Earn Your Junior Ranger Badge Aboard a St. Louis Cruise

Gateway Arch National Park and the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch have collaborated for a new National Park Service Junior Ranger Badge Program called Riverboat Explorer. This program offers young explorers a chance to learn about river travel, historic St. Louis, invasive species, and more aboard the mighty Mississippi.

Pam Sanfilippo, Program Manager of Museum Services and Interpretation with the National Park Service, expressed excitement about the collaboration, aiming to make learning about St. Louis engaging and interactive for kids.

The program is available during 1:30 PM and 3 PM St. Louis Riverfront Cruises until Labor Day. The activity book offers entertaining and educational activities like puzzles, word scrambles, illustrations, and critical thinking exercises. Participants can earn a badge by completing activities and showing their sheets to the Park Ranger onboard.

For more details, visit gatewayarch.com/riverboats or call 877-982-1410.

Additionally, the Gateway Arch Junior Ranger activity book is available year-round at the Visitor Center inside the Gateway Arch.

Gateway Arch National Park commemorates St. Louis’ historical significance, including the Gateway to the West concept, and preserves landmarks like the Old Courthouse. The park receives support from Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Jefferson National Parks Association, and Bi-State Development.

The Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, namely the Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer, offer Mississippi River excursions with themes like Blues Cruise and Sunday Brunch, providing captivating views of the St. Louis skyline. Check gatewayarch.com/riverboats for the 2023 sightseeing cruise schedule.

The above news story is based on a press release from the National Park Service, which was issued on August 18, 2023. You can read the original release here.

About the National Park Junior Ranger Program

The National Park Service Junior Ranger Program is an educational initiative designed to engage young visitors in the exploration and conservation of national parks. It’s suitable for children aged 5 to 13, although age ranges can vary slightly depending on the park.

To earn a Junior Ranger badge, participants typically complete a set of age-appropriate activities provided in a booklet available at the park’s visitor center. These activities encourage kids to learn about the park’s natural and cultural resources, history, and environmental conservation efforts.

The activities can include answering questions, solving puzzles, conducting observations, attending ranger-led programs, and even drawing pictures. Upon completing the required activities, the young participants usually have to review their work with a park ranger who may ask them questions about what they’ve learned. Once verified, the child is awarded a Junior Ranger badge or patch as a token of their accomplishment.

The program is often free of charge, although some parks might charge a small fee for the activity booklet. The main goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to foster a love for national parks, cultivate environmental awareness, and encourage young participants to become future stewards of these natural treasures.

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Feature image: nps.gov