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YOUTH ACTVITIES

The Veterans of Foreign Wars believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. Each year youthful minds are encouraged to examine OUR nation's history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition and the Patriot's Pen youth essay-writing contest. Starting in September of each year the VFW, Post 1503 solicits input from students who are enrolled in a public, private, parochial high school or a home study program within the boundaries of the Eastern end of Prince William County.

Each year, more than 51,000 high school students from across the country enter to win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFWs Voice of Democracy (VOD) audio-essay competition. Knowing that a democratic society needs nurturing, the VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place VOD winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipients, American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Annually, approximately 112,000, students from across the nation in grades 6-8, enter the Patriots Pen essay writing contest to win one of several savings bonds totaling $1.2 million, as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National first place winner. Students are required to draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an - always patriotic - annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

Other activites that Post 1503 support and participate with are the Boy Scouts of America. VFW Post 1503 is the Charter Organization and proudly sponsors Boy Scout Troop 1919; formed in 1986. We provide special presentations for Scouts receiving the Eagle rank. We encourage our leaders to be fully trained and provide scholarships for troop leaders to take the BSA Woodbadge Training program. Our troop regularly attends summer camp, has monthly campouts and supports the Post in semi-annual street clean up and jointly supports many community activities and youth programs with the VFW.

The Troop has regular meetings every Wednesday at 7:30 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. at the VFW Post on Minnieville Road in Dale City.