“Youth Activities”

The Bar Harbor Garden Club (BHGC) supports a variety of projects in our local communities in order to introduce our young people to the love of gardening, the importance of being good stewards of our environment, and the expression of language and creative arts.

2018 – 2019 Youth Activities Highlights:  

The BHGC has ongoing projects with local schools. This year, Trenton Elementary School and the Mount Desert Island High School were the recipients of an apple tree to plant on their school grounds. In order to show our support of the elementary schools who maintain a greenhouse, the BHGC presented a cash gift to each of the six island schools.

The Youth Activities co-chairpersons made a special visit to Downeast Horizons children’s program prior to Mother’s Day. Downeast Horizons is a local non-profit agency which assists and supports adults and children with developmental needs in our communities. The children were given an opportunity to plant pansies for their mothers or caregivers. A Gardening Bingo game was played and prizes were awarded to our many winners. A flower pot treat with edible gummy worms was enjoyed by the children.

A bird walk and tour of the Butterfly Garden at Charlotte Rhoades Park in Southwest Harbor was offered to children this summer by BHGC Member Margot Haertel.

The BHGC awarded four  scholarships for children to attend the College of Atlantic Summer Field Studies Program as part of our mission. The children applied for the scholarship by telling about their favorite place in the natural world through a medium of their choice. The Youth Activities chairpersons worked in cooperation with the Director of the Summer Field Studies Program, to collaborate on this new venture. With the generous support from the St. Croix District, the scholarships will be offered again next year.

Local students were invited to participate in the National Garden Clubs and U.S. Forest Service Smokey Bear Poster Contest. This was a significant milestone for Smokey Bear in that he celebrated his 75th birthday! A BHGC First Place Award was presented to one student. Honorable Mentions were presented to three students who are in Ms. Robin Sattler’s third grade class at Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor.

“Pop Goes the Seed” was the theme for the 2018-2019 National Garden Clubs Youth Poetry Contest. All of the local student winners are first graders at Trenton Elementary School. First Place Award was presented to a student for their poem entitled “The Ages of Flowers”. Five Honorable Mentions were presented to students for their poems.

Taylor Ehrlich, a fifth grader at Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor, received special recognition for her poem entitled “Lift Me Up”. In fourth grade, Taylor’s poem earned a tie for First Place at the national level.

Congratulations to all of our 2018 – 2019 Youth Award 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 Monday, January 6, 2020.

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 2019-2020  Poetry Contest Theme: “Adventures in the Garden”.    

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.