Youth Contests

Attention Garden Clubs!

Take the opportunity to engage our youth in one of our four exciting youth contests.

Please contact Co-chair:
Mary Reed for information regarding The Woodsy Owl/Smokey Bear Contest ( Grades 1-5) and the Poetry Contest (Grades K-9). She can be reached at or 517-712-0182.

Please contact Co-chair:
Kathleen Sauber for information regarding The High School Essay Contest (Grades 9-12) and The Youth Sculpture Contest (Grades 4-8). She can be reached at or 989-673-7691.



Grades 9th – 12th

In 600-700 words discuss the theme:

2019-2020 “Challenges in Preserving our Natural Habitats”

2020-2021 “Adapting our Actions to Protect our Natural Habitats”

Due January 13

More Details Application

Grades K – 9th, Special Ed, ESL

Using Traditional Verse, Acrostics, Blank Verse, Cinquains, Diamond Poems, Limerick or Haiku

Write about the theme:

2019-2020 Theme: “Adventures in the Garden”
2020-2021 Theme: “Exploring Backyard Mysteries”

Due January 13

More Details Application

Grades 1st – 5th

Demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl, an understanding of wildfire prevention and conservation.

Due January 13

More Details Application

Grades 4th – 8th

Sculpture using recyclable, reused, and reduced materials, creating around the theme “Saving our Planet and Keeping it Green.”

Due January 13


More Details Application

A Note from the Youth Awards Chair

Have you ever wondered what you will be remembered for? Or have you dreamed about the kind of legacy you’d like to leave someday?

“But I’m only one in millions,” you reply. “Is it even possible to make a difference on this gigantic spinning ball? And even if it were, what would it look like to leave my mark? “

Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. has a dynamic plan in place urging its members to impact planet Earth by touching lives of our youngest inhabitants. Every year, the National Garden Clubs links arms with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service. Their goal? To encourage awareness of basic environmental issues: wildfire prevention, keeping our planet green, protecting, and conserving. How does this make a difference? It happens when the local garden club joins hands with the local school districts. Making a difference happens at a grass-roots level, one student at a time.

In the early elementary grades, NGC focuses the youngest minds on the medium of graphic arts. The local clubs invigorates kids to participate in a poster drawing contest to see who can best capture the true essence of Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, two nationally recognized symbols. All the time these little hands are creating, their young minds are absorbing the habits of conservation and prevention, learning principles that will never be forgotten.

In the upper grades NGC continues to use competition to force the best ‘green thinking’ through the medium of sculpture, poetry, and essay. The real learning is stimulating thought about what in the world we are doing to our planet.

How can you make an impact that will be remembered for ages? First, learn the rules of the contest through MGC’s webpage. Next, encourage your local garden club to join you in this fight for young minds. And finally formulate a plan at your next garden club meeting to contact the local school and get the ball rolling. Then pitch in, doing whatever it takes to make this work!