For many people, Halloween is a holiday filled with fantastical costumes, lots of sugary candy, and children trick-or-treating their way through neighborhoods all across urban America. But, where do you go trick-or-treating when you live in rural places?
In an effort to make our national parks a part of this tradition, Capulin Volcano hosted its first annual Trek-or-Treat Junior Ranger Day on October 29th. Enticing children with the prospects of hiking, mask making, pumpkin painting, Coke and Mentos volcanic eruptions, and scary campfire stories, Capulin Volcano brought together children and adults from many of the rural communities in northeastern New Mexico in the hope that they would experience a Halloween they would not soon forget.
During the afternoon, children participating in the Trek-or-Treat events were entertained by rangers in costume and earned a unique Junior Ranger patch. Visitors arriving in costume were also rewarded with free entrance to the monument. The park re-opened after dark for a campfire program treating visitors to roasted marshmallows, hot cocoa, and tales of the historical haunts of outlaws and bandits. After the program the visitor were welcomed to share their stories. It was a truly spooky evening and a scary good time.