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Forest Ranger Trainee Patch Program

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Forest Ranger in Training Patch Program
Complete 3 requirements to earn this patch.

A Forest Ranger Trainee is a person that wants to learn more about the National Forests and forests around them. This patch program encourages children to enjoy the outdoors, take care of the forests, plant trees, explore forests and learn more about what lives there. Never venture outdoors without an adult.

1. Plant a tree to assist in restoring the forests. When you purchased the “Forest Ranger in Training” kit your donation was used to plant a tree in a National Forest.

2. Learn how to use a compass through the science of orienteering. With an adult, turn your compass until the needle is vertical and pointing at the “N”. Holding your map, turn until the “North” indicator on the map (usually on the bottom) is pointing the same direction that your compass is pointing. Now that you are facing North, you can find the other directions. South is behind you, East is to your right, and West is to your left. Try to find a simple location on the map such as a mountain, body of water, or campsite. Learn to measure out distance and write down locations of places using the scale that is included with the map (For example: 1 grid square = 1 mile). A sample map is included in the downloadable kit.

3. Search trees that grow locally in your state or a forest that you have visited. Identify two different types of trees that live there. Look at the leaves or seeds and either take a picture or trace out the items on paper. Use the leaves or other identifying information to find the tree names.

4. Visit a national forest. What was the name of it? Where was it located? Was there anything interesting about the National Forest? Did it have a Forest Ranger station?

5. Did you know that the bald eagle, the national bird of the United States of America, is protected. What animals or plants can be found in National Forests that are protected? These can be species that are endangered, threatened, or protected for other reasons.

6. Posters have been created for decades with messages on how to prevent forest fires and the “Smokey the Bear” mascot. Create a poster on paper that has your own wildfire prevention message or take the “Million Tree Challenge” which assists in planting trees to restore forests destroyed by wildfires.

7. Observe the area where you live. You may live near a forest or wooded area. What type of terrain can be found in these areas? Are there signs of local wildlife such as animal tracks, nests, habitats such as dams or burrows, or fur and feathers? Are there trails or signs? What type of insects or foliage did you see?

8. Learn about the parts of a tree. Why do trees have rings inside their trunks? Why do some trees lose their leaves and others don’t?

9. There are many animals that live in the forest. Some live in the tops of trees, in nests, or in a home they made themselves. Choose two animals to learn more about that live in forests.

10. In some forests there are designated camping areas. At campsites there are places where you can set up tents or shelters to sleep in, a campfire area, and sometimes a hiking trail or water area for other activities. Choose a day to camp with your family or group. What camping skills did you use or did you learn a new skill?

11. Meet or interview a real Forest Ranger. Ask what their duties are or what a typical day entails? Do they live in the ranger station?

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