Become a Fort Pulaski Junior Ranger
Warmer weather means more time spent outdoors with the ones you love. And if you have yet to pin down the details for this weekend’s family outing, you’re in for a nice surprise. This weekend presents an exciting opportunity to families looking for a fun learning experience to share. In honor of National Park Week, Tybee Island’s own Fort Pulaski is providing free admission to all visitors on Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd. The park will be open gratis from 9am to 5 pm each day. With its authentic barracks, nature trails and live demonstrations, Fort Pulaski offers much to inquisitive guests of all ages. Still, why not make the most of your free visit to Tybee by enlisting the kiddos in the fort’s Junior Ranger Program?
Suited for children ages 6 – 12, the Fort Pulaski Junior Ranger Program equips participants to explore, learn and protect our great national landmarks. Becoming a Junior Ranger is a rewarding experience for kids; it’s never too early to start entrusting them with some responsibility. The journey begins at the Visitor Center, where potential Fort Pulaski Junior Rangers can obtain a handbook detailing activities they must complete in order to receive their badge and certificate, the marks of a true Junior Ranger. The handbook is free to any young Fort Pulaski visitor; becoming a Junior Ranger only costs a commitment to learn about and preserve US national parks.
Once your little park ranger-in-training completes the activities outlined in the handbook, they must meet two more requirements before they are entrusted with the title of Junior Ranger. All ranger recruits must attend a ranger talk and complete a self-guided tour. Ranger talks are held most days at Fort Pulaski, and you can expect a quite few to be scheduled during this free admission weekend. Ranger talks cover a wide variety of topics. You and your child may learn about period weaponry, life as a Confederate soldier, local waterways, the role of slaves in the construction and maintenance of Fort Pulaski, area wildlife or any number of other fascinating, factual things. Ranger talks are always expressive, informative and impactful without eating up your time, so your family is sure to enjoy. After the talk, your ranger-trainee must have the speaker initial the handbook.
Once the ranger talk requirement has been met, you and your child are ready to complete a self-guided tour of the grounds. Fort Pulaski houses a visitor’s center – complete with a small theatre for viewing video presentations – living quarters, a weapons arsenal, sundry exhibits and nature trails. There’s plenty to explore all around the fort, so take your time and relax while learning about an important part of American history. Once you’ve completed your tour, head back to the Visitor Center where your child can exchange their handbook for their duly earned badge and certificate. It’ll be a day you and your Junior Ranger will remember.
If your child enjoys the Fort Pulaski Junior Ranger Program and is interested in engaging more deeply with our national parks, be sure to ask a ranger this weekend about Fort Pulaski’s Junior Civil War Historian and Civil War Trading Card Programs. Your child will develop a deeper understanding of American history and nature preservation while having fun and making memories with you!
Fort Pulaski Basic Info: https://www.nps.gov/fopu/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm
Featured Image from GPB: http://www.gpb.org/blogs/community/2017/04/12/fort-pulaski-celebrates-national-park-week-free-admission-events
About the Author:
Chantel Baul is a Savannah native with a knack for writing and an ever-growing curiosity. She received her BA in English and Professional Communications from Armstrong State University, and when she’s not writing she’s serving the country as a US Army Reserve Officer. She’s an NPR nerd/foodie with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and fun.