Go, go Georgia junior park rangers.
The Georgia State Parks program begins May 28, and kids can earn badges for hands-on nature activities, exploring Georgia history and other fun outdoorsy stuff like hiking, boating and archery.
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Who doesn't love badges? Plus, the outdoors experience builds as children work their way through three badge levels.
Here's how the Junior Park Ranger badge program works:
Free Junior Ranger Activity Books are available at all of Georgia's State Parks and Historic Sites. If you are not able to pick up your book in person, download one from this link.
Returning this summer is the Get Outdoors Georgia Gopher Badge, which offers kids the chance to choose from a list of 16 different badge requirements that will get them outdoors and learning about nature. Kids ages 7–10 must complete five activities and those aged 11–14 must complete 8 activities.
Archery, hiking and campfire building are all part of the fun at the Junior Ranger day camp at Chattahoochee Bend State Park.
Photo: Contributed by Georgia State Parks/For the AJC
At the same time, many Georgia State Parks offer Junior Park Ranger day camps or workshops throughout the summer. Kids complete the badges at the activity sites, along with learning lots about nature and picking up skills that range from archery to boating at different camps.
Here are six Georgia State Parks holding Junior Park Ranger camps or workshops this summer:
Junior Ranger Three-Day Camp at Chattahoochee Bend State Park
9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 5-7 for ages 7 and up
9 a.m.-2 p.m. June 26-28 for ages 7 and up
Space is limited. $80 plus $5 parking. 770-254-7271.
Canoeing, campfire building and survival shelters are only a few of the many adventures offered at this camp.
Junior Ranger Camp at Florence Marina State Park
9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 18-21
$30 plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706
Kids learn to identify different plant and animal species, go hiking and boating and learn wilderness skills.
Junior Ranger Camp at Skidaway Island State Park
9 a.m-5 p.m. Weekdays the weeks of May 28, June 18, and July 9 for ages 6-11 years old
A week of hiking, craft making, games and other activities related to the natural and cultural heritage of Georgia.
Junior Ranger Camp Seminole State Park
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wed.-Fri., June 20-22 for ages 8-14
$40 plus $5 parking. 229-861-3137.
Hiking, outdoor skills, aquatic exploration and crafts.
Junior Ranger Camp: Magnolia Springs State Park
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.June 12-14, June 26-28 and July 17-19 for ages 11-12
$40 plus $5 parking. 478-982-1660
Your Junior Ranger will be very tired after a day of nature hikes, archery, geocaching, alligators(?), fishing, archaeology, the splash pad and much more in case they’re not tired yet.
Junior Ranger Camp: Red Top Mountain State Park
Four weeks of a four-day camp. Activities include hiking, crafting, outdoor skills, and “adventure.” Space is limited and registration is required.
10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 12-15 and July 10-13 for ages 7-9 years, June 19-22 and July 17-20 for ages 10-12
$100 plus $5 parking. 770-975-4226
Junior Ranger Camp: Vogel State Park
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. 2-day Sat.-Sun. camps: June 23-24, July 28-29 and August 4-5
$20 plus $5 parking
3-day Tues.-Thurs. camp: July 17-19
$30 plus $5 parking. 706-745-2628.
At the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest kids will learn how to identify different plant and animal species, make crafts, explore and learn how to be safe in the wilderness.
For a full list of Junior Ranger events click here.