Awards, Contests & Scholarships

Trackway, St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site, Image Credit: Lora Hall

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Lillian Turner Outstanding Junior Exhibit

Many years ago a very special rockhound, Lillian Turner of Bethesda, Maryland, realized that the future of our hobby ultimately rests in the hands of those who are now juniors. She established a fund to award a junior whose exhibit is judged best at the national show. The winner receives $100.00 and blue ribbon at the AFMS annual Awards Banquet.

To qualify, a junior must not have reached his/her 18th birthday at the time of the show and can compete in any of the 11 different divisions based on their interest. In the event there are no Junior entries in the competitive exhibit category, a Junior exhibit case in the non-competition category will be chosen.

This is a chance for juniors to share their collections, showcase their knowledge, and display their craftsmanship!

Congradulations to the 2023 winner Gabe Murphy, junior member of the Hellgate Mineral Society and the Bitterroot Gem & Mineral Society for his Educational Display - Colors of Obsidian!

2022 Junior Rockhound's of the Year

Rocky Mountain Federation 

Hannah Brodhagen - Mineralogical Society of Arizona, AZ

In recognition of her volunteerism to Mineralogical Society of Arizona (MSA) in 2022 shows Hannah Brodhagen is awarded 2022 Junior Rockhound of the Year.  Hannah entered her first competitive mineral exhibit at 2022 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show® and 2nd competition at 2022 Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies Convention Show in Las Vegas and won 1st Place and Best Junior Trophies for both competitions.  Hannah installed an exquisite mineral and gemstone exhibit at MSA’s November 2022 Show that received much acclaim.  Her volunteerism & participation at MSA Show and earth science events promoting the hobby and society is truly inspiring. Congratulations on your selection as 2022 Junior Rockhound of the Year as voted by general membership! 

California Federation

Rachel Phillips - Santa Lucia Rockhounds, CA

Rachel Phillips and her mother have been members of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds Club based in Atascadero, CA, since 2015. They enjoy the meetings and field trips immensely. Rachel graduated from the Juniors program and continues to help during the meetings to nurture new Juniors. She enjoys collecting rocks and learning lapidary and flint knapping skills. Rachel loves going to community events where rockhounds are present to continually seek self-improvement and learning experiences. She is an honor roll student at Paso Robles High School and has lived in many places around the country since her parents were both in the Army.

Kai Kalma - Del Air Rockhounds Club, CA

Kai is now 13 years old and has been a junior member of the Del Air Rockhounds since 2016...when he was just 7 years old. Kai was born with a true rockhounder's soul. He loves to go collecting in the field, looking for fossils, rocks, minerals and crystals. He also has an exceptional eye for making exceptional finds. He attends our shop days and has learned how to safely use many of the various lapidary tools of the trade. Kai recently entered his self-collected Coprolite (Dino Poop) collection at the 2022 CFMS Show and Convention and scored a perfect 100 points winning a first-place trophy in his division. Kai was also awarded the first ever 'Junior Rockhound Best in Show' as presented by the 2022 CFMS Show Chairperson, Susan Walblom. Needless to say, we are very proud of Kai and his accomplishments and are blessed to have him and his whole family as members of the Del Air Rockhounds Club.

Rylee Jones - Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, CA

Rylee Jones has been a member of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society for quite a few years. We have watched him grow up to the great age of 12. This year, he has attended all the pebble pups classes, he volunteered at the CFMS Show in the kids’ booth and demonstrated carving at the show. He exhibited at the CFMS Show in competition and won! He helped at the kids booth at our Ventura Gem show. He has volunteered at the Ventura County Fair, several days demonstrating carving. It is so nice to have a child demonstrating his carving skills, lots of kids and adults stop and ask questions. An outstanding Pebble Pup so happy he is part of VGMS.

Northwest Federation

Teddy Bunch - Hatrockhounds Gem & Mineral Society, OR

Hatrockhounds Gem and Mineral Society of Hermiston, Oregon, wish to nominate Teddy Bunch as our AFMS Junior Rockhound of the Year. Teddy is a busy Junior with the support of his Mom and Grandma. He is an active participant in our Junior meetings and helps in the kids’ corner at our annual show. This year, Teddy refined his educational display case on “Rocks of the World” and entered it in competition at the NFMS Gem and Mineral Show. He received a blue ribbon, a trophy from the Regional Club, and two plaques from the NFMS for his efforts! We are very proud of Teddy and so very happy to have him as one of our members. Way to go, Teddy!

Elisheba Fitch - Hellgate Mineral Society, MT

Elisheba has been a junior in our club for quite a few years, attending club meetings alongside her family. She was very excited when we started our Junior’s program several years ago, and has never lost that excitement. In fact, she now shares that zeal with other kids in the community as she invites them to join our group. Due to her enthusiasm, we have gained several families in our club, as well as more kids in the junior’s group. Elisheba is always volunteering her time, whether it be to help during the meetings or to participate during our annual rock and gem show. All her volunteer work for the club helped her to achieve earning the new AFMS Junior Volunteer Award. Elisheba was the first junior who decided to have an entry in our local show, and her entry last year showed off her rock animal collection. She also enters geology exhibits into our county fair and placed best in show for her volcano entry last summer. In 2021 at the age of 11, Elisheba completed earning ALL of the Future Rockhounds of America badges! Currently, she has been working on earning all of them for a second time and has already achieved six of the twenty! She loves attending field trips and always seems to find some of the best specimens. We are very proud of Elisheba and are very blessed to have her in our club! 

Click to see the NEW

Future Rockhounds Juniors Volunteer Award 

For YOUR Juniors in Your Own Club! 

About the image on this page

This trackway preserved at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site in Utah is from an unknown species of dinosaur that lived 200 million years ago in the late Jurassic. Tracks are a special type of trace fossil called ichnites and the scientist that study them are called iconologists. 

Image credit: Lora Hall