On The Trail

Homeschool Hiking

Best Day Ever!!!! for our Junior Ranger (from April 2014)

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Best Day Ever!!! for our Junior Ranger

We took Maddie to the Saratoga National Historical Park last summer for the first time so she could meet some Park Rangers. She was thrilled to talk to many of the rangers at the park. She worked hard on completing the Junior Ranger booklet and found on the last page an offer of a special tour of the Battlefield if she completed several different booklets at different times of the year. We decided to try and complete the tasks because she really wanted to earn a tour. We went back on her birthday which was the encampment weekend only to discover there was no new booklet. I contacted the park through their Facebook page and asked if this was still available. Ranger Megan e-mailed me back explaining they had stopped the program since we were the only inquiry they had in 2 years! She offered to give Maddie the tour any way and of course we said YES PLEASE!!!

Today was the day of the tour. We could tell Megan worked really hard to make sure the day was a good one for Maddie and we appreciate all her hard work! I took Maddie’s picture out front by the sign when we arrived. Her smile says she is just a little excited, doesn’t it?

Megan greeted us at the visitor center with a special itinerary for the day. We knew right away this was going to be fun!

Maddie met with Gina, chief of interpretation who explained a little bit about what the interpretative rangers do and a few new projects they are working on.

We also started giving out some baggies of treats as thank yous to everyone! Megan also got an extra special treat of Poppa Bill’s “Ranger” bread. She couldn’t wait to try some!

Baggies with ranger bread!

We turned around and were able to meet Megan’s coworker Eric. Both Megan and Eric are interpretive rangers who meet the public and help tell the story of the Battlefield. Eric explained that they are currently working on changing the signs at each stop on the Battlefield so they have correct updated information (they discovered for example that there was no Asa Chatfield Farm where the sign has said “Asa Chatfield Farm). The signs are also a bit ragged and need replacing.

Then we moved on to the Ranger Station meeting the Superintendent, Administrative Staff, Curator, Facility Management Team and the Law Enforcement Officers. Maddie had a good time with all of them. Everyone was anxious to share their knowledge and what they enjoy about their job. Maddie was able to handle some artifacts and sit in the Law Enforcement Truck!

Meeting Ranger Joe, the Superintendent

Checking out a musket ball

Ranger Jason explaining how they repair the cannon carriage. The facility management area was very interesting. They are responsible for the upkeep of the park from the buildings to the grounds so it involves everything from repair of the building to prescribed burns to keep the park in shape.

Checking out the law enforcement truck! She was a bit enamored with. that job until we went out on the tour road with Megan and Ranger Linda, a naturalist.


Rangers Megan and Linda setting up Skyler for a photo shoot on the listening device.

Ranger Linda was checking this to make sure it was working. It should be picking up sounds in the area which she listens to and then uses the data to know what birds might be in the area. Unfortunately this one needed a new battery so we didn’t get to see it working. However it was really fun to see what part of her job entails. Maddie was back to being a naturalist!

Skyler, Ranger Megan, Junior Ranger Maddie and Baldwin(Maddie’s gift from Ranger Megan)

We saw so much wildlife today! Let me see if I can remember it all….deer, a chipmunk, red wing blackbirds, a turkey vulture, garter snakes, yellow bellied sapsucker,

a beaver dam and lodge,

turtles at the beaver lodge,

and a bluebird!

We cannot thank Ranger Megan enough for offering Maddie this opportunity and all the rangers for taking time with Maddie today! It is one she will remember for a long time to come.

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One thought on “Best Day Ever!!!! for our Junior Ranger (from April 2014)

  1. What a great opportunity for your daughter and how nice of Ranger Megan to take the time to make it really special for her.

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