Completed: July 5, 2014
Junior Ranger – Senior Friendly
I have been to Mount Rainer National Park on previous travels, but have never had such perfect weather! Not only 4 days of dry skies, but mid-70s to lower 80 degrees. Because we spent four days over the 4th of July holiday I was able to complete the Junior Ranger program, as well as the newer, adult- oriented Citizen Ranger Program. The Citizen Ranger program will be written up as a separate blog.
This Junior Ranger program is considered Senior Friendly as the upper age groups is listed as ages 12 and up. There are four age groups; ages 5 and under, ages 6-8, ages 9-11 and ages 12 and up. Different symbols are given for each age group and are at the top of each page, indicating which pages each age group should complete.
All age groups are to tour a visitor center, see a movie( if available) and go to a ranger program. For the youngest group there were 4 activities to complete in addition to the three already listed. For the oldest group, in addition to the 3 listed, there were ten additional activities. Those activities were titled; Scavenger Hunt, The 10 Essentials, Happy Hiker, The Great Map Challenge, Weather Wonders, Cryptic Critters, It’s An Active Volcano, The First People, Layers of the Forest, and My Mount Rainer Adventure. For the final adventure page you could draw a picture, write a story or poem. I did a colored pencil sketch of the Ohanapecosh River near our first campsite.
The most challenging for me was the Cryptic Critters. Besides doing a word search there was a column of twenty animals that had to be coded as herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. I ended up consulting a mammal wildlife guide to get the answers.
For the hiking component I hiked the Nature Trail behind the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. This area features an old growth forest, but also highlights the history of a hot springs resort. All of the buildings have been removed, but interpretative signs show pictures. The mineral springs it was built around still exists, in its natural form. This trail connects with the longer Silver Falls hike for those wanting a longer hike.
Once I completed the book I turned it in at the Paradise Visitor Center and was awarded a certificate and badge
Booklet, certificate & badge