Junior Ranger Challenge -- Plan a Visit

Hello Ranger-in-Training,

One of my favorite jobs is helping visitors plan their time in the park. We often meet visitors in the visitor center, a place to talk to rangers, get maps, and go to the bathroom. Some visitor centers have exhibits about the park, or theaters where visitors can watch a film.

Often, visitors ask me, "What should I see?" That seems like an easy question to answer, but it's not. First, I have to find out how much time they have, how many people are in their group, and what they are interested in.

Working at the visitor center also means that I have to know all about the park so I can suggest the best buildings and tours for that person or family. I wouldn't want to tell them to take a long tour if they have to leave in 30 minutes.

Now it's your turn to work at the visitor center desk. Listen carefully to the visitor, and learn your buildings.

Your friend,
Ranger Renee
Color photo of a female park ranger at a desk holding up a map for a family to see.
With practice, you'll be as skilled as Ranger Lynn.  She does an awesome job helping families plan their visit.

Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC


Your challenge: Plan a visit for a family



1. Read the information below about the family.
2. Read the information below about the sites available to visit.
3. On a piece of paper, write down at least three sites that you would tell the family to visit.

Looking for ideas? Check out some examples in the Junior Ranger Challenge Photo Gallery.

The Family

There is a mom, three kids (ages 6, 8, and 10), and a grandpa
The family can spend up to 3 hours in the park
One person in the family likes history, and another one likes art
The kids like to touch things
One person in the family can't stand for long periods

The Sites

The Liberty Bell Center is where you can see the real Liberty Bell. The exhibits talk about the history of the Liberty Bell. Visitors can walk through the exhibits in 5 minutes, or read everything and stay for an hour.

Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Visitors hear about the history of the building and the country on a 20-minute tour. They must be able to arrive 30 minutes before their tour.

The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States has lots of portraits of historical figures. Visitors can learn about history through art at their own pace--they can spend 10 minutes looking around or stay for a whole hour.

The Dolley Todd House has a lot of cramped spaces and requires a lot of standing. Visitors that take the 30-minute tour can see how a future first lady and her family lived in the late 1700s.

The Benjamin Franklin Museum lets visitors learn about Franklin's life. Visitors can spend 15 minutes in the museum or even an hour, depending on how much they enjoy playing video games, touching objects, and watching videos.

The President's House Site has five videos of characters discussing what life was like as an enslaved person in the late 1700s. Visitors can spend as much or as little time in the exhibit, depending on how many videos they want to see. Since the exhibit is outside, the amount of time can also depend on the weather.

BONUS! Plan a visit for YOUR family

1. Think about the people in your family and what they are interested in
2. Imagine that your family has three hours to visit the park
3. Write down a list of sites that you would suggest your family visit
4. See what other kids came up with for their families in the Junior Ranger Challenge Photo Gallery.

Last updated: February 2, 2018

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