Lunar ranger could be the latest addition to my resume.

My daughter, Teresa, and I recently received a package from Craters of the Moon, the national monument and preserve 18 miles west of Arco, Idaho. In addition to a kind letter from Ranger Julia on U.S. Department of the Interior letterhead, we received patches, plastic National Park Service centennial cards with Leave No Trace tips, and Save our Bats stickers.

Permits are required to visit the five public caves at Craters of the Moon. The permits are free and available through the visitor’s center, but visitors must not wear the same shoes and clothing or carry the same camera equipment or other items that have been inside caves or mines since 2005. The National Park Service is trying to protect its bat population from white-nose syndrome, a fungal infection fatal to bats.

Our journey to lunar ranger status started upon arrival at Craters of the Moon this past summer. We attended a ranger talk outside the visitor’s center that included information on the educational program. Our ranger stressed that, while most participants are children, adults are welcome to become lunar rangers as well. We received the lunar ranger booklets and accepted our challenge to complete the activities inside. We didn’t finish them that day, but the Craters rangers allow people to complete the booklets at home and mail them in.

Ranger Julia returned our activity booklets with our other items. It was clear she had reviewed our booklets carefully as she inked in compliments periodically. Thanks, Ranger Julia!

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