103-Year-Old Sworn In As Grand Canyon's Oldest "Junior" Ranger

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103-Year-Old Sworn In As Grand Canyon's Oldest "Junior" Ranger

Cheri Stoneburner - Facebook

Rose Torphy received an unlikely souvenir from her recent trip to the Grand Canyon National Park.

At 103, Torphy is actually older than the park itself (since it was designated a national park just 100 years ago this month). But that didn't stop Torphy from applying to become a "junior" park ranger at the visitor's center.

The junior rangers program is meant to teach children about the park, and awards them the title when they complete an activity book and pledge to protect the canyon.

Torphy signed up for the program while visiting the landmark for her second time last month, and also posed at the same place where she had stood for a photo with her husband back in 1985.

Hermit's Rest
Torphy at Hermit's Rest with her husband in 1985 and her daughter in 2019.Cheri Stoneburner - Facebook

She told Good Morning America that she was drawn to becoming a junior ranger because they're taught to protect the canyon for future generations.

"My parents taught me to care for the land but not all kids have that," Torphy said.

In fact Torphy - a great-grandmother of 18 and a great-great grandmother of 10, was thinking of her young family members as she toured the park.

"I'm happy to protect it for my great-children to visit one day," she said.

Torphy spoke about her visit to the Grand Canyon and why it meant so much to her:

Rambling with Rose 🌹 Mama was talking all the way home about how much she loved the Canyon and was so happy they were protecting it , so after we got back I got her to repeat some of her thoughts

Posted by Cheryl L Torphy Stoneburner on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Her daughter, Cheri Stoneburner, said Torphy has been proudly sporting her junior ranger pin since she came home from the trip.

"She's a spokesperson for the park now," Stoneburner said. "Everywhere we go, people ask her about her junior ranger pin and she says 'you're never too old to see the Grand Canyon!'"

Stoneburner also said she was "very impressed with the wheelchair access and ramps" at the park.

[H/T: Good Morning America]

Is visiting the Grand Canyon still on your bucket list?

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