a photo of  your badge and certificate with us on Instagram @one_planet_lifeDon’t forget to include an interesting observation or fact that you learned!

 Interested in learning more about our National Parks?

Check out One Planet Life’s Insider Tips for the following national parks: