National Parks and Families

Granny apple doll making
Peaks of Otter, Virginia
My family has enjoyed visiting National Parks in the United States and Canada for years…and years.  Each National Park offers ranger-led programs for visitors on a daily basis in the summertime.  Programs continue throughout the year; however, they are more limited due to attendance numbers at the parks.  You can pick up a schedule as you enter the park or stop by the visitors’ center to speak with a ranger. 

From granny apple doll making at Peaks of Otter in Virginia to climbing the vertical ladders at Mesa Verde, Colorado, from trekking through the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington to learning about dinosaurs at the Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, our family has enjoyed the adventures which the park rangers have provided. 

When visiting a National Park, ask about the JuniorRanger Program.  This is a nationwide program where children 4 or 5 years of age to about 12 years can learn about the duties and responsibilities of a park ranger as well as learn about the park itself.  The children become junior scientists, geologists, historians, or naturalists by following age-appropriate tasks outlined in a free booklet available at each specific park.  They receive badges and certificates upon accomplishment. 

My children have become junior meteorologists forecasting the weather with a park ranger on the top of Rocky Mountain National Park using a handheld barometer to measure atmospheric pressure and a psychrometer to measure the humidity.  It seemed that every day we were at Rocky Mountain National Park, it would thunderstorm at about 3 p.m. and we needed to be below the tree line.    

I would like to thank all park rangers everywhere for their tireless service in educating the public about geology, history, culture, and biology to name but a few subjects.  Besides, it’s fun for the whole family!

11 thoughts on “National Parks and Families”

  1. That's nice that the Park Rangers have programs for children. It's great that they can teach children about nature. Children need to learn more about what is outside in real life then what they watch on TV.

  2. This is so true, Michelle Kathryn. Nature is very important for children to understand, for the world belongs to them, and the National Parks–and the beauty and knowledge they share–will only survive if the children of today realize their value.

    Thanks so much, Michelle Kathryn, for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.

  3. Hi Victoria Marie

    That sounds like a great scheme the park rangers have for kids. It keeps them occupied as well as learning about their natural environment.

    There are too many children nowadays glued to their games consuls and TV screens.

    Half of the youngsters in the UK do not know that butter comes from a dairy cow and a third do not know that eggs come from hens. One in three adult Brits do not know how vegetables are grown.

    It's unbelievable but true.


  4. The Junior Ranger Program is wonderful as many times the parents learn right along with their children. I know we did. Every park has a list of programs for any visitor to attend and learn about nature, folklore, and the park.

    I agree with you, Bill. It's scary that children as well as adults become too attached to their electronics. Here's hoping that our blogs will open their eyes to the pleasure of nature.

    Thank you so much, Bill, for visiting my blog. Please stop by again.

  5. Bill,

    It looks like your website is under construction. I can't wait for it to be back in action. I'll check in with you again another day. Keep me posted as to how things are going.

    Again, thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. Bill, enjoy your sunny trip to Madeira. I can't wait to hear about it when you get back via your blog. I'll check out your blog shortly.

    Again, thanks so much for visiting me here on my camping with kids blog. ~Victoria Marie

  7. National Parks are a blessing, Lynda. How lucky you are to live close to one. What is the name of the National Park near you? I also love picnics!

    Thank you so much for visiting my camping with kids blog, Lynda. Please stop by again. ~Victoria Marie

  8. It was such a pleasure seeing you today at the Blog meeting. We have to meet just for coffee and no work next time. I love your stories about camping with your family and because of my working at a Natural History Museum, I had the opportunity to incorporate several of the Ranger Programs into my lesson plans. Hope to see you soon:)

  9. It is always a pleasure to visit with you, Marie. I also love the Natural History Museum. What exactly was your position there? The Ranger Programs are so varied; they are a great source for information. Lucky are the students who had you as a leader at the museum.

    Thanks so much, Marie, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. Please stop by again.


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