Gather folks ‘round the campfire—literal or figurative—to listen to stories. In the proud tradition of rangering, many stories are told in national parks about history, nature, journeys, lore, and personal memories. And many ways to tell them, including oral traditions, artwork, performances, literature, poetry, albums and scrapbooks, and now sharing on social media. What are your favorite stories? And which will you share?
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Stop for a moment to experience and reflect on the world around you. Create your own campfire—literal or figurative—to gather around with family and friends to tell stories, share memories, and let your imaginations run wild together. (Footage provided by and belongs to More Than Just Parks)
Arts of Storytelling in Parks
Thousands of years of storytelling are preserved in national parks and through National Park Service programs and partnerships in communities. We share stories through ranger talks, artwork, museum exhibits, live performances, living history events, cultural demonstrations, and more. Explore different arts of storytelling, find parks to visit, learn about the work we do, and find ideas and activities to tell your own stories.
Arts In Parks
Many forms of art allow us to tell stories of the natural world around us and share cultural heritage and history.
Music is one of the oldest forms of storytelling and sharing cultural heritage between generations and with others.
Brush strokes can paint a telling narrative or inspire others to discover more about the pictures we create.
Tell Your Stories
Be a storyteller on social media! Share your stories, photos, memories, and connections to national parks! Use the hashtag #TellingStories, #FindYourPark, or #EncuentraTuParque to help inspire others to discover new stories and find their personal connections to national parks.
#FindYourPark Friday Art
Join the National Park Foundation, our official partner, in a weekly tradition of sharing art inspired by beauty, stories, and experiences in national parks. Share your artwork of any style of your choice on social media using #FindYourPark. It may even be featured in the #FindYourPark Friday Gallery!
Write Out Challenge October 11-25, 2020
Write Out is a free two-week event hosted by the National Park Service and the National Writing Project to encourage educators, students, and everyone to explore national parks and other public spaces to connect and learn through place-based writing and sharing. Sign up for a series of online activities leading up to a celebration on the National Day of Writing on October 20.
History Discovery Events
Interested in creating lessons or events to tell history? Explore resources inspired by the great work of our peers to help history practitioners design, implement, and evaluate educational materials and events to connect people, places, and histories.
Featured Kids Activities
National Fossil Day Art Contest
Create a prehistoric world as part of an annual art content for all ages designed to learn about fossils.
Literature & Poetry Kids Activities
Find educational materials and fun activities for kids to do at home or with their class to learn about written and spoken stories.
Teaching the 19th Amendment Kids
Learn about the 19th Amendment and how women got the right to vote with activities and challenges.
National Park Service staff and partners use storytelling to connect people with the nation’s rich and diverse natural and cultural heritage found in national parks and communities. Explore some of the stories they telling for discussions now, including 400 years of African American history, the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and Hispanic Heritage Month.
"Twenty & Odd"
Reflect on 400 years of African American experience through the lens of our nation's iconic places in this short film.
19th Amendment Podcasts
Join Rosario Dawson and Retta as they discover often surprising stories of women’s suffrage. There’s a time-traveling story for kids, too!
Proud of Our Past, Embracing Our Future
National Park Service employees share their rich Hispanic and Latino cultural heritage and history.
Raising the Flag
Seventy-five years after an iconic photo capturing the spirit of the Marine Corps was taken, Marines share what their memorial means.
National Park Service employees share their favorite camping experiences, pro tips, and even a favorite recipe to inspire others.
National Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation (NPF), an official partner of the National Park Service, explored different ways people tell stories to interpret history, reflect on people's journeys, make personal connections, and share cultural heritage in national parks.
Celebrating Black History
A group of National Park Service filmmakers show what happens when stories are told by the people closest to them.
Uncovering the Untold Stories
A partnership supports humanities scholars to uncover new insights into American history through research in national parks.
More than the Stuff of History
Megan Springate brings the stories of the women's suffrage movement and 19th Amendment to the forefront during centennial commemoration.
Illuminating Women's Histories
Two history interns hope to amplify women's voices and histories with parks through expanded storytelling.
Learn the ABCs
Go through the alphabet to learn some of the many job duties and roles that people can have as stewards of national parks.
Distance Learning on the Mississippi
A partnership has created an opportunity to provide online learning resources to young park enthusiasts and families to stay connected.
The 19th Amendment and Beyond
August 26, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution giving women the legal right to vote. In commemoration of the centennial, we are exploring the complex history involving Americans of all backgrounds fighting for and against women voting. Learn ways that storytelling through different means was used by the women’s suffragist movement and continues to be used today to tell their stories.
Symbols of the Suffrage Movement
Recognizable symbols were used throughout the women's suffrage movement to invoke a narrative.
Like Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs were popularly used by contemporary cartoonists to tell people about perceived gender roles and women's suffrage.
Telling LBGTQ History
October is LBGT History Month celebrating the successes and contributions of the LBGTQ community, as well as examining challenges it faced through history. Explore stories preserved in national parks and in communities through National Park Service programs and partnerships. Learn more about LBGTQ heritage.
Storytelling has been a part of the tradition of national parks since the beginning. Traditionally park rangers and guides shared knowledge of natural and cultural heritage to adventurous tourists and researchers exploring unique places that were set aside for future generations. Today National Park Service rangers strive to be leaders in interpretation using both traditional and innovative ways to connect people with America's treasures preserved in national parks and in their own backyards. Meet some of the storytellers of different career fields to learn about how share stories.
Women of the National Park Service
A collection of stories highlights women employees, interns, and volunteers in a variety of career fields.
Tales of Two Parks
Tahmoor Chadury is spending his internship capturing employee stories showing the possibilities for everyone to be connected to parks.
Last updated: October 16, 2020