At Yosemite my son and 6 year old grandson joined us for the weekend. On Sunday AM we attended the Junior Ranger Walk at Happy Isles Nature Center with Ranger Elsa. About 8 other Junior Rangers attended. It was a fun exploration of 3 different environments around the nature center: forest, stream and marsh. At the end of the one-hour program all attendees took the oath and received the standard Junior Ranger badge.
In addition to the standard badge a Junior Ranger booklet, for ages 7 – 13, can be purchased for $3.50 at the Yosemite Conservancy bookstores. Luckily they allow rangers older than 13 to earn the award. By completing the booklet you can receive the standard badge and an embroidered patch. There is also a booklet for younger kids, Little Cubs.
The booklet has a variety of activities, with several highlighted for older kids. By completing 5 activities in the booklet and collecting a bag of trash you receive the patch, and badge if your ranger program isn’t a Junior Ranger activity.
When I arrived at the Valley Visitor Center Ranger Andy reviewed my booklet. He then asked if I wanted to sign the Junior Ranger logbook. Of course, I did. In the age column I put my actual age, in the future I think I will just put Senior. While taking the oath I added Senior to the opening portion to say, “Junior/Senior Ranger”. I’ve done this in the past and it usually elicits a laugh from the park ranger. This time Ranger Andy turned the tables on me. After asking if he could announce my award he introduced me to the Visitor Center crowd as ” please meet Yosemite’s newest Senior-Junior Ranger, …”.