Youth Resources

The Los Padres Forest Association welcomes forest users of ALL ages to explore and enjoy everything the forest has to offer! Check out the many different ways young people can learn about and experience the Los Padres National Forest, whether you are learning at home or out in nature.

Junior Rangers

The Junior Forest Ranger(JFR) program is an exciting way for young people to explore their national forests and grasslands.  The JFR program uses Forest Service science and practices to encourage children 7 through 13 to enjoy and appreciate nature. JFR motivates children to explore the natural and cultural world, and embrace their responsibility to it.

The JFR Booklet is the main part of the program. The 16-page adventure guide is packed with engaging and educational activities about our national forests and grasslands. After they complete the activities in the adventure guide, the child sends in the completion certificate and is registered as a new Junior Forest Ranger. The new Ranger will receive an embroidered badge, a pin, an oath card, and a Junior Forest Ranger card.

Click here to download the JFR booklet.

The Junior Forest Ranger Adventure Guide is also available in Spanish!  Click here to view the Spanish-language Adventure Guide.

Scout Projects

Are you a scout looking to complete a service project? LPFA has teamed up with dozens of youth leaders to help them find the right project to complete in the forest.

From installing new signs and cleaning up campgrounds, to raptor-proofing bathrooms and making structures ADA accessible, there is always work to be done across the forest and we are happy to help you find the right project to fit your scout’s needs. Email us at INFO@LPFOREST.ORG with questions or for more information.

Scouts from Troop 4 after a successful cleanup and maintenance project at Manzana Creek

Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center Summer Programs

One of our many amazing summer programs in progress

Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center hosts a wide variety of educational programs for kids and adults on Saturdays in May-September. Our outdoor classroom under the trees is the perfect venue for field trips and weekend visitors alike. Learn more about Wheeler Gorge and our programs here.

Online Resources

Check out the US Forest Service’s Kids Learning tools.

One our favorite sites for kids (and their adults at home) is Discover the Forest. Simply enter your address to discover all the local places you can explore. This site also has games, lesson plans, activities, and anything else you might need before you start your adventure. Your forest is ready! Click here to Discover the Forest

Calling all 4th graders! Did you know you can earn a free pass to explore thousands of America’s federal lands and waters with your family and friends? The Every Kid Outdoors program is a federal public lands partnership created to inspire U.S. 4th graders and their families to recreate, explore cultures, discover connections to nature, and spark a lifelong passion for America’s great outdoors. Visit to learn more and download your free pass.