Youth Symposium

The Garden Club of South Carolina Inc. offers many ways for local clubs to collaborate with youth.

The annual Youth Symposium for elementary and middle school contest winners and youth clubs is a full day of education and celebration at Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Contest winners are awarded special t-shirts, certificates and monetary prizes for their work in Smokey Bear, Woodsey Owl, Recycled Sculpture, Poetry and Essay contests. The symposium includes free admission to the zoo and the bontanical gardens.

Garden Clubs around our state work with local schools, home schoolers, girl scouts, boy scouts, 4H, FFA, and other youth groups to encourage participation in our NGC youth contests.

We also offer scholarships to high school and college level students who aim to study subjects that align with our objectives.



Grow Youth Gardeners from our Youth Outreach Team, Alecia Elrod and Sandra Barker.

2020 Youth Symposium Challenge

Growing Youth Gardeners (GYG)

In an effort to increase youth participation in SC gardening, we challenge all Garden Clubs of SC to actively recruit new students and programs into our network of gardeners.

The Growing Youth Gardeners challenge is for all Districts and SC Garden Clubs for the 2019-2020 terms.
We are challenging all District Directors to have at least 2 NEW youth clubs in your district by December 1, 2019 and 2 more by December 1, 2020. By the end of 2020 we are looking for a 20% increase of our youth clubs.

Start a Youth Garden Club or Increase by 20% the membership in your District by adding two youth Garden Clubs per year!

Starting a Youth Garden Club

  1. Garden Clubs must register with the GCSC. (Registration form online at GCSC cost of only $5  per youth club)
  2. Garden Clubs must register at least 5 school-age gardeners
  3. Garden Clubs must have at least 5 meetings a year.

Increase your Support of our Youth Symposium Awards Program

Smokey Bear Poster Contest (grade 1-5)

Woodsy Owl Poster Contest (grade 1-5)

Poetry Contest – (K-9)

Youth Sculpture Contest – Using recyclable, reused, or reduced materials (grade 4-8)

High School Essay Contest

Enter your youth gardeners and attend the Youth Symposium in the Spring of each year.

Information on starting clubs will be given to District Directors on August 3, 2019 at the Expo. Please check by the Youth Symposium booth for information on starting new youth clubs. We will give all District Directors a packet to help clubs in their district get started. We will be happy to email packets to clubs wishing to participate as well after the EXPO.

The SC Club that recruits a NEW youth garden club with the most members will be recognized and awarded a certificate and $50 at the SC convention in 2019 and in 2020. This Youth Club must be registered and complete the tasks of a Youth Garden Club outlined on the State Web Site.

Any Questions?
Sandy Barker [email protected] Youth Chairman 910-641-7328

Alecia Elrod [email protected] Youth Symposium Chairman 864-915-0283

Elaine Wade [email protected] High School Essay Chair 864 494-8580

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