Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers – National Park Program Expanded

This week, 16 National Parks were added to the list of “Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers” program. That brings the total number of National Parks with this service to 36. First Lady, Michelle Obama calls to kids across America, “Let’s Move Outside, Junior Rangers!”. The First Lady is spearheading the campaign to end childhood obesity within one generation. The program was started in June 2010.

National Park Junior Rangers will not only have fun and get exercise but also receive an extra reward for working up a sweat. So far this summer, thousands of kids have earned the title while discovering that exercise doesn’t equal drudgery. Currently, children can become a Junior Ranger at over 200 National Parks/Monuments/Preserves/Recreation Areas nationwide.

Young people who complete a physical activity in pursuit of their Junior Ranger badge receive a sticker that designates them as a Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. The activities range from adventures like snorkeling or kayaking at Assateague National Seashore and hiking and camping at Colorado National Monument to swimming at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, canoeing in a 26-foot Norse canoe at Voyageurs National Park and a ranger guided hike with “Nature Hike Bingo” at Olympic National Park.

Let’s Move Outside is a new program developed by the Department of the Interior and The Department of Agriculture. They are making it easier for parents by providing information on outdoor activities and a healthy lifestyle.  Together, these agencies oversee more than one-fifth of the nation’s land – including millions of acres of National forests, parks and trails.

“The Let’s Move Outside program in our national parks provides a wonderful way for parents to help their children gain a passion for outdoor recreation while teaching them about our nation’s beautiful lands, our rich, cultural heritage and our storied past,” said Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar.

The program engages young people in educational programs and self-guided exploration on America’s public lands and waters. The activities promise to be fun, healthy and family-friendly.

“Young people inspire us; we want to help them be vigorous and curious for life. It starts with family fun. National parks are amazing places where exercise is disguised as adventure, and we sneak in some learning too,” National Park Service Director, Jon Jarvis said.

By summer’s end, 50 national parks will offer Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. Before heading out, visit www.letsmove.gov/letsmoveoutside.php for more information about activities and participating parks. This website hub will link families to the great outdoors and give tips and ideas on how to best plan and enjoy an active visit.

Throughout the summer, Let’s Move Outside programs and events will be held in conjunction with schools, community groups, and other partners.

Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger parks launching today
Acadia National Park, Maine
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana and Wyoming
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Massachusetts
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Georgia
Colorado National Monument, Colorado
Curecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado
Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida and Mississippi
George Washington Memorial Parkway, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC
Hovenweep National Monument, Colorado and Utah
Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Pennsylvania
Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia
Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Olympic National Park, Washington
Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger parks launched in June 2010
Canaveral National Seashore, Florida; Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio; Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska; Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa; Fire Island National Seashore, New York; Fort Dupont Park, Washington, DC; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado; Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia; Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Minnesota; Mount Rainier National Park, Washington; New River Gorge National River, West Virginia; Prince William Forest Park, Virginia; Redwood National and State Parks, California; Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia; Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan; Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

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