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Filed under: Historic Places & Landmarks, RV Home School, State & National Parks

Web Rangers keeps ‘em coming back for more!

December 4, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

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One of the activities that we actively pursued in our RV travels last winter, was to visit as many state and National Parks as we could.  The kids did Jr. Ranger programs at many of the parks, and came home with over 3 dozen badges each.  We really enjoy the programs as they are generally very educational and include many details about the parks that we would otherwise not have known.  They are a great way to get in some site-specific learning – and some nag-free roadschooling.  The kids have really been missing the J.R. program, and are anxious to get back on the road and start in on it again.  Recently, we found an online program that the boys thought was nearly as enjoyable as the real thing;web rangers internet program Web Rangers. 

Web Rangers = Jr. Rangers with a twist. 
 
Web Rangers is the National Parks Service’s online Jr. Ranger program.  The program is fun, free, and you do not have to download anything onto your computer to play it.   It features over 50 different games that teach kids interesting facts about everything from the various ranger uniforms, signal flags, water quality, animal behaviors, and many different famous Americans.  It includes activities of varying difficulty to interest everyone from the non-reading preschooler who is learning to use a mouse, to your teens that like to discover new places.  The program requires several hours to complete, and can be done all at once, or one activity at a time, and the kids can even do their favorite activities multiple times.  boy using laptop to complete Web Ranger program My kiddos thoroughly enjoyed the program and when they earned computer time by completing their regular schoolwork, they would use it to work on their Web Ranger badges.  I believe that there are a total of 56 different games; once your child completes 50 activities, they earn a badge – just as if they complete a Jr. Ranger program at a National Park!  The National Park Service will send you (the parent) an email link from which you can request that your child’s patch be mailed to your snail mail address.  My four youngest boys completed the program and have received their badges in the mail; they are anxiously waiting for me to sew them onto their badge vests.  Even though they have completed the program, they all like to go back and redo their favorite activities off of the program.
 
Even if it’s not your goal to collect Jr. Ranger badges from every National Park that offers the program, Web Rangers will still be a fun and educational activity for your little camper!  boys with their vests and web ranger badgesW.R. will give the kids a glimpse at many unfamiliar land and ocean animals and their habitats, and teach them many new details about historical people and places.  It’s a great activity to pass the time until the next camping season (or trip), and may even give you some great ideas for new destinations based on the many National Parks that you will discover via The National Park Service’s Web Rangers!

Comments

5 Responses to “Web Rangers keeps ‘em coming back for more!”
  1. Gracie says:

    Can adults do this online program also? We just got “INTO” the parks system about 10 years ago and realize that we missed so much when we first started. Would love to do this programs. Thanks in advance.

  2. Dana T. says:

    Hi Gracie!
    I don’t see why you couldn’t do the Web Rangers program – the kids said that they don’t remember any stipulations on age when they signed up. Personally, I think it’s a pretty neat program, and spent quite a bit of time watching the kids complete some of the activities.
    Have fun earning that badge! ;)
    Dana

  3. Gracie says:

    Dana, Thanks so much for responding. I think I will take the program after the Christmas Holiday . Have a very Merry Christmas.
    Gracie

  4. Tom Davies says:

    Thanks very much for the wonderful review. One of the basic ideas of The National Park Service Junior Ranger program, of which WebRangers is a part, is that anyone can take part in the program, regardless of their age. We have had definitely senior Junior Rangers reporting on their experiences. We have had WebRangers in their 60s from as far away as Sweden. One, in his 50s, called WebRangers “The best use of taxpayer dollars I have ever seen.” (Most of the younger WebRangers just enjoy it for what it is.)The first WebRanger I ever met in a park (Shenandoah) was a retired gentleman who, with his wife, travels the country visiting parks and doing the Junior Ranger programs.

    We are hearing more and more that families are using the Junior Ranger and WebRangers programs as a time to connect and learn about the parks together.

    WebRangers currently has almost 145,000 registered users (we add about 120 new WebRangers every day) and more than 7,100 have completed all of the required 45 activities and have received their patches in the mail.

    We continue to add new activities. We’re working on two about climate change with NASA and several parks and are also working with a number of parks on a wilderness activity. Stay tuned!

  5. Dana T. says:

    Thanks for the inside scoop Tom!
    And thanks for the great program!!!

    My boys will be tickled to learn that you are working on new activities for the site. We will be sure to check back in now and again to check out what you have added!
    :) dana

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