North Carolina State Park Junior Ranger Programs

Learn. Protect. Explore.

Becoming a North Carolina State Park Junior Ranger gives kids the opportunity to learn about and explore North Carolina’s beautiful State Parks with their families or scout, school and homeschool groups through self-led educational activities and programs. Junior Rangers may also have the opportunity to help park rangers protect the health of the park through short community service projects.


Step 1

Visit any North Carolina State Park office or visitor center to pick up a copy of the NEW Junior Ranger Activity Guide.

The NEW Junior Ranger Activity Guide is available for free at State Park offices and visitor centers.

Or print out your own copy at home!

Junior Ranger Activity Guide
In Color

Junior Ranger Activity Guide
in Black and White


Step 2

Using the Activity Guide, you will earn (or “cache”) acorn points. If you are visiting the park for a day, you can cache 20 acorn points to earn the park patch.

Cache acorn points by…

Completing activities from the activity guide

Attending park-led programs

Completing small community service projects given to you by park staff

Participating in the ecoEXPLORE program

Hiking in the park

Mix and match the above options however you’d like to cache your acorn points! 

Expert Patches

If you have more than one day and want to really get to know the park, try to cache at least 40 acorn points to receive a second Expert Patch to pair with your park Junior Ranger Patch! 

Pocket Activities

There is also a pocket in the back of the Activity Guide that will be updated with new activities and freebies. 

Click below to download the pocket activity for that park:

Applicable ParksPocket Activity Title
Carolina Beach
Carvers Creek
Cliffs of the Neuse
Fort Macon
Goose Creek
Hammocks Beach
Jones Lake
Jordan Lake
Jockey’s Ridge
Kerr Lake
Lake Waccamaw
Lumber River
Merchants Millpond
Morrow Mountain
Raven Rock
Singletary Lake
Weymouth Woods
Life of a Fire Lover
Carvers CreekRockefeller Loop Trail Scavenger Hunt
Dismal SwampWho Were the Maroons?
Haw RiverAre You Me? (Metamorphosis)
and Be a Box Turtle
Any ParkLitter Scavenger Hunt

Step 3

Once you have cached enough acorn points, take your activity guide to a park ranger or park office and recite the Junior Ranger Pledge with our staff. They will sign the certificate in the back of the activity guide and give you your patch(es).

That’s it!

You are now a North Carolina State Park Junior Ranger!


Collect all 40 Junior Ranger Badges!

Visit each North Carolina State Park to collect all 40 of the unique Junior Ranger Badges.

Can you collect them all?

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