Junior Ranger Challenge -- Develop an Eagle Eye

Dear Ranger-in-Training,

Congratulations on completing your first challenges! But your job isn't done yet.

Park rangers are sometimes like detectives. We look for clues to learn more about our park's stories. At the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, we are always trying to learn more about the Polish freedom fighter Thaddeus Kosciuszko. We study his letters and we look very carefully at his portrait.

Someone with an "eagle eye" is very good at noticing things. Now it is your turn to develop an "eagle eye" and finish the Junior Ranger Challenge training program.

Your friend,
Ranger Renee

Your challenge: Identify the medals in Thaddeus Kosciuszko's portrait



1. Look at the descriptions of the medals listed below.
2. Examine the medals in Kosciuszko's portrait, and use the discriptions to figure out which two medals he is wearing.
3. Write down the names of the two medals on a piece of paper.
Color image of Thaddeus Kosciuszko's portrait, showing just a detail of his chest with two medals.
Tiny details can tell big stories.  Do you see the medals?

Detail, Thaddeus Kosciuszko by Julian Rhys, 1897. Independence National Historical Park


Possible Medals

Society of the Cincinnati
  • gold
  • shaped like an eagle
  • hangs from blue and white ribbon
  • given to officers who served at least three years in the Continental Army or Navy during the American Revolution
War Order of Virtuti Militari
  • shaped like a cross
  • awarded in Poland for heroism and courage
Badge of Military Merit
  • shaped like a heart
  • hangs from a purple ribbon

BONUS! Design YOUR own medal

1. On a piece of paper, draw a medal that you would give to someone who:
Does a good job with their chores OR Does a good job on their homework OR Treats people and animals with kindness

What shape will you choose for this medal? Will it have any words or images on it?

Last updated: February 3, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

c/o Independence National Historical Park
143 S. 3rd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106


(215) 965-2305
Due to the site's limited hours, visitors are advised to phone the Independence Visitor Center at the above number. Rangers at the visitor center (open 7 days a week) can answer questions and provide information about the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial

Contact Us