National Parks Junior Ranger Program - Combating Childhood Obesity While Enjoying Our National Parks

Beginning June 22, 2010, U.S. national parks play a new role in First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to combat childhood obesity. Kids can now become Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers by participating in an outdoor activity that gets their hearts pumping and bodies moving. The Junior Ranger program, available in more than 200 national parks, rewards young people with a certificate and patch or badge for completing a series of fun, educational activities related to each park’s unique resources. Now, kids who participate in healthy recreation as part of this requirement will also receive a Let’s Move Outside sticker.
 
Twenty national parks are included in the program. From “Adventure Hikes” on the rim of the Grand Canyon, to canoeing through downtown Minneapolis on the Mississippi River, to body boarding at Florida’s Canaveral National Seashore -- there are lots of fun ways to get kids and their families active.  Almost all Let’s Move Outside activities can be enjoyed by the entire family, and many are easily accessible from urban areas. Less than an hour’s drive from Chicago, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore offers miles of hiking trails through peaceful dunes and woodlands. In the heart of Washington, D.C. Rock Creek Park and Fort Dupont Park boast green spaces and pathways for families to explore together. By the end of the summer, Let's Move Outside Junior Rangers will be running, hiking, biking and swimming through 50 parks across the country.
 
Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger is just one of the ways kids and families can participate in active programs that are affordable, accessible and most importantly, fun!
 
For more information about the Let’s Move Outside initiative, visit their web site.