Junior Ranger Program

Learn. Protect. Explore

Becoming a Junior Ranger gives kids the opportunity to learn about and explore North Carolina's beautiful state parks with their families or scout, school, and homeschool groups through self-led educational activities and programs. Junior Rangers may also have the opportunity to help park staff protect the health of the park through short community service projects.

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Become a Junior Ranger

Get the Guide

or Download and Print Home

Visit any North Carolina state park office or visitor center to pick up a copy of the Junior Ranger activity guide. The guide is available for free.
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Cache Acorns

Using the activity guide, you will earn or "cache" acorn points.

If you are visiting the park for a day, you can cache 20 acorn points to earn the park patch.

 

Cache acorn points by

  • Completing activities from the activity guide
  • Attending park-led programs
  • Completing small community service projects given to you by park staff
  • Participating in the Eco Explore program
  • Hiking in the park

Mix and match these options however you'd like to cache your acorn points!

 

Expert Patches

If you have more than one day and want to really get to know the park, try to cache at least 40 acorn points to receive a second Expert patch to pair with your park Junior Ranger patch!

Pocket Activities

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2022 is Year of the Tree at North Carolina State Parks!

We have two pocket activities for the Junior Ranger Activity Guide for this year's theme: "Take Root and Grow" and "Trees to Meet You."

Both worksheets can be used at any state park.

Download the worksheets

2021 is the Year of the Beetle at North Carolina State Parks!

We have a pocket activity for the Junior Ranger Activity Guide for this year's theme: "Meet the Beetles."

This worksheet can be used at any state park.

Download the worksheet

Every year, state parks across the country celebrate Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend in September. Girl Scouts, along with their troops, friends, and families, visit state parks and celebrate the outdoors.

During this weekend, Girl Scouts can complete special worksheets that will earn them Girl Scout badges and cache acorn points towards the park's Junior Ranger badge. There are two worksheets for each Girl Scouts level from K to 5. These worksheets can be used at any state park.

For Daisies

Daisies — Girl Scouts Grades K to 1 — can complete the "Outdoor Art Maker" worksheet and the "Eco-Learner" worksheet for the corresponding Girl Scout badges, as well as cache acorn points for a Junior Ranger badge.

For Brownies

Brownies — Girl Scouts Grades 2 to 3 — can complete the "Outdoor Art Creator" worksheet and the "Eco-Friend" worksheet for the corresponding Girl Scout badges, as well as cache acorn points for a Junior Ranger badge.

For Juniors

Juniors — Girl Scouts Grades 4 to 5 — can complete the "Outdoor Art Explorer" worksheet and the "Eco-Camper" worksheet for the corresponding Girl Scout badges, as well as cache acorn points for a Junior Ranger badge.

For North Carolina state parks events for Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend, please visit our Events page:

Events page

2020 is the Year of Fire at North Carolina State Parks!

We have a pocket activity for the Junior Ranger Activity Guide for this year's theme: "Life of a Fire Lover."

This worksheet can be used at the following parks:

  • Carolina Beach State Park
  • Carvers Creek State Park
  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
  • Fort Macon State Park
  • Goose Creek State Park
  • Hammocks Beach State Park
  • Jones Lake State Park
  • Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
  • Jockey's Ridge State Park
  • Kerr Lake State Recreation Area
  • Lake Waccamaw State Park
  • Lumber River State Park
  • Merchants Millpond State Park
  • Morrow Mountain State Park
  • Raven Rock State Park
  • Singletary Lake State Park
  • Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve

 

Download the worksheet

Earn acorn points while helping clean the park as we embark on a litter scavenger hunt!

This worksheet can be used at any state park.

Download the worksheet

The following parks currently have an extra pocket activity for the Junior Ranger Activity Guide that can be completed only at that park.

Carvers Creek State Park

Hike the Rockefeller Loop Trail and embark on a scavenger hunt!

Dismal Swamp State Park

Learn about the history of the Maroons

Haw River State Park

Haw River currently has two pocket activities specifically for the park: "Are You Me?," a quick dive into metamorphosis, and "Be a Box Turtle," about the fascinating reptile.

Final Step

Once you have cached enough acorn points, take your activity guide to a park ranger or park office and recite the Junior Ranger Pledge with our staff. They will sign the certificate in the back of the activity guide and give you your patch(es)!

That's it! You're now a Junior Ranger!

Collect All 40 Junior Ranger Badges

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