Youth Contests

For further information contact:

Linda McLendon 

919-440-3314 (c) 919-736-1255  

 115 Cedar St., Dudley 28333 



These National Garden Club contests are not restricted to Youth Garden Clubs only but are open to any child as long as they are sponsored by a Federated adult garden club.

Youth Sculpture Contest

This is an “art in the round” project. Use recyclable or reused materials to create your sculpture. Put a plain background behind it and take two pictures, one of the front and one of the back, each 4” x 6” in size.

Contest Rules:

  • Children in 4th grade through 8th grade will be eligible to enter the contest.
  • Height should be proportional to width; total size should not exceed 8 1/2” x 11”.
  • An entry form is enclosed and can also be found at
  • The pictures are to be mounted on the back side of the entry form and can overlap.
  • Entries must be received by the State Youth Chairman no later than December 1st.



2017 – 2018 – “Let it grow”
2018 – 2019 – “Pop goes the Seed”

Now is the time to excite and encourage our youth to express their thoughts & ideas through different types of poetry. Be creative & use your imagination by joining the winners to see your poetry in a printed booklet!

Contest Rules:

  • Special Education students and children in Kdg-9th grade will be eligible to enter the contest.
  • All entries must be typed and titled.
  • Include name, address, age and school grade of participant on the back of the entry.
  • Sponsoring garden club and youth garden must also be identified.
  • All entries become property of National Garden Clubs, Inc.
  • Poems do not have to rhyme.
  • Poems may be traditional verse, acrostics, bland verse, cinquains, diamond poems or Haiku.
  • Entries must be received by the State Youth Chairman no later than December 1st.


High School Essay Contest –

2017 – 2018 – “Community gardens – A Solution to Blight, Crime And Hunger”

2018 – 2019 – “The Impact of Bottled Water on the Environment And the Water Supply”

A $1000 National Garden Club Scholarship will be awarded to the National Winner. If the Winner is an underclassman, the $1000 Scholarship will be held by NGC, without accrued interest, until such time that the student enters college. At that time, the money will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Officer of the college that the student will enter. The second place winner will receive $100.00.

Contest Rules:

  • Contest is open to high school students attending 9th through 12th grades.
  • Length of essay: Between 500-600 words.
  • The entry will be penalized if the essay does not conform to the required length. All words are to be counted. Students should write the essay so it is suitable to be published in The National Gardener.
  • All entries become the property of National Garden Clubs, Inc.
  • Entries must be received by the State Youth Chairman no later than December 1st



Smokey 2019 Contest

  • Poster Contest Rules
  • Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl Poster Contest Promotional Flyer
  • Local Chairman Report Form
  • Poster Contest Form
  • Poster Contest Timeline


We’re inviting 1st through 5th grade students to demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl their understanding of fire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles.

The Grand Prize National Poster Contest Winner will win a free round trip airfare and accommodations for four to Washington, DC. A $100 U.S. Savings Bond will also be awarded to the First Place National Winners from each grade level sponsored by the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Contest Rules:

  • Entries must be received by the State Youth Chairman no later than December 1.
  • An entry form is enclosed and can also be found at poster entries must be sponsored by a local Garden Club.
  • Posters must feature Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl and must not feature both together.
  • Smokey Bear posters must be based upon and include, Smokey’s fire prevention message (Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires!). Woodsy Owl posters must be based upon and include, Woodsy’s conservation message: Lend a Hand – Care for the Land!
  • The entry posters should encourage children to take a personal role in preventing wildfires or conserving natural resources.
  • Each entry should be 11 x 17 inches in size.
  • Materials that can be used include: crayons, markers, poster paints, water colors, etc.
  • No three-dimensional posters, computer scanned, or electronically generated images will be accepted!
  • Posters are to be completed by individual student artists. Competition may include students from 1st to 5th grade.


Poster Tips

  • A good poster has a bold and simple design.
  • Its message is delivered both in the picture and in the slogan.
  • Its message is easily understood.
  • Posters will be judged 20 percent each for originality, design, slogan, artwork, and overall effectiveness of the message.


More Tips for a Successful Poster Contest Participation

  • Since Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are official icons, protected by Congressional law, the colors of their clothing need to be accurate. You must follow the rules that include how you identify the poster.
  • Please check the spelling. Posters with misspelling errors will be disqualified.
  • Approach any group of children: such as scout troops, after school programs, and the like. Just make sure the child’s grade is included, so the participant can compete in their grade category.
  • Feel free to offer certificate of participation to all entrants. A sample certificate is available at National Garden Clubs, Inc.
  • 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the collaboration between the US Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. You can contribute to this collaborative effort by completing the form that indicates how many contacts were made. It is essential for us to know if you sent materials to twenty children or two hundred. The US Forest Service invests tax payer money in keeping this partnership alive. We need to help them justify the use of these funds by providing an estimate of our outreach efforts with the Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl poster contest.
  • Copy your winning posters as they are not returned.


Native Plants Patch for Girl Scouts Nurture the Earth – Plant Natives

This program encourages partnerships between Girl Scouts and local National Garden Clubs to teach Girl Scouts about native plants in their area. Girl Scouts of all age levels are eligible to earn this patch.

The purpose of the Native Plants Patch is to:

Encourage Girl Scouts and the National Garden Clubs to work collaboratively by:

  • Promoting girl-to-girl, adult-to-adult, and girl-to-adult discussion about the National Garden Club initiative and partnership
  • Encouraging Girl Scouts to go to experts when they have questions while earning related badges, Try-Its, Interest Projects, or STUDIO 2B® charms
  • Showing girls a way to focus their earned awards when working toward the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.


To earn the Native Plants Patch girls can:

Discover native plants. Girls will learn what plants are native to their area and how to preserve and protect those native plants as well as what invasive species are in their area. Girls will learn about resources and partnerships offered by their local National Garden Clubs.


Connect by working with their local National Garden Club members who will serve as project sponsor. In addition, girls are encouraged to make contact with native plant societies, horticultural professionals, and county extension services to help in completing project requirements.

Take action by doing the following:

  • Interviewing someone about native plants in their area.
  • Establishing a native beauty spot in a public garden, school, church, park, town or community.
  • Spreading the word about native plants by sharing information learned with other troops and community groups, newspaper articles, radio and TV spots, or posters, fliers, and booklets.

To order patches, call the National Garden Clubs Headquarters at 1-800-550-6007 (orders only, please)

Patches are $1.75 each, this includes shipping and handling.