Junior Ranger Program

The Junior Ranger Program is a free summer program for children ages 5-12.
There are two levels:

  • Park Pal is for ages 5-8
  • Outdoor Adventurer is for ages 9-12

Registration & Activity Packets

Registration is closed for the 2017 season.
When you register online, you will be emailed a link to download the activity packets for the appropriate age group. Online registration is available May - July 26. The activities in the program packets can be completed on your own time throughout the summer within our Burlington County Parks.

There are also individual events led by our park staff from July - August that coincide with the topics in the Junior Ranger activity packets. These events take place on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Saturdays. Please note that those who reside in Burlington County will receive first priority over non-residents for event registrations. You have to register your child for these events in addition to the overall Junior Ranger Program. Registration for events will be open 2 weeks prior to the event, and you will receive an email reminder to notify you. Contact the Parks Department at 609-265-5858 or via email with any questions.

Parent / Guardian Accompaniment

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult in order to participate in the Junior Ranger events, and parents / guardians should be prepared to stay for the duration of the event, which is typically ranges from about 1 hour – an hour and a half.

What to Bring to Park Events

Wear light colored clothing and sneakers and socks – no flip flops, sandals or crocs! Bring insect repellent and bottled water. A hat is recommended.

Junior Ranger Event Descriptions

Registration is required for all events and is separate from the overall program registration. Those who are registered for the overall Junior Ranger Program will receive the full event schedule with park locations and times, as well as an email reminder when registration is open for an event.

Title Age group
Mammals 5-8 Many of the mammals in our area are secretive so we don’t get to see them too often, but they do leave behind some signs to tell us that they have been there. Join us to look for these clues on a tracking walk.
Mammals 9-12 We will start by examining mammal skulls and use teamwork to figure out the identity of the mammals. Then join us to look for other clues mammals leave behind on a tracking walk, figuring out diet and behavior as well as tracks.
Freshwater Fishing 5-8 & 9-12 Go fishing with the Park Rangers! Learn how to fish with a rod and reel and see what kind of fish we can find in the lake.
Insect Encounters 5-8 Children will first learn what makes an insect an insect by participating in an interactive game. Then we will go on a scavenger-hunt style walk to look for insects in different habitats and observe various behaviors, colors, patterns and textures of insects.
A closer look at trees 9-12 We will take a close up look at the bark, leaves, and other features that characterize trees as certain species. Leaf and bark rubbings will serve as a take-home reminder of our findings.
Reptiles 5-8 Children will participate in a turtle survival game and then go on a walk to find real-life examples of reptiles in the park.
Animal Classification 9-12 Join us under the shade of the pavilion participating in a new game, sorting out the vertebrate and invertebrate classes. Each student will be a mystery animal and will have to guess their identity based on a twenty questions-style format.
Hiking 5-8 Take a fun hike with Ranger Kathy through Smith’s Woods.
Backpacking 9-12 Hike with Ranger Pat and learn some basics of backpacking including trip planning, navigation, health and safety, and packing gear for hikes.
Butterflies 5-8 Take a closer look at butterflies in all parts of their life cycle at the butterfly garden.
Beneficial Insects 9-12 Learn and look for examples of beneficial insects from bees to beetles and beyond, investigating not only identity but also the important roles they play in the environment.
Amphibians 5-8 Children will act out the steps of amphibian metamorphosis for frogs, toads, and salamanders, then go on a pond search to find amphibians in stages of their life cycle. Wear rubber boots if have them for wet and muddy conditions. Small nets will be provided.
Amphibians 9-12 Students will learn about real-world scenarios that affect amphibians as they participate in the “frog pond choices” activity. The activity ends at the frog pond where we will look for amphibians. Wear rubber boots if have them for wet and muddy conditions. Small nets will be provided.