An official army family and MWR Site

YLBS FAQ

Q: Who can enter the contest?
A: Contest is open to Active Duty Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Army Spouse or U.S. Army Retiree children preschool through twelfth grade.
 

Q: How do I enter the contest?
A: Tell us what it means to be a military kid through a drawing (ages 3 – 3rd grade) or written submission may be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc. (4th-12th grade). Submit your entry by visiting the "Enter" section of the site, downloading, completing your form and sending it in by April 30, 2021. Online/Email submissions should be titled "Young Lives, BIG Stories" with the sponsor's name and child's name (first and last name) in the subject line. All submissions must have a COMPLETED and SIGNED (by a parent/legal guardian/sponsor) entry form.

Q: What types of files are accepted?
A: The following file types are accepted for entries: .doc, .pdf, .jpeg, .png. Files must be under 5 MB.
 

Q: What are the categories for the contest?
A: The contest is open to children of active duty Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve, preschool through 12th.

  • Ages 3 – 4 (drawings only)
  • Ages 5 – 1st grade (drawings only)
  • 2nd – 3rd grade (drawings only)
  • 4th – 5th grade (Written submission may be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc.)
  • 6th – 8th grade (Written submission may be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc.)
  • 9th – 12th grade (Written submission may be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc.)

Q: How many times may I enter the contest?
A: Each participant may submit one (1) entry into the contest
 

Q: How many winners will be selected?
A: One prize winner will be selected from each category. The top overall winner will receive the grand prize.
 

Q: What are the guidelines for drawings?
A: Guidelines for drawings are as follows:

  • Drawings are only accepted from participants ages 3 – 3rd grade.
  • The drawings must reflect the question “What does it mean to you to be a military kid?”
  • Word (.doc), .pdf, .jpeg, .png files accepted.
  • Title your submission “Young Lives, BIG Stories Contest” and provide a brief description of your drawing (2-3 sentences).
  • All submissions must be under 5MB.
     

Q: What are the guidelines for written submission? may be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc.?
A: Guidelines for written submissions are as follows:

  • Written submissions are only accepted from participants in 4th – 12th grade.
  • Written submissions must answer the question “What does it mean to you to be a military kid?”
  • May be an original essay, poem, song lyric, etc.
  • Submissions must be at least 50 words up to 500 words in length.
  • Word (.doc), .pdf, .jpeg, .png files accepted.
  • All submissions must be under 5MB.
     

Q: What forms of entry are accepted?
A: Online entries are PREFERRED, but mail in entries will be accepted (must be postmarked prior to the end of the submission period). 

  • Online/Email submissions should be titled "Young Lives, BIG Stories" with the sponsor's and child's name (first and last name) in the subject line emailed to usarmy.jbsa.imcom-hq.mbx.g9-cys-services@mail.mil.
  • Mail entries can be sent to:

Department of the Army
IMCOM G9 – Child and Youth Services
ATTN: CYS Parent and Outreach Services
2455 Reynolds Rd.
JBSA, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-7588
 

Q: Does my parent need to sign anything for me to enter the contest?
A: All entries must have a completed and signed (by a parent/sponsor/legal guardian) entry form included with the submission.
 

Q: Can parents submit entries?
A: Submission may be submitted by parent or custodian of the child. The parent must be Active Duty Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Army Spouse, or U.S. Army Retiree.
 

Q: By when must the entries be submitted?
A: Entries must be submitted (or postmarked) by 11:59 p.m. CST April 30, 2021.
 

Q: Who may create the entries?
A: Entrants must have primary creative control of their submission, and all submission materials must be original. In the case of age category 3 yrs-3rd grade, parents may assist with the 2-3 sentence description of submission.
 

Q: What will disqualify an entry?
A: The use of violence, profanity and/or tobacco/alcohol in drawings or written submissions will automatically disqualify the entry from the contest,  or is not the entrant’s original work.

 

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