Liam earning his Junior Ranger badge at Mt. Rushmore
Junior Ranger Badge 101
Before we starting traveling full-time I had never even heard of a Junior Ranger Badge or the Junior Ranger Program. But after months of visiting state and national parks and earning dozens of Junior Ranger badges along the way, we feel a little bit like experts on the topic. And we love the program so much we thought we’d put a post together to help other families get involved in the Junior Ranger program!
- What is the Junior Ranger program?
- Where can you earn Junior Ranger badges?
- Who can earn Junior Ranger badges?
- How do you earn Junior Ranger badges?
- Why should you earn Junior Ranger badges?
What is the Junior Ranger program? The Junior Ranger Program is an activity-based educational program in most national and state parks. By completing workbooks and/or activities at a particular park you can earn a Junior Ranger badge. The Junior Ranger Program motto is “Explore, Learn and Protect” so the activities are geared toward reinforcing these values in the parks system.
Hadley working on her booklet at Glacier National Park, Montana
Where can you earn Junior Ranger badges? Most national and state parks have a Junior Ranger Program – just ask a park ranger. We have also earned Junior Ranger badges at wildlife refuges and national monuments – we always ask, you’d be surprised which places have them!
Who can earn Junior Ranger badges? Although anyone can complete the Junior Ranger Program the program is designed for younger school age children (under 12). Some parks have different workbooks or activities based on age while others have only one program for all ages.