Some of my family were not super excited when I talked about visiting Fort Laramie National Monument in Wyoming. A couple of groans were heard in the back corners of the RV. When we got there, however, attitudes seemed to adjust and and we had one of our best junior ranger program experiences yet. The ranger who helped us, Carol, was super nice and got us off on the right foot.
First we watched the movie of the history of the fort, which involves the convergence of three historic trails (the Oregon, Mormon and California) along with the Pony Express route as well as being a pivotal base in the Sioux Wars. We got a nice compliment from an older couple on how well behaved our boys were! This made us feel great, because sometimes we do not feel quite this way about our dear kids!
Then we started on the junior ranger program which was almost like a scavenger hunt. It was a great program because all the boys, regardless of their age, had the same questions. Basically we just hunted through the park looking for the answers to questions like what were the checkers on the checker board made of (corn cobs) or how many stoves are in this building or how much did a loaf of bread weigh after cooked in the bakery. It was quite useful as a teaching tool as well!
The great thing about this junior ranger program is that is you complete Fort Laramie's program you get a badge, and if you complete it along with Guernsey State Park's program you get another badge and a commemorative coin! We did both programs and the boys all got a very cool coin to go along with their two badges. Score!