Junior Ranger – Senior friendly
Completed: September 11 – 13, 2013
Pinnacles National Monument was designated a National Park this year. Only a few of their signs indicate they are a national park, a work in progress. The site has been around for over 100 years, they celebrated their centennial in 2012. This is an out of the way park, just what I like. The pinnacles is the native range for the highly endangered California Condor. What made this visit special for me was the amount of wildlife we saw, especially around our campsite.
Their Junior Ranger booklet is excellent; colorful and there is also a Spanish version. I consider this a Senior-friendly program because their 3 age groups include; ages 3-6, ages 7-10 and ages 11+. The older group is represented by the Condor symbol. Six activities need to be completed to earn the award. There were 9 different activities from which to chose. I was there several days and spread out completing the activities over that time period. The Junior Ranger award, for all age groups, could be completed during a day visit. Once completed you earn the standard badge (currently still says National Monument) and a beautifully embroidered patch. Mine, shown below, featured the Condor.
The ranger who administered the oath was enthusiastic and knew the oath by memory. First, not all rangers administer the oath to us Senior Rangers, and some will read it from the booklet. The ranger at Sequoia also did an excellent job of administering the oath, and creatively adapted to me.
As a follow-up to the issue of propane canisters, while at Pinnacles I saw signs which asked campers to please return used canisters to the camp store for recycling. When I asked several people at the Visitor Center ( separate from the store) what was done with the canisters they did not know. The store has very limited hours and we were never there to ask them. Hmmm, I guess I’ll keep poking around to get more information on this issue.