If you have kids, you must bring them to a visitors center in Yellowstone National Park so they can participate in the Junior Ranger Program.
When you hear rangers and staff say, “the next generation is crucial to the future of Yellowstone” you know they believe it when you learn about the kids activities available. Three of my kids did the Junior Ranger Program and loved it.
For $9, kids ages 4 and older can participate in the program and earn a badge to become an official Junior Ranger. The fee buys your child a work book where they do age specific requirements to earn their badge.
When they complete the program, they must go to a park ranger at a visitors center where the ranger will go through their work, interview them about why they want to be Junior Rangers, ask them questions about the activities they did and swear them in before giving them their badge.
One of the requirements is to listen to a Ranger talk at one of the park’s sites. This was very good for our kids. It was entertaining and educational. In their book, they are required to write down what they learned in the talk.
Other items may have included word finds, animal identification, and other educational pages in their workbook. By the way parents … the workbook is a great way to keep the kids busy in the car! Yellowstone is very big and it can be long drives between the areas you want to visit. This give them something to do and keeps them engaged during those long stretches.
This pictures of our kids here are at the Old Faithful Visitors Center. This is when they were sworn in as Junior Park Rangers Look how happy they are! We pinned the badges to the kids’ shirts and they proudly wore them the rest of the day.