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Rock Give-Aways
Reviving The FRA Youth Scholarships Home Sweet Home Rocks & Fossils are Cool Rock Give-Aways Starting a Junior Group Developing a Youth Program Junior Point of View Part 1 Junior Point of View Part 2 Economics II

By George and Rena Everett
February 1999 Lodestar (SFMS Newsletter)

Children love presents! And a present that is related to a hobby that they really like (or that we hope they are going to really like) is even more fun. Rock give-aways are a big hit at Junior meetings. There are always adults in the club who are willing to donate some of their "overflow' specimens for distribution to the juniors. There are also inexpensive rock-related items that could be bought with dues money and given for prizes. Dealers at shows are nearly always willing to give a prize or two.

You could start out with a freebie just for attending the meeting. Then there could be a door prize or two. There are several rock games on the market (such as Rock Bingo) that could be played, with the winners receiving a neat specimen. An even better idea might be for the juniors to make their own rock-related game and play that. In a little more serious vein, prizes could be given to those who demonstrate that they have learned some facet of the hobby -- the Mohs' scale, or how to conduct a scratch test, or identification of a certain number of minerals. When show time rolls around, there are lots of tasks that juniors can help with. Depending on your needs, a list of junior-do-ables could be made, each with a number of points designated. Upon earning a certain number of points, the junior could receive a prize.

The Jackson, Mississippi club had a 'Junior of the Year' award for several years, with the winner receiving a very nice specimen donated by one of our dealers. This contest went from show to show, all year long, and juniors received points for lots of different rock-related things -- field trips, trips to rock museums, visits to other clubs, articles written for the club newsletter (these articles had a further advantage of being eligible for the federations' bulletin editors contests), and others. 

Once you get the youngsters involved, their interest in the hobby will be self-perpetuating, and they, too, may grow up to help other "pups' learn to love rocks too.


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