Fort Frederica Jr Ranger Program Excites Kids About History

One of our favorite Junior Ranger programs is at Fort Frederica St. Simons Island, Ga. Fort Frederica guarded the coast from the Spanish who occupied nearby St. Augustine (at the Castillo de San Marco – another one of our favorite field trips).

The fort is now a National Park Service site that is an exceptional place to bring history alive for children and adults. My kids had a great time and were eager to return. Here’s why. 

Fort Frederica St. Simons Island, Ga.

Although the south is well known for Civil War history, St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia is also the site of a Colonial English settlement that pre-dates the American Revolution by forty years.

The town of Frederica and the fort are ruins now, but the National Park Service has created a unique and fun way to bring the buildings, and those who lived there alive through the Jr. Ranger program. Even if you don’t have kids with you, you might want to check out the Jr. Ranger program for this site, it’s one of our favorites.

Playing Dress Up at Fort Frederica National Monument
The Fort Frederica Museum is engaging for kids. They can dress up, and play tavern games.

Fort Frederica History is hands on at the  Museum

Fort Frederica, St. Simons Island has a small, but engaging museum where children can dress up in period outfits, sit at a Tavern table, play colonial games and even write a letter with a quill. There is a short film that explains the site’s history. The movie is well done and engaged our group of children from ages 6 – 8 years old.

Fort Frederica St Simons Island Jr. Ranger Program
What sets the Fort Frederica Jr. Ranger program apart is the haversack and hats. Kids can dress up while they tour the town of Frederica meeting the townspeople. They use items within the haversack during their journey to deliver a message from General Oglethorpe. You must return the haversack after your visit.

Fort Frederica Junior Ranger Program

Whenever we visit a state or national park, we always inquire about the Junior Ranger program. Fort Frederica’s program is the best one I’ve ever seen. Kids pick up a haversack of materials along with a booklet and a colonial hat. The booklet is more than just puzzles and games. It takes children on a hunt through the town of Frederica to find Mr. Demere and give him an important letter from General Oglethorpe. Along the way they learn about interpreters, tavern keepers, candle makers, soldiers, and what it was like to be a kid in the town of Frederica. When kids finish the activities, they bring the booklet back to the ranger station for a certificate and Junior Ranger badge.

The Fort Frederica program is so unique, you have to complete it on site, so plan to spend a decent amount of time so you can get your badge at the end.

Fort Frederica Georgia
Keeping an eye out for Spanish ships. The telescope was in our Jr. Ranger haversack.

Fort Frederica Tips for your Visit

Fort Frederica is located along the coastal waters of Georgia, which means in summertime it can be hot and buggy. The National Park Service site warns visitors to keep away from the Spanish moss which is loaded with chiggers (small biting bugs), wear bug spray with DEET to keep the mosquitos, biting flies and sand gnats away, and warns to check everyone for ticks once you leave. With that glowing recommendation, we opted to visit Fort Frederica in December. It was a bit windy and cold, but completely bug free.

Ft Frederica, Frederica Ga.
Exploring the ruins, and figuring out where to go next. We brought the blaster with us from another time period. 

Ft Frederica Hours and Prices

The Fort Frederica Georgia is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm, (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day) Currently they do not charge a fee for the Fort Frederica park.

What: Fort Frederica National Monument
Where: 6515 Frederica Rd., St. Simons Island, Ga.  | 912-638-3639

Fort Frederica Ga.
The messages in the Jr. Ranger booklet lead children to different houses in the Frederica settlement.
Bloody Marsh, St. Simons Island
Solider’s from Fort Frederica, St. Simons fought the Spanish back at the Battle of Bloody Marsh. The boys had so much fun at Fort Frederica, they asked to see the site of the Battle of Bloody Mash – also on St. Simons Island.

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Fort Frederica Georgia

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