Maclay Park hosts first Junior Rangers Jamboree

Photos by St. Clair Murraine

Stephanie McDonald (left) and Anna Kellner organized last weekend’s Junior Rangers Jamboree at Maclay Garden State Park.
Some of the outdoors gear used outdoors by Native Americans in Florida.

For as long as Maclay Garden State Park has been a part of the Tallahassee landscape, the first Junior Rangers Jamboree was held at the facility until last Saturday. Anna Kellner, an Americorps Regional Outreach and Awareness recruiter with the park, said she came up with the idea for the event to give the Junior Ranger program a presence in the community at-large.

So she encouraged outdoor organizations to do networking and expose the community to what they do. The turnout was exceptional and hundreds showed up for the five-hour event.

Another reason for the event, said park manager Stephanie McDonald was to encourage young people to participate in outdoor activities. There are plenty of places for that with 76 state parks throughout Florida. There are several in the Tallahassee-Leon County area, including Lake Jackson, St. Marks Trail and Wakulla Springs.

Saturday’s event featured several information stops around the park. Some had details about the outdoor life lived by native Americans in Florida, while others gave information about native plants and the various types a parasites that can grow among them.

There were even a couple of Boys Scouts volunteers who recruited new members.

One of the more interesting tables was set up by the Tallahassee Area Geocachers. In an explanation of what the group is about, it describes geocaching, in part, as “a game that reveals a world beyond the everyday…”

Park staffer Conor Moore also had an intriguing roulette wheel with different species of dragon flies. Not far from him, the Apalachicola Riverkeepers gave brief lectures on the river.

For those who wanted to be adventurous there was a trolley that took folks around the park.

St. Clair Murraine

Some of the adventurous folks at Saturday’s Junior Rangers Jamboree took trolley rides around Maclay Park.