Junior Ranger Day introduces kids to the state parks and the outdoors

jrrangerday3More than 200 youngsters earned Junior Ranger patches Wednesday at William B. Umstead State Park at the first-ever Junior Ranger Day, designed as part of the state parks’ Earth Day celebration.

North Carolina’s Junior Ranger program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year in its current format. The statewide Friends of State Parks and retailer Great Outdoor Provision Company support this effort with instructional materials and a series of patches that represent specific state parks. Through the Junior Ranger program, children gain an appreciation of the outdoors, the state parks and North Carolina’s natural heritage, and they learn about careers in natural resources. (An introduction to the program and workbooks can be found here.)

Junior Ranger Day featured crafts, games, lessons on ecology and wildlife, fishing and opportunities to create a boat from recycled materials and cook s’mores over an open campfire, all guided by park rangers, education staff and Americorps staff and volunteers from Friends of State Parks and Great Outdoor Provision Company.

Here’s a photo gallery of the day’s event. Click any image to begin.

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