Our family was lucky enough to enjoy a “State Park Summer”. We camped at three different California State Parks as well as enjoying our local state beach. California’s state parks are truly a must visit for families. Many have a junior ranger program that teaches kids about the state park and the ecosystems within it.
Ms. Vicki, a tireless advocate for California State Parks, runs the Junior Ranger Program at Doheny State Beach. Her five day series of lessons on “misunderstood” animals was the highlight of our trip to Doheny. The kids dissected owl pellets, identified spiders surrounding the campfire area, and observed a real snake! Later our family took a field trip to the butterfly garden and found some owl pellets that we gave to Ms. Vicki to share with future campers. My kids are still sharing what Ms. Vicki taught them with their friends and teachers.
Ms. Vicki has her groupies. Families return year after year to camp and attend her junior ranger workshops. Local homeschoolers don’t miss a week of her talks. What makes Vicki’s program unique, and one of my very favorite in the state park system, is that she welcomes kids of all ages to her talks and rewards junior for their hard work and learning no matter what their age. Most California state park junior ranger programs start at age 7, a policy that make it very difficult for our family since we have 6, 7, and 12.
Thanks for your hard work Ms. Vicki! You made our stay at Doheny State Beach unforgettable!
Bridget (Ms. Vicki Groupie)
P.S. Donheny State Beach will be a part of California for years to come, but other state parks are scheduled to be closed next summer due to budget cuts. Visit
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