San Antonio Urban Ranger Program

It is important that our youth are connected with their history, here in San Antonio they can look back 300 years. Today not a lot of the youth even know that the missions exist right in their back yard. With today’s technology kids are easily distracted. Instead of connecting people, we are often more disconnected. The Urban Ranger Program was started in Denver, CO three years ago.  We are implementing our first Urban Ranger Program here in the form of  hour long programs to kids attending summer camps through San Antonio Parks and Recreation.  The purpose of the program is to feed them knowledge about the San Antonio Missions and the importance of our environment around us and how nature works.  For the first half hour we talk about the missions and the history. We talk about how the Spanish taught the Natives their language, religion, and building structure. The main base structure of the missions were arches.  We show them an arch, pointing out the keystone and how the it works. We have an arch that the kids take turns building. Once completed we ask them what they learned when working together and what can they do better. Sometimes for the older kids we time them to see who can do it the fastest. Then when that is done we talk about what makes a community and how nature is always visible to us everyday. For the next half hour we take them outside with their journal activity book and also with binoculars and magnifying glasses so they can take a closer look at nature. They are looking for bugs, trees, etc. to complete their scavenger hunt! Then after they are done with their activity we swear them in as official Junior Urban Rangers and get a badge and an invite to visit the missions.

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