Discovering Nature

Youth Storytelling Contest

The contest is now closed. Check back soon as we announce a winner!


Discovering Nature:

Youth Storytelling Contest


Enter to win a $350 digital Visa gift card! First 25 entries receive a complimentary $10 digital Visa gift card.*

Submit a poem, essay, or art of any kind on how being in nature has sparked joy, magic, or growth in your world. Submissions open August 15th – September 30th, 2023. The winner will be notified by October 15th.

*Limit to one entry per individual. Open to youth residing in Minnesota connected to Camp Fire Minnesota programs.

Questions? Contact Sara Lemke at


Contest Rules

  • The contest is open to youth ages 5-18.
  • Each entry must be an original essay, poem, or art creation that is solely created by a young person.
  • One written and/or one art submission per individual. Essay should not exceed 300-word count.
  • The entry must be received by September 30, 2023.
  • This contest is open to youth residing in Minnesota connected to Camp Fire Minnesota programs.

To enter, complete the “Discovering Nature” Contest Form below.

Contest Judges

Boden Brown

Youth Advisory Council Member & camper

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Lalo Edmondson

Board of Directors, Day Camp Coordinator, & camper alum

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Shayla Reaves

WCCO news anchor & local author

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Boden is a member of Camp Fire Minnesota’s Youth Advisory Committee or “YAC” for short. He loves the outdoors and camp; meeting new people and sharing ideas are his favorite things to do. He has big dreams, with a future goal of leading Camp Fire Minnesota as our future Camp Fire CEO.

Lalo (Rio) grew up attending Camp Fire Minnesota. He currently serves on our Board of Directors is our 2023 Day Camp Coordinator. Throughout the school year, Lalo is an English Second Language teacher. Lalo represents the best of Camp Fire, sharing a deep love for nature and appreciation for a space that allows campers to learn to be themselves.

Shayla Michelle is an author of “Echo In the Distance” released on Juneteenth 2023. “Echo In the Distance” engages readers, urging us to harness the power of our dreams; realizing her own dream of becoming an author with this book! You may also know Shayla as a WCCO news anchor and reporter. She’s visited Camp Fire Minnesota to try new outdoor experiences, like archery and rock climbing!


Top prize (one individual) will receive:

  • $350 Digital Visa Gift Card
  • Online and printed publication of entry
  • Camp Fire swag bag
  • Opportunity to share story or artwork at 100-year launch party on Saturday May 11th, 2024

Up to three honorable mentions will receive:

  • $50 Digital Visa Gift Card
  • Online publication of entry
  • Camp Fire swag bag