Do you have children who love exploring the Smoky Mountains? Any child between the ages of five and 12 can become Junior Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With these simple steps, kids will be able to earn their badge!
1. Purchase the Booklet & Complete the Activities
If you’re staying in one of our beautiful Gatlinburg cabins, you aren’t far from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. So, take a trip to any park visitor center, like Sugarlands, to purchase an age-appropriate booklet. The booklets cost $2.50 each and will give all of the details for completing the Junior Ranger program. Booklets can be purchased online before you arrive at the park. To purchase your booklet before your vacation click here.
The activities in the booklet are designed for the children’s age group, to make it as simple as possible to complete. Parents, it is encouraged that you help your children complete the activities!
2. Attend a Ranger-Led Walk or Talk
Fall is a great time to become a Junior Ranger because the Great Smoky Mountains National Park dedicates ranger-led walks and talks especially for children! Make sure to plan for your child to attend one of these activities, to make them one step closer to earning their badge!
3. Pick up Litter & Return the Completed Booklet
Picking up litter sounds like a dirty job, but it is a lot of help to the environment. One grocery bag filled with litter is enough to complete the task! The last step is to take your booklet to the Sugarlands or Oconaluftee visitor center to receive your badge from a real park ranger!
If you aren’t between the ages of five and 12, and are interested in becoming a Not-So-Junior Ranger, the national park offers a program for you! You will simply pick up a Not-So-Junior Ranger card at a park visitor center and attend three ranger-led programs. Make sure to get your signatures, so you receive credit for your attendance! When you have completed the programs, you will take your card back to a national park visitor center where you will receive a Not-So-Junior Ranger patch!
For visitors looking to stay close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take a look at Stony Brook Cabin Rentals’ Gatlinburg cabins and chalets. There, you will find all of the fully-equipped cabins for your Smoky Mountains vacation. To begin planning your vacation, give us a call at (800) 633-5652 to speak with our helpful staff.