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Junior Ranger Programs in National & State Parks around the South



Southern Summer Bucket ListGood day, friends! I'm here to add some #SouthernSummerFun to the bucket. If this is your first time hearing about the Southern Summer Bucket List, backup and enter the giveaway for Sue Rodman's book, "100+ Things To Do In Atlanta." It is a necessity for families looking for frugal fun in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

Today's entry to the bucket is the Junior Ranger program available at so many National & State Parks.

First, let's hear from the official NPS about what the Junior Ranger program offers youngsters & their families:
The Junior Ranger program gives kids and families the opportunity to uniquely explore and learn about their national parks. There are currently over 200 Junior Ranger Programs in the National Park Service. In each of these parks, kids interview Rangers, complete games, and answer questions about the park and the National Park Service. At the end of their experience in the park, they are sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive a special certificate and official Junior Ranger badge.

You can find National Park Junior Ranger Programs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National MilitaryPark, Kennesaw Mtn National Battlefield Park, Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Ocmulgee National Monument, Cumberland Island Natl Seashore, Everglades National 
Park, and many more. Many programs are tailored specifically to the park and it's own individual history & environment. Just do a search for your closest National Park & you'll find info about Junior Ranger Programs on the site.

While we're on the subject, don't forget about the National Parks Passport. If you intend to visit multiple National Parks during your lifetime, pick up a passport (or make your own) and stop by visitor centers to use park-specific stamps to mark your passport!

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: National | Georgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee



Georgia State Park Junior Ranger Program


This is an amazing, well organized program that offers a free informative & engaging booklet, educational events and activity camps. From the official website:
Children ages 6-12 will have fun learning in the outdoors as they work toward earning a Junior Ranger badge. By following the guidelines in the Junior Ranger Activity Book they will experience nature first-hand, explore Georgia's fascinating history and enjoy outdoor recreational activities. The experience builds as children work their way through three badge levels.

This program is definitely worth diving into as it will provide years of learning and connecting with nature.

Some of the upcoming Junior Ranger summer camps in Georgia:
Monday, Jun 2, 2014 until Friday, Jun 6, 2014
Skidaway Island State Park Day camp for 6-11 year olds. Join the park staff for a fun week full of hikes, crafts, games and more focused on the natural and cultural heritage of Georgia. During the week your child will work to earn a Junior Ranger patch. Registration is limited, call early to sign up. $100. 912-598-2300. Click for more info.

Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 9 AM to 2 PM
Red Top Mountain State Park
Kids aged 6-8 will join Ranger Marcus for a three-day nature adventure. See live animals, go on a scavenger hunt, make crafts, and more. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration begins Friday, April 25. $45 plus $5 parking. 770-975-0055. Click for more info. 

Monday, Jun 9, 2014 to Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 9 AM to 3 PM
Indian Springs State Park Want something fun to do this summer? At Jr. Ranger Camp, children learn about nature, history, and animals while playing games and making new friends. Children will earn badges to take home. Children ages 10-12. Register at the park office before May 23, 2014. $40 per child. $5 parking. 770-504-2277. Click for more info.
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014 until Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 9 AM to 2 PM
Magnolia Springs State Park
 Children will participate in activities that focus on the outdoors and work toward earning a Junior Ranger badge. Activities will include going on nature hikes, live animal presentation, archaeology and more. Call or visit the park to register. Space is limited and registration is required. $40 per student $5 parking. 478-982-1660. Click for more info.
For more Junior Ranger Camps & Events at Georgia State Parks please visit the Junior Ranger Event page.

 

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: NationalGeorgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee



rambleTennessee State Parks Junior Rangers

Meet Ramble, the official mascot of the Tennessee Junior Ranger program. You can even find him on Facebook & Twitter for gentle reminders of upcoming Junior Ranger events in Tennessee State Parks.

The official website asks, "Do you like fun and adventure? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Are you ages 6-14?" Then offers methods for beginning your Junior Ranger journey.. You can stop by a participating state park and pick up a, "Get Outdoors Adventure Guide," or download it online.

The events calendar for Tennessee's Junior Ranger program is chock full of summertime camps that kickoff June 2nd. So, head to the official website and get more information on registering your child.

 

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: National | Georgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee



South Carolina State Parks Junior Ranger Program

There are 22 state parks participating in the South Carolina Jr Ranger program. The official website states a great mission:
In the Junior Ranger Program you can do lots of neat things in the safety of your State Parks. As a Junior Ranger, you will have access to special programs and prizes. You even get a real Junior Ranger BADGE! With each level you complete, you will get different gifts and certificates.

I couldn't find any listed camps or special events. But, maybe there only available to registered and official Junior Rangers ;) At any rate, check out the program's website for more info on the participating parks and how to get started.

 

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: National | Georgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee

 



Florida State Parks Junior Rangers

To find info about Florida's program, you have to dig a little deeper. There doesn't seem to be any official page devoted to the Junior Ranger program. But, if you visit the event listings, you'll discover there is a Junior Ranger program after all.

I found self-guided  Junior Ranger programs listed for Amelia Island State Park (download PDF), Big Talbot Island State Park, Blue Springs State Park (download PDF), and several more. You can download the booklets & print or pick them up, at the parks, during your visit. I used the find feature (CTRL+F) of the Chrome browser to locate the word, "junior," among all the other events listed here.

I hope you find one near you.

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: National | Georgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee



 

 North Carolina Junior Ranger Program

The North Carolina program provides a guide jam-packed with great activities that you can do at any of the 39 state parks. Four of the parks have their own special guides that you can pick up when you visit.

North Carolina recommends their Jr Ranger program for ages 6-12 to gain appreciation for the cultural & natural heritage of the state. I recommend it for some good old-fashioned outdoor fun.

You can download the Jr Ranger guide & read more about the program on the official website.

Choose the State Park system that you're interested in and discover more about their amazing Junior Ranger Programs: National | Georgia | Florida | North Carolina | South Carolina | Tennessee

About Candy Cook

I'm a homeschooling mom of two boys, blogging family travel & adventure, homeschooling, exploring nature and getting dirty in the great outdoors.

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