This Great-Grandmother Just Became the Grand Canyon’s Oldest Junior Park Ranger

Feb 21, 2019

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Grand Canyon National Park just inducted a new South Rim Junior Park Ranger — who happens to be three years older than the park itself. 103-year-old Rose Torphy was named a junior park ranger on a visit to the park in January. In an interview with Good Morning America, Torphy said her decision to become a junior park ranger stems from her passion for land conservation, and she hopes to instill these values in younger generations of junior park rangers: ” I started talking to people about the junior ranger program because it teaches kids to protect the canyon.”

Torphy’s first visit the Grand Canyon National Park dates back to 1985 — 34 years before her most recent visit,  where she was given her new credentials. Cheri Stoneburner, Torphy’s daughter, took to Facebook to document the photos from their trip to the park in January, complete with an up-close look at the pin and an official Junior Ranger certificate. Although Torphy was confined to a wheelchair on her trip, she was still able to take in the unprecedented views all the way up to the edge, reported GMA.

The great-grandmother of 10 wasn’t just handed her Junior Park Ranger title. Similar to all other aspiring rangers, Torphy had to attend a ranger-led program, and complete a booklet complete with observations, pictures and poems, according to the National Park’s official site. After completing the necessary training, Torphy was awarded her official South Rim Junior Ranger pin. Stoneburner said that her mom hasn’t removed the pin from her coat since leaving the park last month.

Stoneburner told GMA that “Everywhere we go, people ask her about her junior ranger pin and she says, ‘You’re never too old to see the Grand Canyon!’”

Featured photo by Daniel Cicivizzo / EyeEm/Getty Images.

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