Junior Ranger - My Favorite Tree

A young woman hugging a tree.
We love hiking in our national parks!
What is your favorite part? Discovering new places? Seeing amazing views? Finding traces of animal tracks? The way it smells?

What if you got separated from your hiking buddies?
What would you do?

The first thing to remember: Plan ahead and put these important things in your backpack.

  • Whistle - Your voice doesn't carry very far in the forest which makes it hard for people to find you. A whistle is very loud and can be heard from far away. Don't blow it unless it's an emergency! (if you're lost or need help)
  • Trash bag - Why? Just in case you get lost and it's getting cold, you can wrap this around you to keep heat next to your body.
  • Jacket - But it's sunny! Having an extra layer can help you if the sun goes down and it gets cold. It also could help you if you needed a bandage.
  • Water - Everyone should have water with them when they hike and an extra bottle is great to have in case of emergencies.

Then, if you're out hiking and you are lost or uncertain of where your group is:

  • STOP! Don't start running around looking for them. It's really easy to get turned around and then you might be harder to find or you could get hurt.
  • Yell! - Even though it's hard to hear someone outside, start by yelling their names. With any luck, they're just out of sight around the corner.
  • Whistle! - Get out that trusty whistle and give three quick tweets. Then wait. Count to 30. Do it again.
  • Find Your Favorite Tree - This is any tree that is near you. Find one tree and stick by that tree. This helps you to stay in one place so your group can find you. Hug that tree and stay put! Remember to use your whistle and stay by your tree.

Activity: All About Trees

  1. Create your favorite tree: Make a picture or a model or a poster or a song or any other way of you can think of to make your favorite tree.
  2. What kind of tree is it? Does it have leaves or needles? Does it stand tall and straight or is it round and droopy? Does it have flowers or cones?
  3. What color is the bark? What does the bark feel like? Is it dark brown and bumpy? Is it white with a kind of powdery feel? Is it lumpy or does it have ridges?
  4. Think about the leaves or needles. How do they feel? Do they have ridges or are they smooth? Are they rough or oily?
  5. Think of six different words (or adjectives) that describe your tree.
  6. If you have access to a guide, try and figure out what kind of tree it is. If you don't, then you definitely need to give it a name.

Well done, Junior Ranger!

Part of a series of articles titled Junior Ranger - Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Last updated: April 20, 2022