Wandering the World: Montezuma's Castle
I am not sure what to say about this, other than if you have kids, skip it? We sent Tom and Elijah ahead to cross the pass and the four other kids and I headed to see the castle and do our junior ranger badges. We got in the door and picked up our booklets. Immediately I thought they were crazy!! The books were way hard, and wee have seen a lot of junior ranger books.
The one for Owen was super easy. He finished his in seconds. However the other three kids had to complete a crossword puzzle that required them to read every single thing in the visitor center displays. This may be fine if you have only one kid, but I had four, one reader, one weak reader, and two non-readers. Trying to make sure everyone heard the info, found the right spot and that Owen didn't rip into the candy bars accross the way was a whole other challenge. We quickly gave up on that and moved to the castle.
We ended up stopping outside to listen to a local play flute music. It was beautiful, but obvious that the kids (who were whispering quietly and watching) were an annoyance. We just moved on. We walked the path and saw the sites. The ranger on the trail was super sweet and answered the kids many questions. Izzy even caught a whiptail lizard and it bit her! She just laughed. No animal has yet to phase that girl.
So we headed back to the visitor center to try and see if we could do the puzzle. Owen was totally melting down at this point. We got all but one of the questions. I told the kids to go see if the ranger could help point them in the direction of the answer. They went and asked and the ranger told them, "It's not my job to do your ranger booklet for you."
I was literally shocked.
We called it. It just wasn't worth it. Owen was melting down, the kids were frustrated and upset and it was just not worth the effort. So we headed out. I get that the point is for the kids to do the work, but come on! So frustrating.
Update: Tom called and spoke with a supervisor and told her what happened. She apologized profusely and she sent the kids their badges and some other goodies. She wrote an apology letter and asked us to come back if we are ever in the area. I doubt we will, but it was a nice gesture and the kids were excited. So at least the wrong was corrected!