Park Ranger Trainee
You will receive a free downloadable kit with worksheets to earn the patch when you purchase a kit or patch.
Imagine you worked for a national park as a ranger. There are over 60 national parks all over the United States. You could help track movements of wild animals, help plant trees, help scientists make discoveries, present guided tours, protect the historic sites and monuments. Depending on where you live you could be working in the mountains, dessert, caves, near the seashore or volcano.
Example of worksheets in the kit:
- Map of the USA (Mark the states visited-- did you go to a national park?)
- Learn more about the state you live in (state capital, bird, tree or flower)
- Learn more about a National Park. Choose one and research it on the internet or in person. (worksheet to fill in location, size, etc.)
- LIST OF NATIONAL PARKS IN THE UNITED STATES
- State passport pages to fill information about a national park you visited or learned more about ( for extra fun, research parks online for every state)
- Archaeology Tools (Match the tool picture to the name and description)
- Have an adult cut up an image of the vase in the kit vase and have a pretend dig. They are paper images of what you may have found in a dig. Try placing them together like an archaeologist would. (How many pieces? Etc)
- Paleontology Tools. (Match the tool picture to the name and description.)
- Cut around the different fossil sections of a dinosaur and place them together to help you determine what type of dinosaur it is. (write in your log)
- 8 dinosaur cards to color and cut out
- The Four Corners Monument and Statue of Liberty information sheets
- Scavenger hunt sheet for trees, animals, flowers or signs of animals.
Complete 3 requirements to earn this patch.
- Choose a national park to learn more about. It could be in your state or one that you always wanted to visit. What state is it located in? What type of trees, monuments, animals, and terrain does it have? For extra, learn more about the state like the capital, where it is located in the USA and it’s state flower or tree.
- Some caves are located in national parks. They contain fossils, minerals, and provide many areas to explore and learn more about the adapted animals live in extreme conditions within caves. Caves are beautiful to look at and provide great places to explore and learn. Learn more about the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky OR any caves. What type of animals live there, fossils, or type of rock or formations inside. For extra, create a cave by using chairs to lay blankets over to climb through.
- There are several national parks that have unique sites to view. Choose one of well known parks to learn more about. What terrain, sites, or monuments are there? Examples: Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, Redwood, and Rocky Mountain.
- Some parks feature an area where you can learn about paleontology, the study of fossils of animals and plants. Look at pictures, use the internet, visit a park or museum that has fossils you can view. Try to sketch out or color a fossil. Label it and determine what it is a fossil of.
- In order to protect the animals in the area a park ranger works, you need to make sure the people visiting the park don’t try to feed the animals, get to close, or disturb their habitat. Make sure signs are posted for trash and careful of animals. Give an example of what not to do at a park with animals OR create a sign on a piece of paper for people that would be visiting the park.
- Did you know you could go sand sledding at the Great Dunes National Park? Find out more about the park. What is the weather like, what kind of plants and animals live there? Are they different from a park in your state?
- There is a variety of water sources in parks. Learn more about one of the water areas in a park. What type of animals live in the water, does it have a unique quality, are you able to go in the water or is it a protected area, are you able to fish in the water? Choose a park near you or a national park in another state. Example: Crater Lake National Park, Yellowstone National Park, or Glacier Bay National Park.
- There are 64 National Parks in the United States and many more around the world. Choose two you would like to visit. Why did you choose them? What type of landscape does the parks have?
- Some parks have areas where archaeologists are observing and digging for artifacts from the past. This includes pieces pf pottery, jewelry, toys, and glass items. Learn more about archaeology , OR participate in related activity, OR view items they have found, OR draw out what you think an item may look like according to the pieces on display
- In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act giving the National Park Service authority to care and maintain many monuments or memorials. Choose one to learn more about. Examples: Statue of Liberty National Monument, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Washington Monument, or Pearl Harbor. Click here for list of monuments or memorials
- Choose a park near your area to complete a service project. Examples include: Pick up litter, assist in a day camp, contact a park and find out how you can help and make it happen with your group.
- Learn how to use a compass. If you have a map of the park it should have a symbol on it for North and your compass has a needle that points north. Start with an adult and line up north on the map and your compass. Once you are facing north you can find the other directions. South is behind you, east is to your right, and west is to your left. Try to find a simple location on the map like the campsite or trail. Use the sample map on the downloadable kit to get acquainted with maps. Learn to measure out distance and write down locations of places.
- Plan an adventure to the park. This could be a hiking, letterboxing, scavenger hunt, learn about nature, picnic, take an educational program, go bird watching, or enjoy water activities. The choice is yours.
- Plan a camping adventure in a park. Make sure you pack all the items you need for your adventure. Examples of activities include: making smores, camping out, hiking, cooking over a fire, using a compass, star watching, or
- Learn about local wildlife in parks. Are some of them protected or endangered species?