Completed: August 13, 2016
This year while criss-crossing the country collecting the NPS Centennial stamps I was fortunate to be able to re-visit Cumberland Gap. This is a special park site, as my ancestors moved through the Gap to settle in Kentucky and Tennessee. Visiting in August was not ideal, it was a hot and humid day. The activities for this Junior Ranger program could be completed without too much discomfort.
All ages can complete this program, earning it a Senior Friendly designation. The instructions just indicate to complete as many activities as you can in the booklet. The activities include; National Parks Near You!, Groovy Movie Trivia, Visitor Center Exhibit Crossword Puzzle, Pioneer Playhouse, Wildflower Tic Tac Toe, Dr. Thomas Walker Word Search, Pioneer Journal, Visions of Cumberland Gap, Operation Overlook, Beat Brush Mountain!, Settlement Spelling Bee, Cave Creations, Bats Like Us!, A Balanced Bear Diet, Wanted! Exotic Invaders, Ranger Reporter, Mountain Melodies, Art Splash, and Cumberland Gap Greetings!
Wow – lots of choices and most easy to complete during an afternoon’s visit. I appreciated the variety of activities and the information that many of the pages provided about this park. The movies in the visitor center gave information about Daniel Boone’s role in westward expansion and the geographical uniqueness of the Cumberland Gap. The crossword puzzle’s answers could be found by exploring the exhibits in the visitor center; another summer-friendly activity.
Writing about my ancestor’s experience in the Visions of Cumberland Gap gave me a direction connection to this park. Cave Creations reinforced what I have learned at other National Park sites with caves. An anatomy lesson of a bat allowed comparison between humans and bats, both mammals. One my favorite activities at any park is interviewing a park ranger. The ranger, Sharon, shared her background and favorite part of her job. She told me that in April 2016, on one day, 2,500 Junior Rangers were awarded – amazing!
After reviewing my completed booklet I received two Junior Rangers badges, the traditional badge and the special one awarded in April.