Youth

Youth Committee Chair 2024-2025:  Jeannette Michelson

Youth Committee

The Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI  meets several times a year  from October through May with children from the community at the Ocean County Library in Surf City. Children in grades three to six are welcome to attend. Garden Club members instruct the children in gardening techniques, flower arranging  and environmental topics that are especially relevant to coastal areas. The activities vary by season and holidays but fun is always included!

May Flowers at the Youth Committee! May 2024

Photos by Jeannette Michelson  (click on images to enlarge)


Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

April showers did, indeed, bring May flowers and the Youth Committee, lead by members Sue Warren, Pauline Gertzen and chair Jeannette Michelson, met at the Surf City library on Wednesday May 15th with students in grades 3 through 6, to create a seasonal arrangement.

Annual flowers that attract pollinators, especially the super-pollinator bee, were featured in the garden container arrangement. Locally sourced euonymus greens formed the foundation for purple daisies, dainty asters, lavender stock, and the star pollinating flower, the sunflower. A busy ceramic bee completed the arrangement.

Each young designer was given the same greens and flowers to work with, yet each took home a unique floral creation. Packets of sunflower seeds and colorful UV protective sunglasses, were given to the participants to encourage them to plant and tend their gardens with pollinator-loving plants all summer long.

This is the final Youth Committee meeting for the current school year.

Meetings will begin again in Fall 2024.

Sparkling Spring! – March 2024

Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)


Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

The first full day of Spring 2024 brought some chilly weather to the island but it did not deter the Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI from creating some sparkling spring arrangements. The group of third to sixth grade students, lead by co-chairs Ginny Scarlatelli and Jeannette Michelson, along with members Alison Bowden, Paula Cofone, Pauline Gertzen and Lin Volpe, met on Wednesday March 20, 2024 at the Ocean County Library- LBI Branch Surf City to welcome Spring with a lively monochromatic yellow arrangement.

The sponge-painted clay pots of white, yellow and azure were filled with a variety of yellow flowers that included daisies, mums, alstroemerias and asters. Delicate and fragrant Eucalyptus branches and pussy willows rounded out the arrangements. A sparkly fire-fly pick and a bright yellow and white bow put the finishing touches on the design. A lively game of Flower Bingo completed the meeting. The young floral designers worked diligently on their arrangements and they each left with a unique spring floral design.

The Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI will meet next on Wednesday May 15, 2024 – 3:30 pm at the Ocean County Library-LBI Branch Surf City.

Happy Valentine’s Day! February 2024

Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)


Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

Did you know each flower has a special meaning? On Wednesday February 7, 2024 the Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI met with students in grades 3 thru 6 at the LBI Branch of the Ocean County Library- Surf City to create an arrangement where each flower contributed to a Valentine’s Day message. The committee was lead by Jeannette Michelson, chair and Ginny Scarlatelli co-chair along with members Pauline Gertzen and Paula Cofone.

The Very Valentine project highlighted  the concept of  “Floriography” or the “language of flowers.” Floriography assigned a specific meaning to each flower and rose to  popularity during Victorian times.  The heart-decorated containers were filled with white Carnations symbolizing sweetness, pink Carnations meaning “you are unforgettable,” and Baby’s Breath for innocence. Red Roses ,the stars of Valentine’s Day, topped the design with their  message of “Love.”  Strawberry and cream heart-shaped lollipops, sparkly hearts on curly willow and a Valentine’s Day card put the finishing touches on  the arrangement. The young designers were now  ready to take home their floral-message Valentine’s arrangements to give to that special someone,

The next meeting of the Youth Committee is on Wednesday March 20, 2024 at 3:30 pm at the LBI branch of the Ocean County Library for a “Sparkling Spring” project.

Happy Holidays!  December 2023

Graphic Design by Tracey Cameron/Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)


Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

On Wednesday December 13, 2023, the Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI met with students in grades 3-6 at the Surf City branch of the Ocean County Library to create a seasonal arrangement and paint a watercolor holiday card of their floral design. The group was led by Jeannette Michelson and Ginny Scarlatelli co-chairs, along with members  Gillian Rozicer and Paula Cofone.

The children first filled the containers with locally sourced greens including white pine, juniper and red cedar. They then placed white spider mums, red carnations and painted pine cones in their designs for a pop of winter color. Then former art teacher, Gillian Rozicer, briefly instructed the children on watercolor technique. The children worked diligently and  created  beautiful, hand painted holiday cards of their arrangements. They went home with a lovely floral design and a watercolor card that some lucky recipient will be thrilled to receive.

The next meeting of the Youth Committee is on Wednesday February 7, 2024 3:30pm at the Surf City branch of the Ocean County Library for a “Very Valentine Arrangement.”

Happy Halloween From the Youth Committee! October 2023

Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

The Youth Committee of the Garden Club of Long Beach Island, local students from grades 3 to 6, met on Wednesday October 18th 3:30pm at the Surf City library to create a seasonally scary Halloween arrangement. 

The group, led by chair Jeannette Michelson and co-chair Ginny Scarlatelli along with the enthusiastic assistance of members Paula Cofone and Lori DiGiacomo, began the project by making a “goggly-eyed” spider. Spiders, much like black cats, were thought to possess supernatural abilities that allowed them to communicate with spirits and ghosts and they have become an enduring symbol of Halloween. 

This lucky spider got to sit atop a lively fall assortment of flowers that featured a sunflower, daisies, mums, and local goldenrod. These were all arranged on a bed of greens. Each young floral designer took home a beautiful and unique “monstrously magnificent” Halloween arrangement.

The next meeting of the Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI will be on Wednesday December 13th, 3:30pm at the Surf City Library and will feature a winter holiday arrangement that the children will then paint in watercolor .

Firecracker 4th of July 2023

Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

The Youth Committee of the Garden Club of LBI,  led by chair Jeannette Michelson and co-chair Ginny Scarlatelli ,in conjunction with the Long Beach Township Parks and Recreation Department, hosted a patriotic floral design event  on July 4th for the children of LBI at  Bayview Park in Brant Beach. The design featured red carnations , spectacular white spider mums and  very blue daisies. The arrangement was topped off with a patriotic pinwheel and flag-themed shutter glasses. All supplies were provided courtesy of Barlow Buick GMC in Manahawkin. Everyone left with a smile and a beautiful patriotic arrangement for their holiday table.

Bloom in Art! May 2023

Graphic Design by Tracey Cameron/Photos by Jeannette Michelson (click on images to enlarge)

The Process


Submitted by Jeannette Michelson

The Youth Committee met on Wednesday May 17, 2023 at the Surf City Library for the last time this school season. A very special project was planned for the grades 3-6 participants. First,  chair Jeannette MIchelson,  co-chair Ginny Scarlatelli and member Paula Cofone  lead  the group in designing  a floral arrangement. At past meetings the students were presented with an example design. On Wednesday they were given greens and an assortment of flowers  including sunflowers, asters, daisies and proteus. They were  free  to design any arrangement they wanted. Some designs were compact while others were tall. Each was unique.

What followed was different from any previous project .  With a nod to the Garden Club’s Art in Bloom event the next day , the children were charged with painting an original watercolor  of their floral design. The students were then given a watercolor set, a  brush and paper. Gillian Rozicer, the club’s Publicity chair and former Art teacher, guided the group through the intricacies of creating with watercolors. As you can see from the photos below, the results were impressive. Photos of the children, their arrangement and painting, were included for display at the the Garden Clubs’s “Art in Bloom” the next day.

The Results

(click on images to enlarge)