Student Conservation Association Intern to Improve Glacier's Junior Ranger Program
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park are pleased to report that Grace Sica, an intern with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), will work at Glacier this summer to improve Glacier’s Junior Ranger program.
Sica will create a new activity booklet for Glacier’s program. The booklet will contain fun, educational activities on themes including the International Peace Park, geology, Native Americans, and history/culture. Sica will also create activities appropriate for different age groups, thereby reaching a broader range of children than the park currently serves. She will test her creations throughout the summer, and officials expect that the new booklet will be in use next year. The new booklet will also contain a certificate of completion. Glacier currently uses a newspaper format and the activities focus primarily on habitats.
Sica is a student of Environmental Policy and Journalism at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She arrived in West Glacier in early June to begin her work on this project. Sica said, “This is a great opportunity for me to combine my writing and design skills with my interest in conservation. Using these skills, I can help children learn about stewardship, and will hopefully inspire them to preserve and protect the tremendous resources we have in our national parks.” She added, “On a personal level, I am really excited about exploring Montana and the park; I feel fortunate to have been assigned to Glacier.”
The Junior Ranger motto is “Explore, Learn, Protect.” Using a booklet obtained from a park’s visitor center, children complete fun and educational activities during their visit to a park. The activities are intended to encourage children to become stewards of the park and the environment. After completing the booklet, children earn a Junior Ranger Badge and a certificate of completion.
Glacier is one of 25 national parks to receive a seasonal intern through funding from Ocean Spray and the National Park Foundation.
Sica is supervised by Laura Law, Education Specialist at Glacier National Park, herself funded by a grant from The Glacier Fund.
Even if the public cannot visit a park, Junior Ranger educational opportunities still exist. Last summer, the National Park Service unveiled a new online Junior Ranger program. As “WebRangers” children have fun while learning new things at home or in school. They solve mysteries and puzzles, play games, take part in stories and gather secret words. Children also learn what Park Rangers do to help protect our natural resources and our cultural heritage. The “WebRanger” program can be found at: http://www.nps.gov/webrangers/.
The interns were recruited through SCA which is dedicated to encouraging a new generation of conservation leaders, advancing the land ethic, and helping to conserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources. Its high school, college and graduate student members annually provide more than 1.5 million hours of service in national parks, forests and other public lands. For more information about SCA, contact Kevin Hamilton at 603-543-1700, ext. 185 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.theSCA.org.