The TU-Orvis Teen Essay Contest

Use your words to inspire others and win gear

2021 Essay prompt: Public lands and green spaces are those places where we can go to walk a greenway and listen to the birds, sit in the shade of a tree to escape the summer heat, camp, fish, hike, and explore. Why are these places an important part of your life?

Read the 2021 winning essays below.

Looking for the 2022 contest? Check back in August for the 2022 Youth Essay Contest prompt.

Deadline: October 1, 2021

See contest rules below at bottom of page.

To enter:

  1. Email your questions and entries to
  2. Put “2021 TU/Orvis Teen Essay Contest” in subject line.
  3. Attach a MS Word or Adobe PDF file of your essay.
  4. At the top of your essay include: name, city, state, and grade of school you just completed.
  5. If you’re in a TU chapter let us know which one, too! (not required)

There will be two judging categories for prize winners:
8th grade through 10th grade
11th grade to 12th grade

For each category:
1st place: Orvis Helios 3 outfit
2nd place: Orvis Recon outfit or Orvis Bug Out Backpack
3rd place: Orvis Clearwater outfit or Orvis Guide Sling/Totebag combo

Last year we received lots of great submissions — they were thoughtful, funny, enthusiastic and heartfelt.  Thank you to everyone who participated.


  • Essays should be between 600-800 words. They must not be more than 800 words.
  • Essays must be your own original work (no plagiarizing).
  • Submissions are due by the deadline.
  • All authors agree to allow Trout Unlimited and Orvis to re-post their piece on their websites, TROUT magazine, and promote it through appropriate TU and Orvis social media channels.