103-Year-Old Becomes Oldest National Park Junior Ranger
Rose Torphy made history last month when she became the National Park Service’s oldest junior ranger.
According to Good Morning America, the 103-year-old was sworn in at Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, which is actually three years younger than Torphy. The park will celebrate its centennial Tuesday.
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Torphy was granted “Scorpion” level of junior ranger. The program is typically geared toward children and families but she said she felt inspired during a recent vacation to the park.
“I started talking to people about the junior ranger program because it teaches kids to protect the Canyon. My parents taught me to care for the land but not all kids have that,” Torphy told GMA. “I’m happy to protect it for my great-children to visit one day.”
Torphy is a mother of three, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of 18 and great-great grandmother of 10. She first visited the park in 1985 when she was more mobile but said she was still able to experience the park from her wheelchair the most recent time around.
“I was very impressed with the wheelchair access and ramps,” Torphy’s daughter, Cheri Stoneburner told GMA. “We were able to get to an edge where she had taken a photo with my dad on their visit in 1985.”
“She’s a spokesperson for the park now. Everywhere we go, people ask her about her junior ranger pin and she says ‘you’re never too old to see the Grand Canyon.'”
Grand Canyon National Park is the country’s second-most visited park behind only Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is one of the top 30 to visit in 2019.