I’ve never been one to turn down a freebie. So when our trek leader started talking about a free souvenir we could collect at several points along our road trip, it was like music to my ears. Because my second love after freebies, is souvenirs.
The answer: Junior Ranger badges.
You can collect these gems at National Parks, Monuments and other points of interest around the USA.
But what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one really. All you need to do is ask in the Visitor’s Centre for an activity booklet to complete. Yes, the programme is designed for “kids” but the loophole here is “kids of all ages”, so you’re bound to spot another adult filling one out too. Plus, the staff are totally down for you doing one too.
There are over 200 badges & booklets to complete, so it is definitely worth checking online to see where you can pick them up whilst on your travels.
The booklet itself consists of the odd wordsearch, a game of “spot the wildlife” bingo, a colouring page, spot the difference – and sometimes harder things such as quizzes. Nothing you can’t stab a guess at – most of the time we just winged it – and they’re good for learning a brief history about the place you are visiting.
So, yeah, if you’re on your way to the States anytime soon, keep an eye out.