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By the American Camp Association

Learning Vacations at National Parks

Take your family to a national park.

Visiting our National Parks is a great way to make family vacations both fun and educational for you and your family. America's National Park System has an incredible 391 places to visit. This number includes not only the big parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone, but also monuments, historical sites, recreation areas, battlefields, as well as scenic lake shores, seashores, and rivers. Parks offer intrinsic beauty and activities to keep your visit unique and active

National Park Outdoor Activities

National Parks also offer many outdoor activities that will leave you with great memories. Popular activities include but are not limited to:

  • hiking,
  • bicycling,
  • horseback riding,
  • kayaking,
  • camping,
  • wildlife viewing.

Ranger-Led Programs

Most parks also offer Ranger-led programs such as hikes, campfire talks and wildlife tours, which provide exceptional interactive and educational experiences. A fun option for children when visiting National Parks is the Junior Ranger Program which is offered in more than 280 of the 391 parks. The program gives children between the ages of 6-14 a chance to learn about the history of America's National Parks through activities, games and puzzles. Children take a pledge to care for our parks and the environment and feel empowered to teach others to do the same.

Despite the natural beauty and educational opportunities that the parks have to offer, the park system is under constant threat from under-funding, urban sprawl, and climate change. There are only 10 short years until the 100th anniversary of America's National Park System--a unique opportunity to ensure that America's national parks are restored and thriving once again.

Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System's superlative examples of America's natural, cultural and historic heritage. Visit NPCA.org to learn more about what you can do to help protect the parks for future generations.

National parks are spectacular treasures that should be explored by everyone-so get out there and experience your parks!

© 2005 American Camp Association Inc. Founded in 1910, the American Camp Association is a national community of camp professionals and is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults through the camp experience.

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