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Contact: Karen Hughes, 928-567-3322 x223
National Park Service News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MAY 14, 2013
KAREN HUGHES, ACTING CHIEF RANGER, MOCA/TUZI, 928-567-3322 X223
Teachers Become Rangers at Montezuma Well
RIMROCK, Ariz. - Each summer, children from around the Verde Valley descend on Montezuma Well for Junior Ranger Day Camps. Kids between 8 and 16 years of age spend their mornings outdoors, having fun and learning about topics from wildlife and prehistoric people to skills like reading maps, orienteering, and stargazing. There are nature walks to Wet Beaver Creek, time for splashing about in the historic irrigation canal, chances to make and trade jewelry, and lots of laughter.
Behind the scenes, another story is taking place-teachers are spending summers as park rangers, and both parks and schools reap the rewards. Throughout the National Park System, teachers become park rangers for two months during the summer and get an inside look at national parks and monuments. Along with great outdoor spaces like Grand Canyon and Yosemite, these are the places where events in classroom textbooks actually happened: Jamestown, Independence Hall, Pearl Harbor, and others. At Montezuma Well, teacher-rangers directly experience one of the most noteworthy locations in Arizona's prehistory.
When they return to school in the fall, teachers' new experiences help them connect students with all that awaits them in America's great outdoor spaces. At the same time, teachers help park rangers improve educational programs. Rangers are able to make field trips more engaging, while tailoring talks and tours to the state curricula to better support teachers' needs.
As another school year winds down, some Class of 2013 graduates may recall their own summers spent at a Junior Ranger Camp just a few years ago. Rangers at Montezuma Well will be getting ready to teach new campers-and to learn from new teachers. Teachers interested in becoming a ranger for the summer may contact Ranger Case Griffing at (928) 567-3322 x230 or Sharlot Hart at (928) 567-3322 x1. Registration for campers begins on May 15.