Junior Ranger Program at Fort Frederick State Park

Junior Ranger Program at Fort Frederick State Park

Big Pool, MD: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Park Service will host a Junior Ranger Program for children interested in learning about nature and ecology.
The Junior Ranger Program provides children ages 7 to 12 the opportunity to experience nature in a hands-on environment. The program consists of six sessions held daily from 9am to 11am, Monday through Friday. Dates for the program are August 1 through August 5.
Maryland Junior Rangers will participate in outdoor activities including studies in geology, astronomy, and tree and wildflower identification; leave no trace camping, shelter building, the water cycle and macroinvertebrates of the Potomac River. A nature journal and a Peterson's Wildflower color-in book, which the children get to keep, are provided.
The session will conclude with an overnight campout on Saturday, August 6 starting at 6pm. Campers are responsible for their own gear; however, some limited equipment may be available for loan.
The service charge for participation in the Junior Ranger Program is $25.00 per child. If more than one child is participating from a single family, the fee is $15.00 for each additional child. Pre-registration is required, as group size is limited to 15. Registration deadline is July 25, 2011.
For more information please contact Fort Frederick State Park at 301-842-2155 Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm. Participants should visit www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/ftfrederickhistory.htm to get directions to the park.
Fort Frederick State Park and the Western Maryland Rail Trail are members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Historians say that Fort Frederick is the United States' largest stone fort built by a British colony. Fort Frederick houses a CCC Museum. Additionally, the park is on the C&O Canal and Towpath, and has its own picnic and camping areas, along with wonderful views of the Potomac River. The park is very near the Western Maryland Rail Trail. Inside the fort are restored enlisted barracks. Soon, the park will be constructing the officers' quarters ("Governors House").
Fort Frederick State Park is located in Washington County near Clear Spring and Big Pool. Maryland's premier stone fort, Fort Frederick was built by the Colony of Maryland in 1756 to protect its western boundaries and as a base to attack French claims to the Ohio River Valley. In 1922, the fort was recognized as a state park, in Maryland's first state park legislation. Currently Fort Frederick is an educational center for the study of the French and Indian War. While best known as a critically important French and Indian War stone fortification, the fort gained renown while serving America during four wars (French and Indian War, Chief Pontiac's War, Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. There was a skirmish at the fort on Christmas Day 1861, as Union Troops defended against a determined Confederate attack.).
Maryland's State Parks not only provide great outdoor recreation for Marylanders and visitors, they are also a great asset to State and local economies. According to a recent study, conducted in partnership with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Maryland State Parks have an estimated annual economic benefit of more than $650 million. In 2010, visitors directly spent more than $567 million locally - $25.56 locally for every dollar the State invests in State Parks - during their visits. And almost 95 percent of visitors had their expectations met or exceeded during visits.
To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O'Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Conservation Jobs Corps and the Maryland Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.
Fort Frederick State Park is also one of Maryland's homes to Park Quest 2011. Park Quest is sponsored, in part, by the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. There are several parks in Washington County participating in Park Quest this year, including: Fort Frederick State Park, South Mountain State Park, and the Western Maryland Rail Trail. Park Quest, already underway across Maryland, is a state-wide outdoor adventure-based program which introduces thousands of families to the many hidden treasures found in Maryland's precious public lands.
Washington County is home to five National Parks, eight State Parks, more than thirty museums, a minor league baseball team, a world-class professional symphony orchestra, more than twenty-one historic stone arch bridges, and is ranked first in Maryland for retail opportunities. For more information, see: www.marylandmemories.com.
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help attract visitors to Hagerstown and Washington County. The CVB helps to create vibrant growth for the local economy by promoting, developing, and expanding the local visitor industry. Washington County is part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area (www.heartofthecivilwar.org), and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area (http://hallowedground.org). Washington County is also part of the Quad-State Tourism Coalition, a four-state tourism group along I-81. For more information, see: www.quadstate81.com.
The Hagerstown-Washington County CVB was recently awarded the Maryland Cultural Heritage Tourism Award by Governor Martin O'Malley.

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com