Posted by: Kirsten | Monday, 10 September 2007

Laura Bush attends Junior Ranger ceremony at Grand Teton

First Lady at GRTE
From the NPS website:

Grand Teton National Park hosted First Lady Laura Bush and NPS Director Mary Bomar at an event to highlight the Junior Ranger program in the national parks on Monday, August 27th.

Twelve junior rangers were sworn in on the terrace of the new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center by Director Bomar before receiving their junior ranger patch from Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott and getting a photo taken with Mrs. Bush. Grand Teton’s Junior Ranger program began 30 years ago, and has steadily grown in popularity over the decades. In 2006, 4,057 junior rangers were sworn in by park staff. A total of 4,351 have been sworn in so far this year. The increase reflects the time, effort and focus that Grand Teton staff have committed to this youth program. Children who have become Grand Teton junior rangers hail from all 50 states and several foreign countries.

“We worry that young people are spending too much time in front of the computer, the television, and the video games when we want all American young people to breathe fresh air, to take advantage of the most magnificent natural landscapes in the world,” said Mrs. Bush in remarks during the ceremony. “The Junior Ranger program helps children learn to become stewards of our national parks, and the best part of the Junior Ranger program is that whole families can come together.” 

Director Bomar commented on the Centennial Challenge and how the Junior Ranger program can greatly benefit from the public-private funding that may result through this initiative.  She also noted that with the help of partners and Congressional approval, “we can do things for the parks that we could once only dream about.”

In addition to the twelve junior rangers, about 60 adults attended the afternoon event overlooking the Teton Range.

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