Junior ranger day set for April 16

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will celebrate its fifth-annual National Junior Ranger Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, with special activities at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee.

Activities planned will range from ranger-guided walks and programs to making dinner bells at a blacksmith shop. Making historic toys, cornhusk dolls, and visiting touch tables with animal skins, skulls and scat are a few of the other natural and cultural opportunities available.

Children can “earn” their Junior Ranger badge by completing three of the specially planned activities. A Junior Ranger booklet is also available for those who would like to explore the park in more depth. The Junior Ranger booklets, produced in cooperation with Great Smoky Mountains Association, can be purchased for $2.50 each at park visitor centers.

National Junior Ranger Day is a special event for National Park Week, celebrated this year between April 16 and 24. National Park Week is an annual president-proclaimed week for celebration and recognition of National Parks. This year’s theme is “Healthy Parks, Healthy People.

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