When I was about four or five, I became a Junior Park Ranger at Badlands National Park. My mom, always a champion for her children, helped me complete the form, which included the question, “What is something at the Badlands that is older than you?” (I said, “This rock” and pointed at a nearby rock.)
Well, yesterday our wonder dog, Jolene, became a Bark Ranger at Indiana Dunes National Park. Like me, she did not do any of the writing; however, she did all the things she needed to do (sniff things, meet a ranger, visit the beach) and earned her brass tag.
Postscript: After completing the 1-page form, we went to get Jolene’s brass tag at the Visitor Center. But, alas, they were out of tags. “No problem,” the ranger told us. “We will put one out by the trashcan at the education center in Gary.”
If you’ve never been to Gary, it is not quite as cheery as the Music Man makes it sound. Traffic patterns are determined by pure adrenaline and the loudness of one’s car. Also, we hit three (3!) detours on the way there. So we wallow Adie, the trusty VW, through the broken streets of Gary to the education center where we find several trashcans. Being the sleuth that I am from watching all the seasons of Matlock, I determined it must be the trashcan outside the door of the education center. Success!