Adding Junior Rangers to your summer plans

It’s one thing to learn about Revolutionary War-era Indiana history in your fourth grade social studies book.  It’s quite another to look at the Wabash River and ponder soldiers shuffling across its swollen banks for several days in February.

This weekend,  my kids and I road tripped to the Charles W. Clark National Historic Site on the Illinois – Indiana border. There, the kids got a first-hand look at what early Americans struggled with in the fight to remain “American.”

Going to National Park service sites doesn’t mean you only have to step outdoors for a hike. You can also step back in time.

We’ve seen early Spanish-American history in St. Augustine. We’ve toyed with traveling through Civil War sites as well. It means far more than a photo on the Internet.St. Augustine Junior Ranger program

When we visit these sites I encourage my kids to become a junior ranger. Typically it means completing a packet for some activities with a National Park Service ranger. What Iove about it is that it for the kid you take a deep dive into history or the natural world.

Lately Girl Scouts of the USA has been actively promoting its updated Girl Scout ranger partnership with the National Park Service. The girls complete service projects for education like a Junior Ranger program for 10 hours to receive a special patch. My daughter was thrilled to learn she’d already finished two hours towards the needed 10 to earn her award.  All while having family time with her grandparents.

This summer, while you travel,  why not learn a little history along the way?



  1. Thanks for linking up with FTAF! I did the Junior Ranger program at several state and national parks when I was a kid and got the badge. I thought I was so cool when I was 8. It really is such a great program for kids that teaches them things outside.


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