Happy Birthday to Ranger Rick from One Colleague to Another

from Wildlife Promise

I asked my mother what she remembers about getting Ranger Rick magazine for her four daughters: “Ranger Rick had good pictures, activities, stories, all the things you liked.” She also said, “Sometimes I would save them for bad times.” Hmm.

My son and I with Ranger Rick circa 2002

I searched the internet to find out what celebrities I share a birthday with, today, March 13.  Neil Sedaka. Who? That’s right, only those about 30 years older than me probably know who he is. Or if you are about my age you watched him on Sesame Street.

Then I thought about who I share a birthday year with, a true American Icon, Ranger Rick and his magazine. Yes, we were both started, so to speak, 45 years ago.

My heartfelt Happy Birthday and Thank You to Ranger Rick for his influence on my life.  

For 19 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with my colleague Ranger Rick and for National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center located in Michigan. Does it sound strange to call Ranger Rick a colleague?  Not to me. I’ve walked with him in an Earth Day parade. I’ve handed out, boxed up and shipped his magazine to literally thousands of school kids over many years. I’ve camped at the Great American Backyard Campout with him. He sits on my desk each day.

Before we were colleagues, Ranger Rick and I were childhood friends. My family subscribed to Ranger Rick magazine and I fondly remember writing reports on wildlife at around 8 years old. Who as a child writes reports for fun?  But I had a love for big cats when I was younger. I’d clip photos from Ranger Rick magazine of lions and tigers and cougars and I’d write a little synopsis for each one. There were a lot of house cats in my reports too, I admit. I’m not sure I ever showed these reports to anyone. If I ever run for president, my secret cat reports will probably come out. It won’t be good, all the cats were naked.

The moral of the story is…birthdays come and go, but the gift of sharing nature and wildlife with your children can last a lifetime. This is important to take a moment to consider.

We take care of what we love.

Be Out There. Start early, start for yourself, start for your kids, start now.