Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks – California

Sequoia & Kings Canyon NPs

Junior Ranger & Senior friendly

Completed: September 9-11, 2013
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The Junior Ranger booklet is for both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and shows it is for ages 5 and up, with age-specific activities. The activities are in three age groups; 5-8 years, 9-12 years and 13 years and up.

The arrowhead symbol on certain pages indicates activities for the older crowd, or as I refer to it as – Senior friendly. It has eight pages of activities, from very easy to a bit of thinking. The ranger also provided two fact sheet to help with the activities. The one titled ‘Key to the Trees of the Mixed Conifer Forest’ will become part of our traveling reference library, very helpful.
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I attended the talk at the General Sherman Tree by Ranger Kelly. It lasted about 20 minutes, was concise and she spoke loudly and clearly. That counted as an activity for all 3 age groups. Besides attending a ranger program you could also complete a hike in the parks to complete this page. With the smoke from area fires any hiking was ruled out for me.

An activity that asked you to write about something you would do at home to help protect the parks and your community got me to thinking about something that has bothered me as I camp. The disposal of propane canister appears to be a significant impact on our environment. The park newspaper for this site clearly states that the empty canisters should be taken home. Yet throughout the campground I found them in the trash receptacles and lying beside them. In my essay I wrote that I plan to contact the manufacture of these canisters to find out if they are assisting the parks in collection of the empties so they do not end up in landfills. I also want to find out if there is any plans to make them refillable. The ranger who checked over my booklet and awarded me my Junior Ranger badge agreed this was a major problem. She even said she might contact them as well.

As I have mentioned before I always learn something new when I complete these activities. This was no exception. The tooled leather hatband and belt that every ranger wears in NPS, as part of their uniform, is embossed with not just any cone, but the Sequoia cone. As big as these trees are, their cones are only the size of a chicken egg. Next time you see a NPS ranger check out the hatband and belt.

At completion of the program you receive the standard badge. At Grant’s Grove Visitor Center I found a patch that can be purchased that is part of the Junior Ranger program. There are 3 patches, one for each of the age-specific groups. The 2 lower age groups include the animal designation plus Junior Ranger on the patch. The older, Senior-friendly, is in the shape of the arrowhead, which was the symbol used to indicate this group’s activities and does not include Junior Ranger, as seen below.
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