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Contact: Bradley Block, 605-673-8330
The National Park Service (NPS) is turning 100 years old on August 25, 2016! In order to celebrate this occasion, the Monument has designated special days throughout the summer and early fall as Junior Ranger Days.
On the following Saturdays - June 25, July 23, August 27, and September 24,Jewel Cave is hosting special Junior Ranger programs from 10:00 –11:30 a.m.Each program will have a specific topic, and participants will get to bring home some type of arts and crafts related to that day's theme. These special programs are geared for kids ages 3-12;and all participants are required to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.The programs will begin at the visitor center. Reservations are not required.Participants successfully completing the programs earn a 2016 Junior Ranger Badge and certificate.
June 25 - Sketching an Artistic Nature Scene
July 23 - What Comes Out After Dark?
August 27 - Become a Wildlife Detective
September 24 - How Do You Make a Bat Happy?
The upcoming Junior Ranger Day on June 25 is geared toward the artistic side of nature.Participants will hike into a ponderosa pine forest and learn about the various flora and fauna living in the Black Hills. Then, they will sketch a nature scene depicting the surface features of the Monument. With permission from the participants, the artwork will be shared with others through social media and posted inside the Monument's visitor center.
For the hike, participants should wear sturdy shoes or boots and also dress for the current weather conditions. It is also advisable for participants to bring a water bottle and snacks for the hike. A water bottle filling station is available inside the visitor center. For any additional supplies, the Monument's cooperative partner –the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association –offers a park store with several Junior Ranger products.
Regardless of the summer day, families are encouraged to spend some time at the Monument and take part in several programs.Ranging from interpretive patio talks to guided nature hikes, there are several daily activities taking place on-site.Of course, guided cave tours are offered throughout the day.Kids 5-12 can become Junior Rangers, while children ages 3-4 can become Pee Wee Rangers.Both programs have activity booklets, which are available at the visitor center.