Since 1965, Junior Forest Rangers (JFR) is proud to offer Albertan youth the opportunity to get started in a career related to natural resource management and forestry.

JFR crews are camp or community-based crews. Camp locations are located throughout the province and vary from year to year. Camp crew members stay with their crew 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for seven weeks (except for long weekend in August). The summer experience is challenging, unique and exciting.

Our community crews are made in partnership with Aboriginal communities across Alberta and work Monday – Friday. All crews consist of eight crew members and two crew leaders. This opportunity is open to all Albertans ages 16-18 (after July 1) who are enrolled in high school.

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Alberta Junior Forest Rangers

Youth employed in a camp-based program can expect to be away from home for seven weeks. All crews can expect to have some camp experience with a routine schedule. Every crew is a little different, but some things you should consider before you apply are:

  • You will work outdoors, rain or shine, and get your hands dirty
  • You may build your own bed and sleep in a tent all summer. Community crews are a little different.
  • You will be expected to complete your share of camp chores during the evening and weekends
  • You will get bit by bugs and see many types of animals
  • You will be part of a team and have the time of your life

Learn more about the JFR camping experience:

Junior Forest Rangers Resource Management

JFR crews complete forestry-related work projects, participate in industry tours and learn from field experts. Work projects in a typical summer may include the following and more:

  • Mop up on a contained wildfire
  • Thinning trees to reduce threat of wildfire
  • Invasive plant species control
  • Mountain Pine Beetle traps
  • Trail construction
  • Tree Planting

Outdoor living is a lot easier when you have the proper equipment. Take a look at the equipment lists below for some suggestions:

JFR Curriculum

The program is based on four curriculum elements: stewardship, leadership, partnership and traditional ecological knowledge. Each JFR crew, whether camp based or community based, has a specific curriculum focus.

Aboriginal community crews spend more time on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), while camp-based crews focus on stewardship. Leadership is a more important theme for second year crews. Curriculum elements are integrated where possible.


  • To improve current land and public space use for future generations
  • To promote various career and education opportunities
  • To provide Junior Forest Rangers with the opportunity to learn about land, air, water, biodiversity, land management, trees, species at risk, water and air quality, hunting, trapping, fishing, recreation impacts, permaculture and agriculture
  • To provide Alberta Junior Forest Rangers the chance to explore environmental literacy through environmental studies, current affairs and educational tools
  • Provide opportunities to meet natural resource professionals and visit their work sites


  • To positively engage and work with communities, industry and business which support the Junior Forest Ranger program
  • Learn from program partners and supporters to learn about careers in natural resource management

Leadership and communication

  • To develop successful communication, leadership and group skills
  • To encourage safe work practices, the value of physical activity and other life skills
  • To promote personal development, interpersonal development and leadership skills

Traditional ecological knowledge

  • To engage and explore traditional practices, history and land uses from Elders and community leaders, including traditional medicine harvesting, ceremonies and protocols
  • To appreciate the value of this knowledge as it relates to natural resource management
Bull of the Woods

Bull of the Woods is a two-day event; a culmination of the Junior Forest Ranger crew member experience. It is one of the few times in the summer where all of the JFR crews get together.

Since 1985, the competition has showcased over 2,000 crew members in various skill-testing events. Our 50th anniversary in 2015 will showcase decade crews:

Culture day

Alberta Aboriginal Junior Forest Rangers 10th Anniversary Logo

We are proud to celebrate Aboriginal culture with inter-tribal events. Annual events usually include:

  • Bannock Making
  • Hand Games
  • Storytelling
  • Tipi Building
  • Traditional Dancers
  • Traditional Drumming

Competition day

JFR crews in Bull of the Woods swede saw competition

Day two of Bull of the Woods is the competition from which the event’s name comes from. Competition events may include:

  • Fire-building
  • First aid scenarios
  • Heli-Attach pump run
  • Melon roll (hose roll and carry)
  • Plant identification
  • Swede saw
  • Wajax relay
  • Wilderness trivia
  • Knot tying

Check out a photo gallery of last year’s Bull of the Woods competition:

Contact us

For more information, please contact JFR program staff at:

Updated: Nov 25, 2016