Junior Rangers Learn about Wildland Firefighting

Junior Ranger Program

A ranger places a vest with 45 pounds of weight in it on the shoulders of a young girl.
A Junior Ranger tries on a 45-pound pack training vest.

George Washington Carver National Monument held its annual summer Junior Ranger program on three consecutive Saturdays in June 2014.

The program provided local youths aged 8 to 12 with a hands-on opportunity to learn more about various aspects of George Washington Carver’s life and the National Park Service, and focused on the Junior Ranger motto of “Explore, Learn, and Protect.”

Twenty junior rangers attended this year’s program. On the first day participants learned about wildland firefighting. Topics included wildland versus structural protective gear and tools, prescribed fires, the fire triangle, and fire safety.

The Junior Firefighters all passed the physical test of jumping jacks, push-ups, and sit-ups before learning about the pack and fire shelter tests. The highlight for the participants was testing out the gear and equipment. After trying on the 45-pound vest and walking a few yards, some were ready for the three-mile challenge and others were ready for a rest.

The summer Junior Ranger program is designed to connect young people with their local national park. The National Park Service’s A Call to Action charts a path toward the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service. One of the plan’s action concepts, Live and Learn, aims to provide multiple ways for children to learn about the national parks and what they reveal about nature, the nation’s history, and issues central to our civic life.

Contact: J. Michael Johnson, regional fire communication and education specialist
Email:J_Michael_Johnson@nps.gov
Phone: (402) 661-1760