Let’s Move Outside: More action, new rewards for Junior Rangers

DATE: 6/17/10

Contact(s): Lee Taylor-_
Phone number: 360-569-2211 ext.3303

ASHFORD, WA: We dare you to try to keep up with the Junior Rangers at Mount Rainier National Park! It’s fun and healthy to play in the parks and now National Park Junior Rangers get an extra reward for ‘movin’ it outside.

Mount Rainier National Park is one of 20 national parks kicking off Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. Let’s Move Outside, led by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, provides tools and information to parents to make it easy to enjoy the outdoors and be active and healthy. It is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.

Young people inspire us; we want to help them be healthy and curious for life. It starts with family fun. We want to help parents learn the skills they need to enjoy the outdoors with their kids, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said.

Young people who complete at least one physical activity in pursuit of their Junior Ranger badge receive a special sticker that designates them as a Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger. The activities range from adventures like hiking with a ranger to body surfing and canoeing.

Mount Rainier’s Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger program offers kids and parents the chance to hike with a park ranger on one of the park’s beautiful trails. The Skyscraper Saddle Hike goes through alpine meadows with stunning views of the mountain. Meet at the Sunrise Visitor Center flagpole at 10:00 a.m. Saturdays July 10-August 14. Hike is 7 miles round trip and lasts until 4:00 p.m. Or join a ranger for the Glacier View Walk at Paradise, a 1.5 mile hike offered at2:00 p.m. daily July 1 through September 6. Meet at the flagpole outside the Jackson Visitor Center.

These hikes are a fun way to explore the wildflower meadows and learn about the mountain, said Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. You might not even notice that you’re also getting great exercise!

By summer’s end, 50 national parks will offer Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger programs. Young people can become Junior Rangers at more than 200 national parks nationwide.

Before heading out, families can look at www.letsmove.gov / outside for more information about activities and participating parks. This website hub will link families to the great outdoors and give tips and ideas on how to best plan and enjoy an active adventure. The National Park Service provides 84 million acres to explore, so there are many places and ways to move outside!