06 Jun Working with Future Rangers
Ranger Eric swears in a Junior Ranger. Photo courtesy of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
One of my favorite internship assignments entails staffing the Junior Ranger Activity Center (also referred to as The JRAC). This center attracts hundreds of visitors per day, and even more visitors are attracted on the days that a Disney Cruise Ship arrives. Junior Rangers are able to browse through gold rush history; this includes the heritage of the Tlingits, the entrepreneurs that made a living in the boomtown, the perseverance of those that made their way to the gold rush along the Chilkoot trail, and many other interactive activities. The center also includes more games, a dress-up station, and educational furs.
Junior Rangers Adelaide and Cora Lanz at one of the interactive stations. Photo courtesy of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
The most rewarding part of being in this particular center is watching the joy that children experience when they receive their Junior Ranger badge. That joy and the seriousness that children display while they are taking their oath is quite apparent. The pride which parents feel when their child receives their Junior Ranger badge is quite apparent as well. I enjoy knowing that I was a part of that moment, and for some I hope it’s the start of a lifelong passion for the national parks.
Junior Ranger Skippy being sworn in by Ranger Green. Photo courtesy of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.