Families visiting Wisconsin State Park System properties have participated in the popular Junior Ranger and Wisconsin Explorer programs for more than 20 years. The revised program, called simply Wisconsin Explorers, includes booklets for children ages 3 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 and up.
Activities in the booklets include scavenger hunts, games, hikes, crafts, and other nature-based activities. The booklets are available at participating state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. While visiting the parks, families can borrow Explorer Packs that contain crayons, magnifying lenses, bug boxes, and field guides.
When Wisconsin Explorer participants complete the activities in the books, they earn collectable state symbol patches. The books rotate through a three-year cycle, so there are new books every year!
Since the Wisconsin Explorer program is designed for use by an adult-child team, we don’t distribute multiple copies of booklets or award patches to children participating through organized groups (i.e., schools, scouts, 4-H, etc.).
Pick up a free Wisconsin Explorer booklet at a participating state park, forest, trail, or recreation area then:
1. Open the booklet and start exploring.
2. Complete 7 to 14 of the explorations in the booklet at a park or at home, attend a nature program or take a nature hike and do something that will help wildlife or the park.
3. Follow the directions to request your patch.
4. Fill out the evaluation form with a grown-up.