“Youth Activities”

The Youth Activities Committee of The Bar Harbor Garden Club focuses on projects which introduce to the children and young adults of our communities: the love of gardening, the importance of being good stewards of our environment, and the creative expression of poetry and art. We reach out to all students in public and private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled.

2019-2020 Youth Activities Highlights:  

The Apple Tree project continues to be a favorite among our local schools. This year, The Community School of Mount Desert Island, a private school on MDI for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, was one of the recipients. They planted their apple tree with the help of the students, their parents, and teachers. The other recipient was the Downeast Horizons Center on MDI, a local non-profit agency which assists and supports adults and children with developmental needs. The latter recipient will receive their tree in early spring of 2020. See related press release.

Over the summer months, Margot Haertel, past Youth Activities chairperson, led bird walks in Southwest Harbor and on the Wonderland trail for local and visiting summer children.

Participants in the Children’s Program at the Downeast Horizons Center in Ellsworth were again visited by the Youth Activities Committee to decorate special containers and plant flowers for spring. Each child took home a plant to enjoy with their families or caregivers.

Participation in the National Garden Clubs Youth contests is encouraged by the Youth Activities Committee.  Local students were invited to participate in the National Garden Clubs and U.S. Forest Service Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl Poster Contest. A BHGC First Place honor for a Smokey Bear poster was presented to one student, who was also awarded First Place by the Garden Club Federation of Maine (GCFM). Honorable Mentions were presented to three students. All four students are members of Ms. Robin Sattler’s third grade class, Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor.

Creativity abounded in the poems submitted for the Youth Poetry Contest which is open to students in kindergarten through ninth grade. “Adventures in the Garden” was the national theme for 2019-2020. Participants in a first grade class at Trenton Elementary School were recognized by the BHGC for their poems. One student received First Place local honors for their poem entitled “Garden Rabbit”, in addition to a First Place award from the GCFM. Also, Honorable Mention honors were presented to three students.

A student at Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor, received the sixth grade First Place award for their poem entitled “The Real Adventure”.

Congratulations to all of our youth winners!  See the Winners…


When completing contest entry forms, you may be asked to enter the following information:

STATE GARDEN CLUB: Garden Club Federation of Maine

LOCAL GARDEN CLUB:  Bar Harbor Garden Club, P.O. Box 652, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Also, before including personal information, photographs, submitted written material or contest entry, THE CLUB WILL REQUIRE A SIGNED MEDIA RELEASE from the parent (or guardian) of any minor under the age of 18. Completed Media Release forms should be mailed to the requesting Club member.  See Media Release Form.

Garden Club Youth Contests

National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) and their affiliate organizations offer various educational contests for children at the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school levels. Winners of the local Bar Harbor Garden Club (BHGC) competitions go on to compete within the Garden Club Federation of Maine (GCFM), New England Garden Clubs, Inc. (NEGC), and National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC).

If you have any questions regarding the rules, please do not hesitate to contact the committee at youthchair@barharborgardenclub.org.

The Deadline for all BHGC Youth Contests is Friday, January 8, 2021.

Poetry Contest—Excite and encourage our Youth to express and explore their creative thoughts through different types of poetry.  Children in Kindergarten through 9th grade are eligible to enter the contest.   The 2020 – 2021 Poetry Contest Theme: “Exploring Backyard Mysteries”.    

High School Distinguished Service Project — The High School Distinguished Service Project Award along with $100 for first place and $50 for second place may be awarded to a high school student (9th through 12th grades) for an outstanding civic project making a significant improvement for public benefit, e.g. environment, conservation, landscape, horticulture, recycling, horticulture therapy, etc.

If you know of someone who has done an outstanding civic project consider applying for Award #76, High School Distinguished Service Project under Youth Awards.

High School Essay Contest—The High School Essay Contest is open to all High School students attending 9th through 12th grades. Each year a $1,000 National Garden Club scholarship will be awarded to the National Winner.   The 2019-2020 Essay Contest theme:  “Challenges in Preserving our Natural Habitats“.

Youth Sculpture Contest—The purpose of this contest is to encourage youth to keep our planet green and to get involved with saving our planet. Children in 4th through 8th grade are eligible to enter the contest.

Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl 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.

Posters are to be completed by individual student artists and may include students from 1st to 5th grade. This year’s contest is dedicated to Woodsy Owl’s 50th birthday! Woodsy Owl is America’s icon for the conservation of the environment.