In an example of great partnering, Family Travel Forum (FTF) and the Society of American of Travel Writers
teamed up to work with and announce the lucky bloggers who earned the 2012 Teen Travel Writing Scholarships, awarded by both of these respected professional travel content organizations.
The fierce competition attracted more than 6,300 students ages 13-18, educated in US or American-International schools or home-schooled, all of whom applied for the merit scholarships. This is the sixth annual travel writing scholarship contest, and Blog topics ranged from adventure trips and the power of nature, to journeys of self-discovery; and from historical and cultural exchanges to family reunions and heritage explorations.
The many tales of volunteer trips emphasized that human connections made are as important to teens as understanding new cultures.
There were three preliminary rounds of judging done by FTF Interns, senior members of the Society of American Travel Writers and FTF Editors. Family Travel Forum CEO, Kyle McCarthy, said FTF managed the huge volume of "eloquent" travel tales, photographs and videos.
The quarter-finalist rank was attained by 23% of the total entries; semi-finalist travel blogs numbered less than 1%. From these, the top finalist essays, only .036% of those submitted, were passed to a panel of professional travel journalists, editors and photographers from SATW who judged them on "originality, eloquence and a sense of place."
FTF is honored by the continued support and participation of SATW because of its commitment to responsible journalism, conservation and the preservation of travel resources worldwide.
The travel industry congratulates the Winners of the 2012 Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarships and thanks all the applicants for submitting such great work.
1st Place $1,000 plus a family of 4 vacation to Universal Orlando Resort: "Vietnam And My Baby Sister" by Kaitlyn Kraybill-Voth, Denver, Colorado.
2nd Place $500: "Bellwin's Look On The Philippines"by Nathan Eldridge, Rockwall, Texas.
3rd Place $200: "Slices Of Life: Charleston, South Carolina" by Anna Squires, Roswell, Georgia.
For the full list of 2012 Scholarship Honorable Mentions, please visit Family Travel Forum.
The Honorarium includes travel journals and passes to any Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum.
For the third year, prizes for Best Photograph and Best Videoare given by SATW in recognition of the multimedia skills required of today's professional travel journalists.
2012 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Photography (SATW Honorarium of a $150 Photography Equipment Merchandise Gift Certificate) "Life As A Kyrgyz Nomad"by Christina Memmott, Rockwell, Maryland.
2012 Teen Travel Scholarship Best Video (SATW Honorarium of a $150 Photography Equipment Merchandise Gift Certificate) "Traveling Far To Reach A Close Destination"by Vadessa Camack, Aurora, Colorado.
Family Travel Forum (FTF) has helped globetrotters who "Have Kids, Still Travel!" with print and online guides since 1996. FTF sites have won many awards for their savvy tips and destination reviews.
FTF, author of “The Complete Idiots Guide to the Best Family Destinations”, Kyle McCarthy, (Penguin 2011), is also co-host of the annual Family Travel Conference for professional travel media.
The Society of American Travel Writers, established in 1955, provides professional support and development for its members, and encourages the conservation and preservation of travel resources worldwide.
And of course, at Universal Orlando Resort, visitors become part of the entertainment, soaring above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swinging above the streets with Spider-Man, and transformed into a banana-loving minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride.
We congratulate all the teen bloggers.
Image: Courtesy/Family Travel Forum