(NEWSnet) – About 20 National Park Service sites along the path of the April 8 total solar eclipse are offering a special edition Junior Ranger program for visitors.

The Planetary Society and NPS partnered in creating an activity booklet that explains the “science and stories” of a solar eclipse. The booklet and its accompanying “Eclipse Explorer” Junior Ranger badge can be picked up at any of the participating sites.


April 8, 2024, solar eclipse path times


Junior Ranger is a regular part of educational programming at NPS sites, with the lessons aimed at children ages 5 to 14. The booklets, lectures and projects present information about the history, nature exploration and recreation at the park locations. Many of the participating sites also offer a patch or badge to the children to complete an assigned activity.

In keeping with that program, the Eclipse Explorer items will be at selected NPS sites in Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas such as Ozark National Scenic Riverways and Women’s Rights National Historic Park.

The individual NPS websites detail what amenities are available and activities are taking place at each location.

The River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Michigan, while not on the totality path, has also announced it is participating with a Junior Ranger event that day.

Those who wish to participate virtually in the Eclipse Junior Ranger program can download a pdf version of the 12-page booklet and a paper replica of the badge, the actual items cannot be mailed out.

The National Park Service also offered the eclipse lesson for a limited time around the time of the October 2023 annular eclipse.


On a related detail, the National Park Service has made a special date stamp available at its sites that will experience the total solar eclipse, intended for use in the "Passport to Your National Park" souvenir series books.

The example shown on social media was from Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park in Ohio, with a “time of totality” at 3:09 p.m. April 8.

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