Junior Ranger Activities

Junior Ranger Book Cover Image
Click to Download Junior Ranger Activity Guide

Become a Junior Ranger

Welcome to Indiana Dunes National Park. As you explore, be sure to visit different areas of the park and enjoy your Junior Ranger adventure. From the beach to the farm, and back to the trails, there is much to discover in YOUR neighborhood national park. When you complete the Junior Ranger Activity Guide, bring it back to the Visitor Center or Paul H. Douglas Center to the receive a Junior Ranger badge!
Download a printable version of the Indiana Dunes National Park Junior Ranger Activity Guide.

Junior Ranger Requirements:

Junior Ranger Hat

ALL Junior Rangers must complete the activities with the Junior Ranger hat next to the titles on this page: Explore Your Parks, Walk with a Ranger, and Junior Ranger Training Camp.


If you are younger than 9 years old, complete THREE activities on the "Younger than 9 page" with the painted turtle next to the page title. Also return here to do the Junior Ranger hat activities on this page.


If you are 9 or older, you must complete FIVE activities on the "9 or Older page" with the red fox next to the page title. Also return here to do the Junior Ranger hat activities on this page.

During your Junior Ranger adventure, go on ranger-led tours, read the wayside exhibits, hike trails, and use your observation skills. Return this completed Activity Guide to the Indiana Dunes National Park Visitor Center to receive your official Junior Ranger badge or patch. Return to the previous page to continue learning about the park.

Thank You! Thanks to Support from the Student Conservation Association, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the Friends of Indiana Dunes in the development of this guide.
Illustration of Junior Ranger Hat

Explore Your Parks

National parks are special places for all people to enjoy. Each of the almost 400 national park units in the United States tells a different story. Think of a place near your home that you would like to protect. What is special about it? Draw a picture of your favorite spot, and explain why it should stay just the way it is.

My favorite place is:

It should stay how it is because:

Draw your a picture of your special place.

Ranger Holding Drawing Board

What is the mission of the National Park Service?

(You can find a brief version of the NPS mission statement in the park‛s newspaper, The Singing Sands, and also on the park's management page.)
Illustration of Junior Ranger Hat

Walk with a Ranger

One of the best ways to have fun and learn about Indiana Dunes National Park is to go on a ranger-led program. Go to the Indiana Dunes National Park Visitor Center or check out the calender page to find out what activities are taking place during your visit. Attend one or more with your family. Listen to the ranger; fill in the blanks.

Name of program:

Date and time of program:

One thing you learned:

Ranger Signature:


Talk with a Ranger

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a ranger? Now is your chance to find out! Look for a person wearing a grey and green uniform with a badge and an arrowhead logo on their arm. Introduce yourself, and let her or him know you are becoming a Junior Ranger. Ask these questions and record their response:

What is your name?

How long have you worked here?

What is your favorite part of the park?

What do you like best about your job?

Ranger Signature:

Illustration of Junior Ranger Hat

Junior Ranger Training Camp

Now that you have been all around the park and have completed the activities, think about some of your duties as a Junior Ranger.
Read these scenarios, and select the best answer.

While you are on the beach, you see a small group of seagulls walking in the sand.
What should you do?

A. Feed them some of the leftovers from your lunch.
B. Leave them alone.
C. Throw rocks at them and chase them away.

Your family is on a camping trip at Indiana Dunes National Park.
While you are setting up your tent, you find a set of matches.
What should you do?

A. See if they work and try to light a fire.
B. Leave them on the ground.
C. Pick them up and give them to an adult.

You are walking in the woods and see a beautiful wildflower.
What should you do?

A. Pick it and bring it back to show your friends.
B. Look at it from a distance and take a photograph.
C. Walk off the trail so that you can get a better look.

There are strong winds and a warning for rough water at West Beach.
What should you do?

A. Stay out of the water to avoid dangerous conditions.
B. Go in the water, but take a flotation device with you.
C. Pack up and go to a different beach to swim.

Beach Kids

Answer Key: B, C, B, A

Junior Ranger Oath

As a Junior Ranger, I promise to learn about and protect the plants, animals, and history of Indiana Dunes National Park. I will share what I have learned about national parks and will continue to explore our national treasures.

Your Name and Signature:


Ranger Signature:


Indiana Dunes Virtual Jr Ranger Badge 2024

Virtual Junior Ranger Badge

Congratulations on becoming a Junior Ranger! Even if you are not able to visit the national park at this time, you can still download a Virtual Junior Ranger Badge, which is just as awesome! You can either print this and add it to your collection of other badges and awards, or continue your journey by taking a virtual tour.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Last updated: January 29, 2024