Youth-Contests & Awards

In addition to the educational programs offered there are fun things like contests and awards
Earn recognition, pride and a few dollars for your youth gardeners.
Go to CGCI Awards Program for complete details
Check the Youth Section of the CGCI Awards Manual to see if there are any categories that may interest your group.
The deadline for all Youth entries is December 1
EXCEPTION: Poster contest - DEADLINE January 23, 2021

Poster Contest

It is Woodsy's 50th anniversary
Please DO NOT SUBMIT posters featuring Smokey Bear - they will not be accepted.
The Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl Poster Contest
  • CGCI through National Garden Clubs and the U.S. Forest Service, has participated in the contest for over fifty years.
  • The contest has drawn as many as 34,000 entries.
  • California has had TWO national Grand Prize winners in the last 3 years and several students have received 1st place for their grade level!
The NGC Poster Contest!
CGCI Chairman
Charlotte Tucker,
Mail posters to:
Charlotte Tucker, 18047 Lime Kiln Road, Sonora, CA 95370
Children from first through fifth grade are invited to participate in the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Poster Contest! The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. are giving students the opportunity to demonstrate through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl their understanding of wildfire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles.

The deadlines listed in the rules are for CALIFORNIA entries only

Poster Rules - Special rules for 2020-2021

Poster Contest Flyer - General Information for 2020-2021

Deadline to CGCI Chairman:  JANUARY 23, 2021

Must be received by the above date so mail early!

CGCI Local Poster Chairman Report

    Smokey Bear is recognized nationally and internationally as the symbol for wildfire prevention.
    The original Smokey Bear appeared in 1944. Smokey’s message, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires!” encourages personal responsibility for wildfire prevention.
    Smokey Bear teaches children and adults to be careful with campfires, barbecues, trash fires, and matches.
    Woodsy Owl is America’s icon for the conservation of the environment.
    Since 1971, Woodsy has helped parents and teachers inspire children to observe, explore, and care for the environment.
    He challenges children to “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land!” and to take an active role in caring for the land through recycling, reusing, and reducing waste; planting and caring for trees; using resources wisely; and not littering.
State Level:
  • California Garden Clubs, Inc. will award $25 to each of the California first place winners in all five grades
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th certificates will be awarded in each grade level
  • 1st-4th place winners are invited to attend the Youth Luncheon at the annual CGCI state convention, be publicly recognized and meet Smokey!
National Level:
  • The National Grand Prize Winner of the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest will be honored with a Recognition Ceremony in Washington, DC.
  • Round-trip airfare and accommodations for four will be provided.
  • The National Garden Clubs, Inc., will award $50 to each of the First Place national winners in all five grades.
Maybe you know the next winner!  You can't win if you don't enter

CGCI Awards 

Following are additional award categories available to youth groups or individuals

Essay & Poetry Contests 

Special Education and English as a Second Language: Kindergarten through Ninth Grade.
General Education: Kindergarten through Ninth Grade.
2019-2020: Theme: "Adventures in the Garden"
2020-2021 Theme: "Exploring Backyard Mysteries"
Deadline:  SUBMIT BY DECEMBER 1 TO CGCI YOUTH ESSAY/POETRY CHAIRMAN as listed on the Award #62 - Evaluation Form
Awards:  CGCI: 1st Place: $5
Contest Rules:
All entries must be typed and titled
Include name, address, age, grade, and school of participant on the back of entry
Sponsoring garden club and state garden club name must also be identified
Sponsoring garden club may be that of a grandparent
All entries become the property of National Garden Clubs, Inc.
Poems do not have to rhyme. Poems may be traditional verse, acrostics, blank verse, cinquains, diamond poems, limerick or Haiku
Note: Only regional winners are considered in the judging for national winners. Contest winners will not be allowed to win two consecutive years. All of the winning entries will be compiled into a booklet, which will be made available to the winner

2020 Theme/Title: “How My Vegetables Grow”
Open to youth in grades 1-5:  Section A.  Grades 1-3 (30-50 words);  Section B.   Grades 4-5 (100-200 words)
DeadlineSUBMIT BY DECEMBER 1 (each year) TO CGCI YOUTH ESSAY/POETRY CHAIRMAN listed on the Evaluation Form
Awards:  CGCI:  1st $20,  2nd $15, 3rd $10 in each section
An original essay using one side of an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper. On application form include name, age and address of applicant; name of counselor; sponsor or sponsoring club; and district.  Clip the application form to the essay.

Sculpture Contest 

Recycling Chairman:  Gloria Barry,
Encouraging youth to keep our planet green by Reusing, Recycling, Repurposing.
Open to children in 4th grade through 8th grade
Create a sculpture using recyclables
Width of the sculpture can be no more than 8 1/2" x 11"
Height should be proportional to width
Entries should include as many photographs as can be printed on the back of the entry form; (2) 4x6 photographs are recommended
See updated Sculpture Contest Rules at the NGC Website ( under “Youth Contests.”
Deadline:  SUBMIT BY DECEMBER 1 To Recycling Chairman listed on the Evaluation Form
Awards:  CGCI: 1st $25 each grade