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Fort Larned features big week
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FORT LARNED — Fort Larned and Topeka’s Cedar Crest will promote Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day Friday in conjunction with the Governor’s Council on Fitness.
A day later, Fort Larned will welcome youngsters 6 to 12 for Junior Ranger Day.
Friday’s festivities kick off flagship events for 700 youngsters at Cedar Crest in Topeka and 500 third-graders at the Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Sandy Lucas is the coordinator for the Fort Larned National Historic Site.
Great Bend elementary schools, Ellinwood Elementary, LaCrosse Elementary, Larned Northside Elementary, Great Bend Holy Family and Macksville Elementary students will participate.
Sessions are scheduled at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Scheduled events are station fire brigade, hoop spear throw, graces, scattered square dance, American and English, safety station, soldier canon pull, bear hunt, calvary training and Fort-related activities.
“The cannon pull where you drag a cannon with a rope is a popular event,” said George Elmore, Fort Larned park ranger. “They enjoy the tug-of-war event. There is continuous activity. It’s all hands-on exercise, but a lot of fun for the youngsters.” 
Other schools will participate Friday and Saturday at their home sites.
Statewide, nearly 16,000 third-graders, their teachers, and parents will be participating at 31 host sites to promote physical activity and safety.
The event will promote the value of physical activity for children.
It is also important for children to follow basic safety practices while being active. Accidental injuries are still the leading killer and disables of Kansas children ages under 14.  Safe Kids Week is focusing on preventing youth sports injuries in 2011.
Junior Ranger Day
Junior Ranger Day is scheduled with two sessions Saturday, courtesy of the park rangers at Fort Larned. Start your day to the sounds of reveille, try on a soldier’s uniform, and be a hospital attendant. Children can work in the Fort’s bakery and learn how to use signal flags.
The morning session is from 10 a.m. to noon and the afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m.  Participants will earn a Junior Ranger badge and a surprise souvenir. A drink and snack will be provided.
Spots are still available by calling Fort Larned at (620) 285-6911 to make reservations for this free program.
Fort Larned National Historic Site is located six miles west of Larned on K-156.