Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012
George Washington Memorial Parkway held a Junior Ranger kickoff program on Thursday, May 3rd, at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial. The theme of this program was to "Explore, Learn, and Experience the Junior Ranger Program Along the George Washington Memorial Parkway."
As part of the activities for the day, 75 students (ages six, seven and eight) from Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, directed questions to Acting Superintendent, Jon G. James, and Deputy Director of Communications and Community Assistance Mickey Fearn. The questions posed by the students focused on careers in the National Park Service.
The Junior Ranger kickoff is just one of the initiatives that provides a better opportunity to get school communities more engaged by “Connecting People to Parks” in the next century “Call to Action” plan. The park was pleased to welcome Deputy Director Mickey Fearn and his management analyst, Brian Joyner, for the day.
Students explored a variety of educational stations staffed by parkway employees and volunteers and had an opportunity to learn more about the different historic periods and sites represented on the parkway and the importance of the Junior Ranger program. One of the educational stations was set up as a Civil War period military encampment, where students were dressed in replica uniforms and learned about Civil War era military tactics and strategy. Other stations provided opportunities to learn about Victorian dance culture, which the Custis and Lee Families enjoyed.
Another station focused on the life and legacy of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. Students viewed Clara Barton's image through period stereoscopes, completed a hands-on activity associated with her relief work, and created a “Clara Barton Legacy Commemorative Coin” using paper plates as the "coin." The coins will be on display at Clara Barton National Historic Site between May 22nd and August 15th.
Student activities were led by Rangers Susan Finta, Ahmad Toure, Franice Sewell, Matt Penrod, Miguel Roberson, Delphine Gross, Education Specialist Jacqueline Davis, Supervisory Park Ranger Burns, and Horticulturist Barry Stahl. Additional event support was received from GIS Specialist Kriston Barnes, Park Planner Thomas Sheffer, and Maintenance Supervisors Mike Whalen and Larry Newman. Chief Ranger Lee Werst, along with the Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall Police, 59th Mass Volunteer Infantry, Victorian dance ensembles and a host of park volunteers helped to make the event successful.