Freedom Essay Writing Contest

Alyssa Christoffers, Moorhead MN

Miles Hofer, Huron SD

Grand Prize

Team entry (2 person) into the Wounded Warriors Ice Tournament, Woodland Resort Devils Lake ND January 15/16. Lodging included at Woodland Resort. (Gear provided if needed) Publication in Dakota Country Magazine, and local newspapers. An opportunity to read your submission on American Heroes Outdoors TV.

  • Top 5 submissions will receive an American Heroes Outdoors T-Shirt and Decal
  • All participants will receive an American Heroes Outdoors Decal

General Guidelines

Freedom is different for everyone. Tell us what it means to you and let us know why you have the freedom you do today.






Recently American Heroes Outdoors TV along with Woodland Resort and Dakota Country Magazine sponsored a writing contest for youth. The writers only guideline was to talk about what freedom means to them.

All too often freedom is overcomplicated with analysis and abused as an excuse for one’s actions. By limiting the age group for the contest we were able to bring freedom back to the basics.

The raw wisdom and honesty in the essays made reading them very special… which in turn made selecting a winner difficult. In our eyes every single submission was worthy of a blue ribbon and we were proud to read their thoughts. However, for the sake of the contest we whittled it down to two and from there we decided to choose two winners.

Both Alyssa’s and Miles’ entries talked about freedom and what the word itself meant. They both talked about specific examples in their own lives but one thing remained the same, just as it had in all the other entries: Writers talked about the price paid for freedom. They talked about Heroes who have sacrificed for our freedom.

Someone once defined a Hero as, “An ordinary person facing extraordinary circumstances and acting with courage, honor, and self-sacrifice.” They couldn’t be more right, and as we read essay after essay we realized that our writers nailed it. No matter what freedom means to each of us there are people who will do anything necessary to secure that freedom. This selflessness is why we are the greatest nation in the world.

As Veterans Day draws near we would like to offer these essays as a way of saying thank you to so many men and women who have sacrificed for freedom.

American Heroes Outdoors TV is a Television series operated by a non-profit company that showcases veterans, police, first responders and veterans organizations. It focuses on their stories and show viewers the amazing aspects of the great outdoors.

Check us out at

What Freedom Means to my Family
by Miles Hofer, 9
Huron, SD
Parents, Becky and Toby Hofer

Freedom means many things to my family.

My dad, my mom and I all have different ideas of freedom. Dad believes freedom is to snowmobile and to hunt. Freedom means you can go to different churches. He says many families don’t get to do that in other countries.

My mom says freedom means that no matter where you come from you have a chance to make your own future. Mom thinks freedom means opportunity. Mom thinks that God gave everybody free will.

I say freedom is an opportunity that most countries don’t have yet, but I think about those soldiers as heroes. Freedom of speech and freedom of protest are in America’s laws. Not every country has that.

Freedom means many things to my family. I am happy because I have freedom. I am thankful to are troops for protecting are freedom. America is land the free because of the brave.


by Alyssa Chirstoffers, 13
Moorhead, MN
Mom is Collette Christoffers


Freedom to me means pride. We take pride in what we fight for. We are proud in our nation. Our flag symbolizes our country and we are proud in all of the wars and conflicts we have overcome throughout the years.

The song “I’m Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood says in its lyrics “ ‘cause the flag still stands for freedom”.

Our nation’s flag reminds me of the people who fought and are fighting for our country and our freedom. I remember singing this song in elementary school, and when the song hit the chorus, all the kids would belt it out. I felt pride in those moments.

I can’t imagine what it would feel like to not be free. I’ve lived in the United States all of my life and I don’t realize how good my life is. When I hear about other country’s conflict and what they are going through, I’m glad I live in the United States and that I have the rights I do.

I’m proud of our nation and I’m proud of the soldiers who fight and fought for our country. America is a great and awesome nation, and I’m proud to be part of it. We should all be proud in our nation and we should be proud to be an American.


No purchase necessary. Contest is open to all students in grades 1-12 who go to school in the United States. Only one entry per student.

Students must write their own individual essays on "How a particular American freedom (i.e., freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom of assembly) makes people's lives better." Elementary School Students (grades 1-5) are required to write an essay of approximately 100 (one hundred) words. Middle School Students (grades 6-8) and High School Students (grades 9-12) are required to write an essay not to exceed 300 (three hundred) words.

Entries will be judged in Elementary School (grades 1-5), Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12) categories with the winner in each category earning a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour for his/her class.

Entries for grades 1-2 can either be typed or handwritten in neat legible writing, by an adult if necessary.

All entries can either be submitted online at or via the U.S. Mail to the address below:

American Freedom Essay Contest
c/o The Constitutional Walking Tour
P.O. Box 2066
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Please note that entries submitted via U.S. Mail must include the contest entry form (pdf format). Handwritten entries from grades 1-2 must be submitted in hard copy via U.S. Mail to the address above.

Only one entry per student, although teachers are encouraged to enter multiple times for various students using our online submission tool.

Winning entries will be judged based on content and style including originality of thought, clarity of expression and analysis, as appropriate by school category. Judging will be conducted by The Constitutional Walking Tour and will be done so in its sole reasonable discretion, and all of its decisions are final.

The free field trip includes tickets for up to 45 people total (including students and chaperones) to go on The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia, but does not include transportation to/from Historic Philadelphia and admission into any of the sites along the 1.25 mile, 75 minute outdoor walking adventure. The free field trip also does not include any meals or snacks.

The free field trips must be scheduled in advance with The Constitutional in writing, and are based on availability. All field trips must be taken on or before April 13, 2018.

If the winning schools wish to add additional students or chaperones to attend The Constitutional Walking Tour, the cost for doing so is $11.00 per student and $15.00 per chaperone. These prices are current as of August 31, 2017, but the prices are subject to change without notice. No credit will be given for any unused portion of a free field trip.

All entries become the property of The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia and may be published either online and/or in print.

The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia is not responsible for any lost, misdirected or delayed entries. Entries received by telephone, fax, courier or personal delivery will not be accepted.

The winners and all of the attendees on the free field trips are also subject to all of the Terms & Conditions posted online at,

To view the winning essay entries, please click here

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