Standing in front of a realistic-looking old-time ranger cabin made of Styrofoam and cardboard, an old-time park ranger, portrayed by El Malpais National Monument Park Ranger Rick Best, stands ready to provide junior ranger candidates their mission at the annual junior ranger event, which was held at Grants High School in Grants, New Mexico.
From the earliest rangers to today’s rangers and those of tomorrow, we all share the same core values – a desire to learn, explore and protect our national parks. These tenants of rangering were expanded upon as the children were exposed to tracking, bats and white-nose syndrome, fire management and outdoor safety. There were also a station with live raptors and a second with live snakes.
This outreach effort supported by all divisions, including Park Superintendent Kayci Cook Collins, was a huge success in our small community. More than 100 kids were introduced to the myriad duties performed by NPS Rangers and completed their assignment to learn, explore and protect to become junior rangers.