Joyce Caldwell 2023-2024 National Youth Activities Ambassador

Headshot of Joyce Caldwell

Now that February is here, we are now more than halfway completed with our Youth Activities Program during this 2023-2024Program Year. However, there is time to get the word out and work with our youth on our two remaining contests – Get Excited for the Red, White and Blue! singing contest for youth in grades K-12 and the Illustrating America art contest for youth in grades K-8. Deadline for both contests to Auxiliaries is March 31; Departments April 15; and, to National, May 5. Entry forms and instructions can be found in MALTA, Resources/Youth Activities.

Are you working with a youth group in your community? If so, don’t forget to show your appreciation for their hard work by presenting them with a patriotic youth citation. A fillable, printable version of this award is available in MALTA, Resources/Youth Activities.

It’s never too late to donate a book to your local school, library or a teachers classroom library in honor of our National President Carla Martinez. Labels to put on the inside of the book can be downloaded (MALTA, Resources/Youth Activities) and printed out.

Have you observed a youth showing patriotism or thanking a veteran or showing respect to our American Flag? If so, did you award that youth with a R.A.P. (Random Acts of Patriotism) card? A printable template is available in MALTA, Resources/Youth Activities. This is a fun and unique way to engage youth and encourage their patriotism.

FEBRUARY is known primary for Valentine’s Day and showing our family and others in our lives our love for them. But don’t forget other important dates during this month. Did you know . . .


February 6:    Massachusetts – 6th State to ratify the U.S. Constitution by vote

February 6:    20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted

February 12: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

February 14:  Ash Wednesday

February 19:  George Washington’s Birthday Observed (Presidents Day)

February 23:  American Flag raised on Iwo Jima (1945)

February 27:  Battle of Java Sea (World War II, 1942)


Presidents Day, of course, is usually celebrated as the third Monday in February and this 2024 year will be celebrated on Monday, February 19. One idea to get our youth involved is to invite them to your Post for a mini-celebration. Provide snacks, drinks (i.e. juice boxes or soft drinks) and patriotic coloring pages. Have a judging and award the winners a patriotic book or an Americanism pencil or other patriotic awards. Take pictures and/or ask a representative from your local newspaper to be present. Don’t forget to have available the youth photo release forms for completion by parents and/or guardians. Make it a fun and fulfilling night for our youth.


The support you give our youth will motivate and encourage them to support our veterans and become leaders of tomorrow.