Youth Activities - There are a variety of local programs where students are encouraged to support our military and our veterans. They participate in community events, scouting, assist the VFW in projects, learn citizenship, and countless other projects. 

The VFW Auxiliary works to teach our nation’s youth the skills to become responsible adults through serving our country, communities, veterans and service members. We engage youth in positive volunteer experiences and believe every young person can find a place to serve that will improve their lives, as well as the lives they touch.

The Youth Activities Program:

  • Sponsors and works with youth groups such as:
    • Youth sports teams
    • Faith-based youth groups
    • After-school programs
    • Youth-focused organizations
    • School clubs
    • Home-school associations
    • Youth community service groups
    • Nonprofit organization youth advisory councils
    • Service learning and civic departments in high schools and colleges
  • Promotes and conducts the Get Excited for the Red, White and Blue! national anthem singing contest.
    • An individual singing contest for youth in grades K-12 at the time of local entry, and a U.S. citizen or U.S. national. Youth learn the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner” while expressing their creativity. The contest highlights the vocal talent of young people while promoting patriotism.
    • Entry will be judged on vocal ability, mastery of lyrics, originality or interpretation and entertainment value.
    • The contest consists of two grade divisions: K-8 and 9-12. There is one National winner in each grade division, with awards for first, second and third place in each grade division.
  • Promotes and conducts the Illustrating America art contest.
    • A patriotic art contest for elementary and middle/junior high school students that encourages students’ artistic abilities and rewards their hard work. It’s fun to see how our youth see the world through their drawings and paintings.
    • The contest consists of three grade divisions: K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. There is one National winner in each grade division, with awards for first, second and third place in each grade division.
    • See the first- through third-place 2021-2022 winners in each grade division. .
  • Promotes Patriotism through Literacy
    Introduces youth to historical figures and teaches them about events in our nation’s history while fostering a love of reading that can lead to a lifetime of learning.
  • Recognizes Random Acts of Patriotism (R.A.P.)
    We encourage and reward patriotism through R.A.P. If a child is seen thanking a veteran, properly placing their hand on their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance or involved in some other activity that promotes patriotism, we suggest giving them a R.A.P. card and/or coin. It’s a fun and unique way to engage children elementary age and younger!
  • Recognizes youth and youth groups for their efforts and service projects honoring veterans, service members and their families. We recognize these bright young citizens for their good work to ensure these activities become a part of their daily lives.


Award Forms

Get Excited for the Red, White & Blue!

Illustrating America

Patriotism Through Literacy

R.A.P. Cards

Youth Recognition Awards

2022 Camping Sessions 

Camp Trotter is a Children’s Camp located 7 miles East of Newaygo on M-82. The camp sits on the shores of one of west Michigan's beautiful and picturesque lakes. It is owned and operated by the Department of Michigan, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. The management and oversight is carried out by a committee of elected members of the Michigan VFW, who take pride in keeping the camp in pristine condition to ensure the comfort and safety of our guests. The camp is fully licensed and insured with the State of Michigan.

Camp Trotter exists primarily for children of veterans, but is not limited thereto; we offer five weeks of camping to children seven to twelve years old from all over the United States. The camp includes summer activities on site including swimming, boating, hiking, biking, arts and crafts, archery, softball, volleyball, as well as campfire activities. The children are given a general knowledge of science, art, and nature, and taught patriotism, courage, self reliance and kindred virtues. We try to further instill upon our campers morals and values by combining educational activities with fun.  Our goal is to guide and assist our youth to build a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.

Only through your generous donations can this camp accomplish these goals! Get a Camp Trotter life membership for honoring a Comrade or loved one. 50% of the money goes into a trust while the rest goes to maintaining the Camp.