- Rose Torphy, 103, became a junior ranger for Grand Canyon National Park on January 14.
- She and her daughter, Cheryl Stoneburner, were at the park visiting Torphy’s granddaughter, who works at the Grand Canyon.
- While in the park’s bookstore, Torphy asked to be sworn into the junior ranger program, which promotes the preservation and protection of national parks.
A 103-year-old woman became a junior ranger for Grand Canyon National Park on a recent visit with her daughter – and she’s older than the park itself.
Rose Torphy became a junior ranger at the Grand Canyon on January 14 while vacationing at the national park with her daughter, Cheryl Stoneburner.
Torphy is more than three years older than Grand Canyon, which celebrates 100 years since its designation as a national park on February 26.
The junior ranger program is available to anyone aged 4 and above, and encourages people to learn about preserving and protecting national parks, according to the National Park Service website.
While Torphy and Stoneburner were in the Grand Canyon’s gift shop, Torphy asked to be sworn into the program.
Stoneburner told INSIDER that her mother is still wearing her junior ranger pin everywhere weeks after returning home.
“She just had her 10th great great grandbaby born in February so she is very happy that the Grand Canyon is being protected and will be there for all the generations to see,” Stoneburner told INSIDER.
Stoneburner said her mother has always been passionate about the outdoors.
Torphy, a mum of three, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of 18, and a great-great grandmother of 10, grew up in northern Wisconsin, and her parents took them to lakes in the area to learn about nature.
“I started talking to people about the junior ranger program because it teaches kids to protect the Canyon,” Torphy told “Good Morning America.” “My parents taught me to care for the land but not all kids have that.”
This was Torphy’s second trip to the Grand Canyon. The first was in 1985, on a bus trip with her late husband.
This time, Torphy and Stoneburner visited Torphy’s granddaughter – Stoneburner’s daughter – Heather, who works at the Grand Canyon.
While on the trip, they saw all of the sites, and even recreated a photo that she had taken on the trip with her husband more than 30 years ago.
Torphy noted that this time, despite being in a wheelchair, she was still able to “go to the edge” of the canyon.
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