Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl Poster Contest


Judging, left to right, Tammy Lucich, Roxanne Campbell, Alex Borges, Barbara Hawkins, Laura Bravinder, Ann Shivel, Pat Askew, Judy Sylvester, and Julie Campbell.

309 posters were submitted by students from the Ceres After-School Program.  Representing the entire Ceres School District, students from grades 1 thru 5 are eligible to enter the national contest.

Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are official icons protected by law, and the poster contest is a partnership between the National Garden Clubs, Inc. and the US Forest Service.  The poster contest is open to all children between grades 1 thru 5, and must be entered trough a local sponsoring garden club who is affiliated with the National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Posters are judged by the local garden club, with 1 poster representing the best from each of the 5 grades being submitted to the California Garden Clubs, Inc (CGCI) for judging. Garden clubs from around the entire state submit their 5 best posters which are judged with 1 from each grade being chosen.  Those chosen are then judged and the best is submitted to the Region of the National Garden Clubs, Inc for judging against the best from every state in the US. Posters that compete for the California Garden Clubs, Inc Prize are not returned to the participants.  Posters that compete for the National Grand Prize become property of the US Forest Service.

The Poster Rules are very specific.

  • Eligibility: Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Prize: 1st Place – $25 and Certificates for each grade level
  • Deadline: local garden clubs must submit poster entries to the state Chairman by January 10, 2017.  The state Chairman must submit the five winning posters from the state to the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Regional Garden Club Chairman by February 1, 2017.
  • All posters must be sponsored by a local garden club.
  • There is no limit as to the number of posters a single student may enter.
  • Posters must feature Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl and must NOT feature both together.
  • Posters may include just the head of Woodsy or Smokey.
  • Smokey Bear posters must include Smokey’s Wildfire prevention message: ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES.
  • Woodsy Owl posters must include Woodsy’s conservation message: LEND A HAND CARE FOR THE LAND.
  • Posters should encourage children to take a personal role in preventing wildfires or conserving resources.
  • Each entry must be 11 x 17 inches in size.
  • Materials that can be used include: crayons, markers, poster paints, water colors, etc. Do not use anything that will transfer to other posters, like chalk.
  • No 3-dimensional posters, computer scanned, or electronically generated images will be accepted.
  • Since Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are official icons protected by law, the colors of their clothing must be accurate.  Check the colors at:
  • Check spelling.  A poster with ANY spelling errors will be disqualified.
  • Posters may include artwork pasted on to a second piece of paper.  They must be flat.  3D posters are NOT allowed.
  • The following information is to be written on the back lower-right corner of each poster or written on a piece of paper and then pasted in place.  Dark markers should NOT be used, they may show through.  *Artist’s name and school grade. *Name of the sponsoring local garden club. *Name, address, phone number of the school, and the teacher’s name.



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