Aida Frey is a 12-year-old with a fascinating hobby: she is passionate about traveling with her family and participating in Junior Ranger programs across the country! Not only does she love learning about the various parks, she also hopes to inspire other kids to participate in Junior Ranger programs. We recently spoke to Aida and asked her to share her exciting adventures.
Q: What is a Junior Ranger?
A: A Junior Ranger is a person who participates in national park programs for kids to learn about the park they are visiting. First, you receive a booklet that you can complete. Then, the rangers give you a beautiful badge and a certificate for completing the booklet! You can answer the questions together with your family by finding the answers around the park. I think it’s a good program because the whole family can get involved and learn new things.
Q: Why did you get involved in the Junior Ranger program?
A: When we first visited Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, I saw a picture of a girl that had a lot of badges and I wanted to get more than her! As you can see, I am very competitive :) I think I might have more than her, but I don’t know! I didn’t know how interesting this program was going to be and that I was going to learn so much.
Q: What is your favorite park?
A: Wow, that’s a very hard question! Every national park is unique and I meet phenomenal rangers, superintendents, and other park employees at each one. Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Grand Teton, Richmond National Battlefield, Salem Maritime, Weir Farm, Oxon Hill Farm, Saratoga, and George Washington Carver National Monument are a few of my many favorite parks.
Q: What is the next park you want to visit?
A: I have a lot of places in mind that I want to visit! I would love to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York and the Liberty Bell at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. I also want to visit the Grand Canyon. This spring, we will go to Washington, D.C. and visit the White House and President’s Park and other national parks that we didn’t see on our previous trip to D.C.
Q: Why should other kids visit national parks and become Junior Rangers?
A: This program is very fun, educational, and entertaining. You get to meet a lot of fun rangers and visitors, and you get to take a tour around the parks! Also, you can earn badges, patches, and pins. You learn how to take care of the environment, monuments, beaches, trails, historic buildings, animals, and plants. You get to do all of this plus you get to enjoy a nice trip and have fun with the whole family!
You can see me completing a Junior Ranger booklet at the Richmond National Battlefield Park here:
Aida Frey is a 12-year-old Junior Ranger. To date, she has visited 154 national parks over the past three years. A passionate learner, Frey finds the Junior Ranger program to be fun and educational. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new parks, and learning the history and the special origins of each park. She is interested in learning about animals, plants, fossils, history, art, culture, historic buildings, nature, revolutionary ideas, geography, and how to take care of and preserve the national parks. Frey aspires to one day join the ranks of the National Park Service as a ranger at Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm.