National Park Service adds nine junior rangers
Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The National Park Service added nine junior rangers to its ranks Saturday at the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail Junior Ranger Summer Camp held at the Lowndes Interpretive Center in White Hall.
On Saturday, youngsters who attended all four weekends of the camp not only learned to be national park rangers for a day, but also were awarded National Park Service badges, Junior Ranger patches, camp dog tags for each session attended and a certificate.
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Saturday, the campers learned about firefighting, rescue, law enforcement, preservation, conservation and all the things that make a ranger a ranger.
Park Ranger J.K. (Jim) Cahill talked to youngsters about the law enforcement part of being rangers and let them see a ranger vehicle up close and try out some handcuffs.
Park Ranger Anthony Bates presented the badges, patches, dog tags and certificates to the youngsters.
Bates said the camp averaged about 35 participants each weekend.
Making it to all four camps held June 30, July 7, July 21 and July 28 from 10 a.m. until 12 noon were Rodney Thomas II, Rashad Thomas, Jasmine Moorer, Shania Hall, Brianna Hall, Jordan Beaton, Acadia Thomas, Taylor Lambert and Kerstin Sanders.
The camp dog tags came in four colors, blue for water safety/conservation, red for fitness and healthy living, yellow for wildlife conservation and green for National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger, Bates said.
On Saturday June 30, the children learned the importance of water safety with rangers from the Army Corps of Engineers demonstrating boating safety, life vest safety and conservation on Alabama’s waterways.
On Saturday July 7 a YMCA of Dallas County instructor showed the kids “how to move and groove with Zumba dance.” In addition to physical activity, the YMCA informed everyone how to maintain a balanced, nutritional diet and lifestyle.
Saturday, July 21, Montgomery Zoo staff and volunteers showed the children how “critters in Alabama’s Black Belt region live in their various habitats.” The kids learned about conservation and how to be better stewards to the creatures of the woods.
Also assisting with the camp was National Park Service Ranger Kierra Lewis Haley.
Students from Dallas, Lowndes, and Montgomery County participated “in the very first Selma to Montgomery NHT (National Historic Trail) 2012 Junior Ranger Summer Camp at the Lowndes Interpretive Center,” Acting Site Manager Denesia Cheek said. “We hope youth along the Selma to Montgomery NHT will continue to join us in future Junior Ranger Summer Camp programs.”