Junior Ranger Program

Park Ranger stands with the first Junior Ranger in the park's history.
1st Junior Ranger, Jacob Bryant, is honored at Carl Sandburg Home NHS by Ranger Jill Hamilton-Anderson at a ceremony on October 27, 2006.

NPS photo

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Junior Ranger Program:

Connecting Our Children toAmerica

(Flat Rock, NC)-Have you ever listened to Carl Sandburg sing a folksong or have you ever been asked to create a five line poem about something in nature that you love? Do you know why Mr. Sandburg called television a “thief of time” or know what “Goober Peas” are?

These are some of the discoveries young visitors will be challenged with when they participate in the park’s new Junior Ranger program that will be available October 27th. Participants completing all of the activities within their abilities and who take the Junior Ranger pledge will be given a Junior Ranger badge and a certificate of completion. Participants completing every activity in the program and who take the Junior Ranger pledge will be given a Junior Ranger patch in addition to the badge and certificate.

Junior Ranger programs at national parks across the country are sought after by many families as a worthy educational experience while visiting parks. Through self-discovery and guided learning the program creates opportunities to interact with the natural and cultural resources within parks. It teachesAmerica’s youth about the concepts of stewardship and citizenship on a local and national level. Junior Ranger programs are generally very interactive and may include guidance from family members, peers, teachers, or park rangers to complete. Nearly 500,000 children engage in Junior Ranger programs at national parks each year.

“Carl Sandburg Home’s Junior Ranger program is an important way to actively engage young people and their families in the significant cultural resources uniquely found at the site,” said Carl Sandburg Home Superintendent, Connie Hudson Backlund.

The Junior Ranger program at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site will provide an enhanced and more meaningful park visit for youth. It will actively engage children and their parents in an opportunity to learn together.

The grant program that enables the Junior Ranger Program at Carl Sandburg Home to become a reality is called the Junior Ranger Challenge Grant. It was awarded in August 2005 by the National Park Foundation and Unilever, the Proud Partner of America’s National Parks, to Carl Sandburg Home NHS and The Friends of Carl Sandburg atConnemara. The Friends were challenged by the National Park Foundation to gain local support for the program. The Community Foundation of Henderson County gave that support through a $5,000.00 award. The National Park Foundation and Unilever then matched that $5000.00 for a total of $10,000.00.

“This generous support from The Community Foundation of Henderson County willenable young people to learn about American history at a place significant to the community and the nation through a nationally recognized program,” expressed Backlund.

The National Park Foundation awarded 28 Junior Ranger Challenge Grants to National Parks across the country with the generous support of Unilever, the longest-standing corporate partner of the Foundation.

“As the national charitable partner ofAmerica’s National Parks, the National Park Foundation is proud to lead fundraising efforts for innovative educational programs,” saidVin Cipolla, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “We are committed to engagingAmerica’s youth more than ever before and instilling in them a life-long commitment toAmerica’s National Parks.”

Families with children ages 7 to 12 are welcome to visit Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site to participate in this program. Simply ask a ranger for a Junior Ranger Program and begin! Becoming a Junior Ranger is becoming a friend of national parks and keeping a promise to help protect these places so that future generations of Americans can experience their America.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731


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