“Optimist International Scholarship Programs

Communications Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

2023 – 2024 Topic “How to Change the World With Optimism”

The 2023 – 2024 District Conference should be in early May
17 th , at the Indiana School for the Deaf, 1200 E. 42 nd St. in Indianapolis.

Students who are certified to have a hearing loss of 40 decibels or more may compete in this contest designed to help them develop the skills and confidence to present in sign or orally to an audience.

2023 – 2024 Indiana South District Contest dates and locations to be announced.

For more information on how to enter a CCDHH contest, please contact your local Optimist Club.
To learn how to run a contest for your club, go to the CCDHH Section of the Optimist International website.

Essay Contest

2023 – 2024 Topic “Optimism: How it Connects Us”

Club Contest must be completed by 2/28/2024

The 2023 – 2024 District Contest will be held at the 3rd Quarter Conference

This contest requires students to compose a 700- to 800-word essay around a central idea. The contest is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills.

For more information on how to enter an Essay contest, please contact your local Optimist Club.
To learn how to run a contest for your club, go to the Essay Contest Section of the Optimist International website.

Oratorical Contest

2023-24 Topic “How to Change the World with Optimism”

Club Contest must be completed by 2/29.

Regionals will be held in the North in Plainfield, IN on Sunday March 10th at the Plainfield Public Library at 2:00 pm.

In the South, it will be held on Sunday, March 17th at the Santa Claus Christian Church at 1:30 pm (central time)

The 2023 – 20224  District Oratorical Contest will be held at the 3rd Quarter Conference on April 13th 2024  at the Jasper Kimball Headquarters in Jasper, IN

For more information on how to enter an Oratorical contest, please contact your local Optimist Club.
To learn how to run a contest for your club, go to the Oratorical Contest Section of the Optimist International website.

Optimist International Sports Programs

Indiana South District Junior Golf Tournament

Golf Course: Oak Tree Golf Course

Location: 4712 US-40, Plainfield, IN 46168

Dates: June 14, 2024

Age Divisions Offered: BOYS 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18

GIRLS 10-12, 13-14, 15-18

Registration Fees: $70.00 (Boys 16-18 and Girls 15-18)

$55.00 (Boys 14-15 and Girls 13-14)

$35.00 (Boys 10-11, Boys 12-13, and Girls 10-12)

For more information on entering the District Tournament, or for sponsorship opportunities, go to the District Golf Tournament web page.

District Tournament Dates: Dates to be finalized and announced later.

The District Tournament also serves as a qualifier for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.


Tri-Star Sports Programs

The Tri-Star Programs are optional activities that Clubs can sponsor in any or all of the following sports:
basketball, baseball, soccer, football, in-line hockey, or ice hockey.

Each Tri-Star Sports program focuses on three skills competitions.
Clubs may find more information at the Online Resource Library on the Optimist International website.





Indiana South District Tri-Star Basketball

The location for the district Tristar Basketball finals will be the Franklin Community Middle School, 625 Grizzly Cub Dr. Franklin, IN from 1-3 PM on March 16th. For more information, contact Jack Nichols at 317-946-6311.

Indiana South District Tri-Star Golf

A program of the Indiana South District!
Click on the TriStar Golf link to get everything you need to hold a Tri-Star Golf Program.
Already know what you need? Then this is a great refresher…otherwise, this will lead you through the setup and execution of a very enjoyable activity.
It’s great for the kids!

Childhood Cancer Campaign “Providing the Care … Finding the Cure”

“Providing the Care … Finding the Cure”

June has been designated as Optimist Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Optimist International will be hosting an organization-wide walk to promote childhood cancer awareness and raise much-needed funds.
All Clubs are asked to sponsor a CCC Walk during June.

Find out about the Childhood Cancer Campaign Coin Banks from Optimist International.
This is an easy and inexpensive way to get involved with this great program!

Learn how your Optimist Club can help support the Childhood Cancer Campaign.

Matching Grants program is open to Optimist Clubs and Districts to complete and submit an application requesting assistance with various CCC projects and fundraisers.
The application is reviewed by the CCC Advisory Panels and a determination is made. Grants are awarded to Clubs and Districts that raise money or provide additional funds for the CCC-focused project.

Optimist International also has information on Childhood Cancer Campaign projects and programs that other clubs are doing.

Youth Safety

Bike riding, Skateboarding, In-line skating, Riding the school bus, Riding in automobiles and Exploring the internet

The Optimist International Youth Safety community activity encompasses all of the activities originally included in the Safety on Wheels program as well as new activities concerning Internet safety.

Your Club’s Youth Safety project can be held at any time during the year.
Choose one of the ideas in the Planning Guide, get started with a Poster Contest program, or try out one of these club activities!

Internet Safety Program

“Keep Safe – Keep Away – Keep Telling”
A special part of Optimist International Youth Safety

I Keep Safe my personal information…all of it!
I Keep Away
 from Internet strangers…no matter what they tell me.
I Keep Telling my parents or a trusted adult…about everything I see on the Internet.

Children’s Internet Safety Education with Faux Paw, the Techno Cat

Optimist International has partnered with the Internet Keep Safe Coalition to educate children about the potential dangers of the internet and how to protect themselves while online.

The Optimist “Faux Paw” program is designed for children in first through fourth grades and teaches about the importance of Internet Safety through an animated story. This program is also designed to be presented by Optimist Clubs to a group of any size.

Adult Internet Safety Education

This program is offered to adult groups of any size in order to educate them about the dangers on the internet that young people can unknowingly fall into. There is information and suggestions on how to keep children safe while navigating the online world and what adults can do to protect young people using the internet.

Materials for the Internet Safety program are available through Optimist International.

Youth Appreciation Week

Optimists Recognize Youth!

The Youth Appreciation Program offers Optimist Clubs the opportunity to make a community impact by holding one or more worthwhile, fun events that involve both adults and children. All kinds of different events can be part of a Youth Appreciation program.

You can find great ideas for your Club’s Youth Appreciation Week in the Optimist International Program Guide and more projects in the Online Resource Library.

Your Club’s project can be held in November…or you can recognize youth any time during the year.

Respect For Law/Promotion of Non-Violence

Respect For Law Programs

Promotion of Non-Violence Programs

This motivational program can be a Fingerprinting Fair, a get-acquainted event between youth and local law enforcement officials, or a “What peace means to me” poster contest for young kids.

Your club’s project can be as complex as a family rally for non-violence…
or as simple and memorable as honoring your local law enforcement officers:
Invite them to your meetings,
Have a special program and/or dinner for them,
Honor them with Certificates of Appreciation or Plaques.


See the Planning Guide on the Optimist International website for more information and program ideas.

Always remember to submit articles to local media of the events that are sponsored by your club.

Respect For Law Camp

Held by the Indiana State Police

Respect For Law Camp

These leadership camps are co-sponsored by the Indiana District Optimists

Kids in the 5th and 6th grade are eligible for this special 2-day camp held at various sites and dates around the state. (Co-Ed for Campers entering 5th & 6th grades). Programs include spectacular demonstrations by Emergency Response Team members, Bomb Squads, Underwater Search and Rescue Teams, and police dogs.

2024 Dates:
Pioneer camps are by recommendation only: Ages 11-14

Lincoln Pioneer Camp: June 17-20, 2024
Mounds Park Camp: June 10-13, 2024
Mollenhour Camp: June 24-27, 2024

Law Camps: 6th, 7th and 8th Grade

Columbus Law Camp (Columbus Indiana): July 9 – July 13, 2024
Anderson Law Camp (Anderson Indiana): June 30 – July 3, 2024

Career Camps: High School Age

Vincennes Career Camp (Vincennes Indiana): June 23 – 28, 2024
Trine Career Camp (Angola Indiana): July 7 -12, 2024
Anderson Cadet Camp (Anderson Indiana): June 23-29, 2024
Cadet Camp email- IYCLEA.cadet@gmail.com

Shield Project
Anderson College (Anderson Indiana): June 5-9, 2024

Check out our website:

Contact Us Today:
Email: itysinfo@trooper.org
Phone: 1-317-951-3882
Indiana Troopers Youth Services, Inc.
8660 East 21st Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219

See the Camp Brochure and the State Police Youth Camp page for more information.

The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)

An Optimist International Endorsed Organization

The Indiana South District supports the goals of the HOBY mission.

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to provide lifelong leadership development opportunities that empower individuals to achieve their highest potential. HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students.
HOBY programs provide youth selected by their schools to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning and motivation-building experiences. HOBY also provides adults with opportunities to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering.

“HOBY Ambassadors,” HOBY’s name for the participants in their programs, are high school students selected as representatives from their high schools because they have demonstrated the potential to lead others.

Registration packets for the student participants, High School sophomores, are mailed to schools in September.

Your club can sponsor a student! For more information, please go to the HOBY website.
Additional contact information can be found on the Optimist International Endorsed Organizations Page.

Fundraiser Ideas and Plans

From the Indiana South District and Optimist International

Fundraisers in the District

Find information about different kinds of fundraisers.
Every one of them is actually being done by at least one club in the District.


Optimist International Fundraising Ideas

Big Bass Bonanza, Old Bagger’s Day, Haunted Hall, Bowl For Kid’s Sake, Gourmet Popcorn, Motorcycle Poker Run – you name it, there might well be a fundraiser involving it on the Optimist International Club Fundraising Projects Page. You will also find contact info to get more details.

On the Optimist International Ideas and Suggestions page, there are ideas for and a brief description of all kinds of projects, including Christmas Tree Pick-up, Coat Check, Full-Service Fill-up/Car Wash, Penny Drive, Funny Hat/Bad Tie/Casual Day, and even a Bake Sale.

A third link to “A List of Fundraising Ideas from A to Z” is on the same page as links to the previous two items.