Solar Eclipse – Nationwide

Photo by Roberta Klisiewicz
Eclipse Explorer

Completed: August 19, 2018

Senior Friendly

Click to access jr-eclipse-exploreractivity%20book.pdf

During August 2017 a total eclipse was visible across the United States, it was the event of the summer. The National Park Service (NPS) identified 20 of their sites where the Path of Totality could be viewed. They provided a special passport stamp for each of the locations and a Junior Ranger booklet. Besides being available online many NPS sites had the booklet, including many not along the Path of Totality. I was able to pick up my booklet at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ, over 1,000 miles from the closest NPS site of the total eclipse.

The booklet was created as a partnership between the U.S. National Park Service and The Planetary Society, plus it features Bill Nye and a character named Junior Ranger Calisa to help you to complete the booklet. It is Senior Friendly with three ages groups;
Earth – ages 5-7
Moon – ages 8-9
Sun – ages 10 +
To earn the badge you need to complete the activities for your age group.

Activities include; Become an Eclipse Explorer, What is a Total Solar Eclipse, Protect Your Eyes, Syzygy, Ancient Cultures and Eclipses, Tell Your Own Story, Future Eclipses, Look-Listen-Feel, Make Your Way through the Solar Corona Maze, Shadows and Light, and Stamp out the Sun.

I was able to complete the booklet over several days by using the material provided on each page. On the page that shows the Path of Totality they provided dates for future total eclipses through the United States. Looks like I have a couple of more chances to observe totality, if I live to be 90!

Within the booklet a pair of ‘Safe for Direct Solar Viewing’ glasses were provided. I used them to observe the partial eclipse in Tucson, about 60%. A friend observed the total eclipse at Fort Laramie National Historic Site, in eastern Wyoming. She shared photos from that site showing the sun blocked out.

I was unable to observe the total eclipse, however I did write to all 20 NPS sites for their unique Total Solar Eclipse stamp. Between stamps provided from the sites via a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) and trading with members of the National Park Travelers Club I was able to collect all of the stamps.

After completing the booklet I returned to Saguaro National Park where my booklet was reviewed and I was awarded the enhanced, wooden badge as a Eclipse Explorer.