Spotlight on PBS KIDS Nature Cat LEAPs Camp & TN Jr. Ranger Program

Posted by Kate Spears on

Would you like to discover an adventurous way some Putnam County School System spent Spring Break 2018? If you want to hear about their adventures, tune in at 9:30 a.m. on 107.7 and 1400 The Hub, as Cindy Putman and Brenda Hughett interview some LEAPs students who just completed PBS KIDS Nature Cat LEAPs Camp and the Tennessee State Parks Jr. Ranger Program.

The 30 students traveled daily to Cummins Falls State Park, an idyllic, but rugged, 211-acre day-use park located nine miles north of Cookeville. On the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River on the Eastern Highland Rim, located in the Cordell Hull Watershed, the area has been a scenic spot and swimming hole for local residents of Jackson and Putnam counties for more than 100 years. Cummins Falls is Tennessee’s eighth largest waterfall in volume of water and is 75 feet high.

The Junior Ranger Program offers children, ages six through 14, a fresh look at the world around them! Inspiring a love of nature and the outdoors, camps open the door to a lifetime of fun and adventure.

Topics and activities vary from camp to camp but may include: Outdoor Safety, Astronomy, Reptiles and Amphibians, Aquatics, Map and Compass Navigation, Birds of Prey, Insects and Spiders, Primitive Weapons, Track Making and Identification, Outdoor Skills, Ecology, Canoeing, Hiking and much more.

Thirty PCSS 1st-6th grade students battled snowy weather, cold winds, and slippery trails to become Jr Rangers. Upon completion of the program the LEAPs kids took the Junior Ranger pledge, receive a badge and were sworn in as official Tennessee State Park Junior Rangers!  

Ranger Vaden and Ranger Ashley reminded all the students to always Remember: a healthier you = a healthier planet!

For complete details about a specific camp, please visit the park's event web page or call the park directly at 931-261-3471.

Andrew, Blaine, Olivia, Claire and Gianna share what each of them liked best about camp, from petting an owl and a snake, hunting for mushrooms, and shooting arrows.

If you want to visit here is a great chance to take a guided tour on March 24, 2018:

Spring Hike at Cummins Falls | 9:00 am - 11:30 a

The Rangers will meet at 9:00 am (CST) at the tiny house.  From the tiny house we will hike about 2.5 miles round trip. Along the way we will stop by an old Cummins house, the Waterfall overlook and hike down into the gorge and along the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River to the bottom of the Waterfall! So plan to get your feet wet! Bring some footwear you don't mind walking through water in (NO FLIP FLOPS); and a dry pair for the ride home. (An old pair of tennis shoes, running shoes, or sneakers as some folks call them, work great.) It's an adventure - with slippery rocks, river crossings in knee deep water, a little elevation change and a tremendous beauty!

Make sure to pack water and a light snack.

Meet at:

Tiny House Ranger Station at the Trailhead

For additional information about topics discussed on WCTE’s Get Ready To Learn Radio Show contact Cindy Putman or Kristy Keeling at 931-528-2222 ext#300


Tune in each Saturday morning at 9:30 for the WCTE Get Ready To Learn Radio Show, with host Cindy Putman on Zimmer Broadcasting's The HUB 107.7 FM and 1400 AM.

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