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VNMP announces return of Junior Ranger Days

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Four Junior Rangers smile at the camera as they pet Douglas the Camel. (Vicksburg National Military Park)

Junior Ranger Days are back for 2022, supported in partnership with the Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign.

Junior Ranger Days programs are designed to expose area youth to Vicksburg National Military Park and the National Park Service through fun and educational activities. These activities aim to spark a child’s interest in park history and natural and cultural resources, while showing them the value of having a National Park in their own backyard.

Programs will be held once a week on Thursdays for six weeks.

All program sessions are free but space is limited to 20 participants per session. Participants may sign up for all sessions or may pick and choose which sessions they would like to attend.

All Junior Rangers must be between the ages of 8 and 12. Registration is required. The application deadline is midnight on Sunday, June 5. Participants will be selected via a lottery system. Chosen participants will be notified of their selection by Friday, June 9.

Please click here to access the registration form:

The program schedule is as follows:

  • June 16 – The Antebellum South at Natchez National Historical Park — Join Park Rangers for a tour of Melrose Estate at Natchez NHP to learn about life in the Antebellum South. Participants will discover the opulent lifestyle of a southern plantation owner — including a first-hand look at mid-19th century art and architecture — and how such fortunes were amassed. In addition, participants will join Park Rangers in a discussion of slavery in the South — the cause and catalyst of the Civil War — and the lives of the enslaved people at Melrose Estate
  • June 23 – Ranger for a Day Search and Rescue Program – Participants will join Law Enforcement Rangers as they perform a mock search and rescue! Learn how National Park rangers perform a search and rescue as well as how to identify those in distress. The session also includes an NPS-centric game.
  • June 30 – Biology on the Battlefield – Participants will join the park’s Natural Resource Manager for an exciting one-mile hike within the park complete with plant and animal identification. Participants will also learn about the importance of staying active, safety while outdoors and how they and their friends and families can utilize their public lands for entertainment and exercise.
  • July 7 – “A Family of Freedom Fighters” Visit to the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument — Join Park Rangers as we travel to the American mid-century family home of civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers. While touring their home, participants will learn about these key players in the Mississippi civil rights movement, their family life and how ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
  • July 14 – A Soldier’s Life for Me! – Experience what it was like to enroll in the army during the Civil War! Participants will partake in an exciting School of the Soldier program learning proper drill techniques, experience a live musket firing and view the park film “Here Brothers Fought.” Additionally, Texas’ very own Douglas the Camel will be here to educate participants in the life of a Civil War camel!
  • July 21 – A Sailor’s Life for Me! – Spend the day at the USS Cairo Gunboat! Participants will enjoy an exclusive Ranger-led tour of the USS Cairo before participating in a series of fun naval activities including games, signal flags, knot tying and more.

If there are any questions, please contact Park Ranger Taylor Hegler at [email protected] or (601) 636-0583 ext. 2969.

Junior Ranger Days flyer

(Vicksburg National Military Park)

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