Art Camp takes flight!
Are you a high school student interested in wildlife art? Then Art Camp is the perfect gift for you! For more information about this wonderful opportunity to work with photography, field sketching, and decoy carving professionals, click here>>.
is this Program About?
The Junior Duck Stamp is a nationwide
program to teach the importance of conserving our wetlands and migratory
birds. It pairs science, the arts, and other core subjects to creatively
teach greater awareness of our natural resources.
choose from a variety of lessons (see below for some great activities) to
get across concepts of ecology, conservation, and civic action. At the same
time, challenge students with assignments for writing, oral presentations,
data collection, graphing, mapping, and much more.
As part of the
program, students are invited to participate in an annual art competition.
Creating an entry is a valuable experience. It helps students tie together
lessons on animal form and function, plant science, observation, wetland habitats,
and more. In the visual arts, students practice sketching, drawing, painting,
Department of Interior and the Federal
Duck Stamp Office head up this program, and in California it is coordinated
by the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.
Who Can Participate?
The art competition is open to students from kindergarten to grade 12. Enter
through school (public or private), on your own, or through a youth group
such as Scouts, Campfire, or YMCA.
A Quick History
Florida piloted its first local contest in 1989. California got involved as
the second state in 1990. The program grew rapidly, and now all states and
the District of Columbia participate. For a list of the program coordinators
for each state, click here.
the program began with the efforts of a Beverly Hills artist and the staff
at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. The state receiving site for entries has since
been the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. Judging has taken place in various
locations, including San Francisco Bay and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges,
Yolo Wildlife Area, and facilities in Chico and Willows.
1992 was the
first time a sheet of junior duck stamps was printed, and it included nine
state Best of Show winners from 1991 and 1992. After that, a national competition
was instituted, with the top winning art printed as a stamp and sold to raise
funds for conservation education.
For the past
eight years, posters featuring student art have been created to help promote
the California program. Click here to see our gallery of posters. In 2001,
California also began printing annual calendars that feature student art.
to See the Art
here to see our Online Gallery of Junior Art. Winning art also travels
to locations across the state for festivals and other public events. Contact the Sacramento
National Wildlife Refuge, (530) 934-2801, for dates
New and Notable for 2008-09
*This year the Junior Duck Stamp News will be available online. This newspaper-style publication provides teachers with all the information needed to get started - and more! Click here for your copy.
*Also available online this year is the required Reference form for students in grade groups III and IV (grades 7-12), on which students list the sources they have used to produce their artwork. Click here.
*Do not forget to have your students include their conservation message. This is another way for them to win! Read the 2008 winning conservation messages here.
*New items will soon be available to help promote the Junior Duck Stamp
Program and teach conservation messages.
- The 2008-09
program poster features several pieces of selected art from the program.
This year's poster also offers teachers a new selection of classroom activities.
- The 2009
program calendar includes more than four dozen winning art entries from
the 2008 competition. Mini biographies for a dozen waterfowl species are
also provided. Additional art is included as thumbnails. Find information about this art here:
- The 2008-09 Sacramento River Watershed Program poster also features the Junior Duck Stamp program. A special student supplement, "A Journey through the Sacramento River Watershed" from the Sacramento Bee's Newspapers in Education program is also available, chock full of information, activities, and places to visit along the watershed. For more information about the NIE program click here. For more information about the Sacramento River Watershed Program click here.
To request a copy of any of these items, click
K-12 Classroom Presentations were offered to teachers and educators in Sacramneto and Chico counties. For more information about this unique science and art based program as well as scheduling information for next season Click here.
All entries for the California art competition are due on March 15 each year.
Click here to print the rules and entry form
for this free competition. Please keep in mind two key rules. First, the species
of waterfowl you draw must be a native North American duck, goose, or swan.
For a list of qualifying species, click here. Second,
all entries must be drawn horizontally and be 9" high by 12" wide.
For some tips on creating your entry, click here.
the annual entry deadline, the artwork is judged by a panel of experts.
The judges change each year, but the panel typically includes a combination
of waterfowl biologists, artists, and educators. The art is separated
into four grade groups (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12), and each group is judged
independently. Once the first place winners for each group have been selected,
they are viewed again to select a single Best of Show for the state. If
you are interested in observing the judging, please click
here and provide us with your contact information.
students submit an entry in the California competition, they have the chance
to win some great
- Every entry
will receive a Certificate of Participation.
- 100 California
students (25 in each grade group) receive beautiful first, second, third,
or honorable mention ribbons (groups are K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12).
- 12 first
place state winners, including the Best of Show, receive engraved plaques and special wildlife gifts such as backpacks or binoculars.
- 24 second
and third place winners will receive special wildlife gifts.
- Several schools selected at random will receive
- The California
Best of Show will go on to compete in a national contest. The first
place national winner receives a $5,000 cash award, a free trip to Washington,
D.C., to attend the Federal Duck Stamp Contest, and his/her winning
design is used on the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. The second
place national winner receives a $3,000 cash award; and the third place
national winner receives a $2,000 cash award. National top ten, $500,
National Conservation Message first place, $500; second place, $300;
third place, $200.
More than a dozen organizations and agencies have come together to make
the 2006-07 California program a success. Sponsors help with the cost
of producing and distributing calendars and posters to teachers statewide.
Contributions also fund prizes such as binoculars, backpacks, art supplies,
and savings bonds for winning students and schools.
Materials for Teachers
The Junior Duck Stamp Program uses the environment as the theme to creatively
teach and reinforce core subjects. Are you wondering why environment-based
education is valuable? Click here to see what
recent studies have shown.
If you are interested
in using this program but are unsure about instructing students in sketching
and drawing waterfowl, click
here to view our Waterfowl ID and Drawing Guide. This resource offers
several approaches to drawing, includes step-by-step examples, highlights
several duck species, and includes simple tips for bird identification.
Since the program
began, several activity resources have been assembled:
- In 1990,
the first curriculum for the Junior Duck Stamp Program was developed.
It is a K-12 booklet emphasizing the arts (music, dance, art appreciation,
poetry) and is available by clicking
- In 1996,
the Federal Duck Stamp Office produced a new activity guide emphasizing the sciences, addressing topics such as field journals, adaptation,
endangered species, migration, habitats, and conservation action. Click
here to download a copy of this guide.
- In 2001-02,
the California partners began providing activity options on the back
of program posters: