Are You Tough Enough
To be a Scout Ranger?
Have you ever hiked "the most rugged section of the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains." or walked in the footsteps of Ute and Arapahoe Indians where they crossed the 12,000 ft. Rockies from the Great Plains to hunt and fish in their summer camp in Middle park? Have you camped in Wild Basin with moose and bear-or seen the log skeletons left by prospectors near the headwaters of the Colorado River? While the plains are burning up with summer heat, have you napped at 10,000 feet under a Ponderosa Pine, beside a cool stream and watched elk graze?
Your unit can do these things for free in Rocky Mountain National Park if your Scouts are you tough enough to become Scout Rangers.
Longs Peak Council in partnership with Rocky Mountain National Park has identified a great opportunity for Scouts to experience one of America's great National Parks, while doing service projects such as rebuilding trails in the Park. The service projects can take the form either of unit projects or Eagle Scout Projects. If units put in four hours or more of service, park entrance fees will be waived (normally, $20 per vehicle) and, depending on availability and the project, they may be entitled to have camping fees waived, as well. In addition, individuals who put in a combination of 10 hours of service and interpretive presentations by Park Rangers can earn the Scout Ranger patch. Details are below, but hurry, The Park Volunteer Office becomes very busy May 15- Sept 15.
Here are key links for the information needed for Units:
- Information on the "Scout Ranger Program": www.nps.gov/gettinginvolved/youthprograms/scoutranger.htm
- Information on the Scout Ranger Patch (10 hours) and on the Scout Ranger Certificate (5 hours): www.nps.gov/gettinginvolved/youthprograms/how-to-earn-a-scout-ranger-certificate-or-patch.htm
- Specific service opportunities in RMNP and the Application for the summer of 2014: www.nps.gov/romo/supportyourpark/upload/2014-Group-Catalog-and-Application-2.pdf
RMNP has listed all group opportunities including group size and age requirements as well as an application. Each troop that wants to volunteer with RMNP needs to submit an application for their specified project that then gets vetted through the volunteer supervisors to see who's able to take them. Each troop will receive specific paperwork for their specific date and project. It would be sent to them prior to their project so that they can get the required parental permissions..... Note: If there is need for a few members to be under the age limit for a specific type of project, this can be discussed with Ranger Lindsey Lewis, the Volunteer Program manager at RMNP. If a troop exceeds the number for a project by one or two, RMNP may have some discretion. If more than that, then perhaps the unit should undertake two projects and invite a smaller unit to help fill positions in the second project.
With respect to Eagle Scout projects: (1) read the types of projects that RMNP has, (2) know the approximate time frame and then call/ email Lindsey Lewis to discuss opportunities. Sometimes RMNP has projects that are in the backcountry or new projects that are not on this list. Last year, a Scout from Troop 10 did his Eagle Scout project in RMNP. Lindsey is familiar with both unit and Eagle Scout Service projects, and she is pleased to help Eagles identify projects, but then it is up to the Eagle candidate to coordinate with specific RMNP staff to plan and execute the projects. NOTE: Lindsey's office is extremely busy between May 15 and Sept 15, so set up your service/ Eagle projects now.
RMNP Contact: Lindsey Lewis, Volunteer Program Manager, RMNP:
Also, Steve Lambert, Scout Unit Commissioner for Estes Park may be able to help in coordinating special projects... Email email@example.com
When Lindsey worked at Yosemite NP, they had over 1,000 Scouts( + leaders) each year do volunteer projects in the park. Last year, less than 60 Scouts did work in RMNP. We in Longs Peak Council can do better, especially given that RMNP contains our Council's namesake peak.
Currently projects for most weekends are still available in RMNP, and this includes the possibility of free camping and free RMNP entry for Scouts and Leaders. But units need to act fast. To earn the Scout Ranger award, a unit might come to RMNP on Friday; camp out; have a 1-hour briefing at 8 am, Saturday, then do 6 hours of service until about 4 pm; camp out and then have a 3-hour interpretive hike with a ranger or Park Volunteer on Sunday before leaving for home..... Or make it two weekends of service projects. While camping out, they can work on cooking first aid, etc rank and merit badge requirements.
Longs Peak Council is the namesake of the fourteener, Longs Peak, a centerpiece of RMNP, and our Council should have a special interest in helping RMNP to be the best it can be with our service volunteerism.
This is a great opportunity for a partnership...
Are your Scouts tough enough to be Scout Rangers?