TRNP kicks off National Park Week with games and free entrance fees


National Park week started Saturday, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park kicked off the festivities with an Easter Egg Hunt with a little twist added in.

On Saturday morning children and their parents gathered at the visitor center of Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s South Unit for its first ever Junior Ranger Easter Egg Hunt.

“With about 15 kids there was everyone from China, Canada, to here locally: a ranch South of Fryburg and Medora,” said Kate Sedlacek, TRNP park ranger.

The age of the children who attended it ranged from two to eleven years old, but don’t let their ages fool you.

These kids were professional egg hunters, finding about 100 easter eggs in a matter of minutes in the yard of the visitor center. 

“They are very excellent egg finders. I can make it more difficult for sure next time,” said Sedlacek.

For the Junior Ranger Egg Hunt instead of the eggs having candy inside of them, they had pictures of park rangers inside of them.

The National Park System has five different ranger positions: Administration. Interpretation, Law Enforcement, Resource Management, and Maintenance Workers.

Inside the visitor center, all the rangers positions were laid out on a table with signs, and the kids matched the pictures with the appropriate sign.

While playing the game the children also got an opportunity to learn what each one does.

“To get them really curious about what it is to be in a national park and to be a ranger, so we figured what would be a great way to introduce that was to do something like an egg hunt but learning something at the same time,” said Sedlacek.

Afterward, they made their own ranger badges for the one they wanted to be and got sworn in as rangers by Sedlacek.

“I would say most them wanted to do resource management. . .  kids love wildlife,” said Sedlacek.

The park had two egg hunts on Saturday; the second one was later in the afternoon at 2 pm.

Some of the future rangers who attended the event still wish their eggs had a little treat in them, but most of them said they had a really fun time.

Sedlacek said Theodore Roosevelt National Park will have a Junior Ranger Hike on Sunday at 1:30 pm in the South Unit.

Free Entrance

As part of National Park Week visitors also got to enter Theodore Roosevelt National Park for free on Saturday, and with the nice warm weather on Saturday visitors took advantage of it.

Sedlacek said the South Unit had a little more than 400 visitors Friday and by noon Saturday they were almost at 300.

One couple who visited the park from San Diego, Ca. told KX News said they were looking forward to taking a hike for the start of National Park Week.

“Hiking through the Badlands. . . how good can it get. . . and things are just starting to bud. It’s not quite Springtime yet, but they are just starting to work on it,” said Jay Shaffer and Karen Lee Robinson.

National Park Week will be from April 20 through the 28th.



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