Junior Ranger Camp offers fun for children 8-12 years old
Published 10:03 am Saturday, July 4, 2015
Next week, a group of 30 kids ranging from the ages of 8 to 12 years old will get a chance to learn many things about the outdoors during this year’s Junior Ranger Camp at Roan Mountain State Park.
The five-day event will kick off Monday and run through Friday, and each day will have a different theme.
Monday will be safety day, and kids will learn about first aid and other important safety-related topics. Also going on Monday will be the snake program, during which the junior rangers will learn about snakes that are indigenous to the Roan Mountain area. Later in the day, Wings Air Rescue will land its helicopter in the park, allowing kids to catch a glimpse of a helicopter in action.
Tuesday will be plants and wildlife day. State naturalist Randy Hedgepath will kick the day off by taking the junior rangers on a forest nature hike. Next up will be a program on birds of prey held by regional naturalist David Haggard. Later that evening, the bird program will be open to the community.
Wednesday will be water day. The kids will learn a lot about fishing, such as tying on fishing hooks and how to use a rod and reel, before getting to fish.
On Thursday, the junior rangers will be put to the test as they attempt the Junior Rangers Challenge Course, an obstacle course that consists of many challenging obstacles, such as a balancing beam and climbing logs. Also on Thursday, there will be an animal exercise program, during which the kids will get to act like animals as they complete exercises with names like “lizard pushups” and “rabbit dashes.”
Friday night, the junior rangers will get to relax and watch a slide show of pictures taken during the camp, before all the badges are handed out.
Park ranger Meg Guy believes that events like the Junior Rangers Camp are important because it gets young ones interested in the outdoors.
“Its huge,” she said. “Kids don’t get out as much anymore. We need people to help preserve the parks in the future, so we hope to kids interested at a young age.”