Wallowa Mtns, OR
Wilderness Explorer – Junior Ranger Activities and Adventures for All Ages
Completed: June 20, 2014
Junior Ranger – Senior Friendly
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act four federal agencies developed this special Junior Ranger booklet; U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
I picked this booklet up at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, south of Bend, OR on US 97. When I inquired about a Junior ranger program she told me the were re-working the one for the monument, but had this program honoring the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. As I was looking through the booklet to determine if I would have time to complete while we were staying in the area she handed my husband the award, an embroider patch. She explained that the booklet took a while to complete so she would have him award me the patch when I completed the booklet. He immediately took it upon himself to make sure I completed it to his satisfaction, I think having a ranger review and award would have been easier. Over the next two weeks I worked on it, sporadically as we traveled around Oregon. Finally she I completed the activities he agreed I had met the requirements and gave me the badge. I had not seen it before that moment, very cute!
I was a child living out East when the Wilderness Act was established. It did not mean much to me then, but when I moved to the West after college and began exploring I immediately appreciated the value do setting aside an area for nature to remain natural. Reading books by Edward Abbey also made me appreciate the concept of wilderness.
Wilderness sign – Cummins Creek, OR
This award receives the Senior Friendly designation because it lists 2 age groups; 8+ and 12+. There are eighteen activities in the booklet, some with the 8+ label and some with the 12+ label. One even has a 16+ label. Besides using map skills on several activities there are also some that make you think and make evaluations.
Several of the activities are; What is Wilderness, Wilderness Safety, Where is Wilderness, who Was Here Before, Leave No Trace Maze, Be A Scientist, Wild Words, and Raiders of the Wild. As I live in Tucson, AZ I found a couple of activities using the wilderness areas within Saguaro National Park of particular interest.
I have not seen this booklet at other multi-agency offices, however the link above will allow you to download the booklet. I am not sure how you would receive the patch, just contact any of the agencies involved as you travel or by contacting them. I am very glad I had the opportunity to complete this Wilderness Explorer.
Snake River in Hells Canyon