Summer is in full swing, which means that the interpretive team at Half Moon Bay State Beach is now leading our classic summer programs: Campfires and Junior Rangers. Every Wednesday and Saturday at 1:30 PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Half Moon Bay State Beach interpreters can be found at the Francis Beach Campground leading these programs for kids and their families.
The Junior Ranger program is an official, state-wide program designed for children ages 7 – 12 created by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (Department). This program began in 1973 and covers a variety of topics tailored to the local environment and resources of the parks where they are being held. Moreover, it is not restricted to local kids! Today over 70 State Parks have an official Junior Ranger program, ranging as far as the North Coast redwoods to the high Sierra to Southern California beaches and desert . Many programs include games, crafts, songs, exploration, and more. As interpretive programs, they are also designed to promote further thought and action by the children who participate, rather than just simple instruction.
Here at Half Moon Bay State Beach, our programs include topics like marine mammals, sharks, birding, nocturnal animals, animal track identification, wildflowers, pollinators, plastic pollution, water conservation, and more. Children who participate get the opportunity to learn about the importance of nature and our coastal heritage through exploration, games, and various activities that change from week to week. Many of our program participants are from here in Half Moon Bay, but we often have children join us from as far as Los Gatos or the Central Valley – especially if they’re staying in our campground.
Parents who are interested in having their child (between the ages of 7 – 12) join a Junior Ranger program can sign up for free at www.SantaCruzStateParks.as.me/HMBJRRangers. While the program is free, there is a $10 vehicle day-use fee here at Francis Beach. Our Junior Ranger programs always meet at the Campfire Center at the Francis Beach Campground.
For questions or more information, the Half Moon Bay interpretive team can be reached at HMBParksVolunteer@parks.ca.gov
or (650) 726-8814.