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Junior Ranger Program

Junior Ranger Program

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Junior Ranger logo

 

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 rangers protect the health of the park through short community service projects.

 


Quick links:

Become a Junior Ranger

Graphic - Junior Ranger - Getting Activity Guide

Step 1

Visit any North Carolina state park office or visitor center to pick up a copy of the NEW activity guide. The NEW activity guide is available for free at state park offices and visitor center.

 

You can also download and print the NEW guide at home:

Junior Ranger Activity Guide - 2019 color edition

Junior Ranger Activity Guide
NEW for 2019

in color (.pdf)

 

Junior Ranger Activity Guide – 2019 black and white edition

Junior Ranger Activity Guide
NEW for 2019

in black and white (.pdf)

 

 

Graphic - Junior Ranger - Acorn

Step 2

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.

Graphic - Junior Ranger - Hiking

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 ecoEXPLORE program

  • Hiking in the park

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

 

Graphic - Junior Ranger - Expert patch

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

There is also a pocket in the back of the Activity Book that will be updated with new activities and freebies.

 

Click below to download the pocket activity for that park:

 
Download
Pocket Activity Title
Applicable parks
 

 

Thumbnail of Junior Ranger Pocket Activity - Girl Scout Brownies, with the title "Outdoor Art Creator," for Girl Scouts Love State Parks event

Girl Scouts Love State Parks: Brownies
Outdoor Art Creator / Eco-Friend
Any park
This activity can be used during the Girl Scouts Love State Parks event. Learn more here »
 

 

Thumbnail of Junior Ranger Pocket Activity - Girl Scout Daisies, with the title "Outdoor Art Maker," for Girl Scouts Love State Parks event

Girl Scouts Love State Parks: Daisies
Outdoor Art Maker / Eco-Learner
Any park
This activity can be used during the Girl Scouts Love State Parks event. Learn more here »
 

 

Thumbnail of Junior Ranger Pocket Activity - Girl Scout Juniors, with the title "Outdoor Art Explorer," for Girl Scouts Love State Parks event

Girl Scouts Love State Parks: Juniors
Outdoor Art Explorer / Eco-Camper
Any park
This activity can be used during the Girl Scouts Love State Parks event. Learn more here »
 
Thumbnail: Life of a Fire Lover – Longleaf Pine Pocket Activity
Life of a Fire Lover
Carolina Beach · Carvers Creek · Cliffs of the Neuse · Fort Macon · Goose Creek · Hammocks Beach · Jones Lake · Jordan Lake · Jockey's Ridge · Kerr Lake · Lake Waccamaw · Lumber River · Merchants Millpond · Morrow Mountain · Raven Rock · Singletary Lake · Weymouth Woods
 

 

Thumbnail: Litter Scavenger Hunt Pocket Activity

Litter Scavenger Hunt
Any park
 

 

Thumbnail: Rockefeller Loop Trail Scavenger Hunt Junior Ranger Pocket Activity

Rockefeller Loop Trail Scavenger Hunt
Carvers Creek
 
 
Thumbnail: Who Were The Maroons? – Dismal Swamp State Park Pocket Activity
Who were the Maroons?
Dismal Swamp
 

 

Thumbnail: Are You Me? (Metamorphosis) and Be a Box Turtle Junior Ranger Pocket Activities

Are You Me? (Metamorphosis)
and Be a Box Turtle
Haw River

 

Graphic - Junior Ranger - Certificate

Step 3

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

Visit each state park to collect all 40 of the unique Junior Ranger badges. Can you collect them all?

 

Junior Ranger patch – Carolina Beach State Park Junior Ranger patch – Carvers Creek State Park Junior Ranger patch – Chimney Rock State Park Junior Ranger patch – Cliffs of the Neuse State Park Junior Ranger patch – Crowders Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Dismal Swamp State Park Junior Ranger patch – Elk Knob State Park Junior Ranger patch – Eno River State Park
Junior Ranger patch – Falls Lake State Recreation Area Junior Ranger patch – Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Junior Ranger patch – Fort Macon State Park Junior Ranger patch – Goose Creek State Park Junior Ranger patch – Gorges State Park Junior Ranger patch – Grandfather Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Hammocks Beach State Park Junior Ranger patch – Hanging Rock State Park
Junior Ranger patch – Haw River State Park Junior Ranger patch – Jockey's Ridge State Park Junior Ranger patch – Jones Lake State Park Junior Ranger patch – Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Junior Ranger patch – Kerr Lake State Recreation Area Junior Ranger patch – Lake James State Park Junior Ranger patch – Lake Norman State Park Junior Ranger patch – Lake Waccamaw State Park
Junior Ranger patch – Lumber River State Park Junior Ranger patch – Mayo River State Park Junior Ranger patch – Medoc Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Merchants Millpond State Park Junior Ranger patch – Morrow Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Mount Jefferson State Natural Area Junior Ranger patch – Mount Mitchell State Park Junior Ranger patch – New River State Park
Junior Ranger patch – Pettigrew State Park Junior Ranger patch – Pilot Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Raven Rock State Park Junior Ranger patch – Singletary Lake State Park Junior Ranger patch – South Mountains State Park Junior Ranger patch – Stone Mountain State Park Junior Ranger patch – Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve Junior Ranger patch – William B. Umstead State Park

 

 

Stay up to date with the Junior Ranger newsletter

Don't forget to subscribe to the Junior Ranger mailing list, where you will receive the quarterly newsletter packed full of fun facts, games, lighthearted interviews with rangers, and so much more!

You will also get updates on events open exclusively to Junior Rangers and their families, like the annual Junior Ranger Jamboree!

 

Enter your email below and click "Subscribe" to sign up for our newsletter:

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See our previous newsletters »

 

Mark your calendars for the Junior Ranger Jamboree

Join us for a free weekend camping experience with fellow junior rangers and their families! The Junior Ranger Jamboree is hosted by a different state park each year. It is held on the first weekend in October.

 

2020 Junior Ranger Jamboree Participant Photo Collage, Jones Lake State Park, Elizabethtown, NC

2020 Junior Ranger Jamboree
Jones Lake State Park

Junior Ranger Jamboree 2019 - Group photo

2019 Junior Ranger Jamboree
New River State Park

 

Junior Ranger Jamboree 2018 canoeing at Merchants Millpond State Park

2018 Junior Ranger Jamboree
Merchants Millpond State Park

Junior Ranger Jamboree 2017 - Group photo

2017 Junior Ranger Jamboree
Morrow Mountain State Park