I’ve told you about how obsessed we are with the Passport Stamp program at U.S. National Parks. Each National Park and National Monument, as well as many other recreation areas like National Battlefields, has a cancelation stamp for you to put into your passport book. And now we have a Junior Ranger National Parks one just for kids.
The cancelation stamp program is like geocaching for people who are bad at directions and finding tiny objects hidden in bushes. In short: it’s the best.
And it’s my favorite obsession. Each visitor center at any given park might have their own, and sometimes there are even secret stamps (yes! secret stamps!) behind the counter that only those in the know can get because you have to know to ask.
(I am not even a little ashamed that I’m so into this. I also love Antiques Roadshow. Don’t be jealous of how cool I am).
I’m not the only one in our family who collects the stamps. I’ve gotten my kids involved, too. Each of them has their own little blue book, and when we visit a stamp location as a family I pile them all up from the glove compartment and parade them in.
OK, my kids are slightly less into it than I am. And, yes, they still prefer that we put the stamp on their hands instead of in their books. But the passport book isn’t exactly kid oriented, so i get it.
Until now, that is.
extreme elation calm joy when a friend sent me the link to the new Junior Ranger edition of the Passport to Your National Parks book. And you better believe I emailed the folks that make it so fast to ask for a review copy.
Eastern National knows a mega fan when they see one, and mailed it to me no problem.
(It’s the little things, guys.)
And that’s how it is that I can tell you all about this fun new kid-friendly resource.
Aimed at kids ages 5 to 12, the book is divided into the same regions as the adult version. Unlike the adult version, it contains fun illustrations, kid friendly descriptions, coloring areas, fill in the blank portions and even a few admonishments like “respect wildlife.”
That is not the really exciting part. The most exciting part is this:
In conjunction with the new book, Eastern National has also released an entirely new set of stamps to over 300 National Parks with Junior Ranger programs. That means there are 300 new stamps out there for my kids to collect.
Junior Ranger National Parks Passport Stamps
The books have a special area specifically for the Junior Ranger cancelation stamps. Individual parks can use the stamp as they see fit, but Eastern National has suggested that if someone wants the stamp, they have to complete the Junior Ranger program.
The stamp looks like this:
300 new stamps? I can’t even.
I do, however, have a two complaints about the new book.
First, the book is big. Big is good for kids with big writing and big habits of loosing stuff. Big is not so good for the handy storage of something in the car or the ability to tuck it away where it won’t get trampled and destroyed.
That said, I’m not sure what I would prefer instead. Small is bad for kids, so I’m maybe there’s any way around the problems big creates.
Finally, adding 300 new stamps to a program means I now must take my kids back to all of the parks I already visited and get the stamps again. Why would you do that me, Eastern National? Why?
You can pick up your own Junior Ranger National Parks passport stamps book at many National Park bookstores or online.