Fri, 07/28/2023 - 10:45pm

What is a Junior Coordinator?

Everything you need to know about this kid-friendly role in AKC clubs

One of the suggestions in the best practices presented to and approved by the AKC Board is to add a role for all clubs:  a Junior Coordinator. This person will be an advocate for Juniors in the breed, the club or the sport, providing opportunities, acknowledgment and encouragement to young people. 

The coordinator may wish to form a committee to assist in handling the development of opportunities for Juniors with the breed, in the club or the sport. The first question one might ask is: How do we find Juniors that are participating in AKC events with our breed or within our area or sport?

On the AKC web site, you’ll find information on the Junior Recognition Program ( and the Junior Point Summary (

Enter year, breed and sport, and a list of Juniors with points earned will be presented. AKC cannot provide contact information; however, we will reach out to the contact for the Junior. A club may supply information and a contact to be reached.

Other suggestions for the Junior Coordinator:

 • Be the contact person for Junior members

 • Coordinate activities for Juniors participating at the national specialty, which might include a handling clinic, introduction to other events, grooming clinic, invite to attend the judges education seminar, breeder education seminar, social gathering and or outing, goodie bags.

• Maintain list of Juniors competing with the breed or in the area of the club in all events.

• Coordinate the awarding of scholarships for education to Juniors who competed with the breed.

 • Provide information for the parent-club web site about the Junior activities.

• Coordinate the highlighting of Juniors in club publications.

• Contact for those who may offer a dog to a Junior.

 • Coordinate recognition and awards for Juniors.

• Include Juniors in opportunities to promote purebred and purpose-bred dogs, such as Meet the Breeds, community events, parades, etc.

• Establish mentorship with officers of the club for Juniors to learn the roles of other positions.

• Coordinate Juniors participating in the Companion or Performance Events to assist with the events.

• Coordinate volunteer activities for Juniors, throughout the year as well as at the national: assist with social media, set up of any of the different events, monitor raffle, catalog sales, grooming space, etc.

Poodle Club of America has led the way with the activities and support offered to Juniors. The following is a report from Tabatha Waters.


What to Expect at the PCA National Specialty … IF You’re a Junior


By Tabatha Waters

Want to know what to expect if you’re a Junior participating at the Poodle Club of America’s national specialty? Walk through the week with me. They’ll be soooo much more you’ll experience, but we can at least hit the highs.

The Poodle Club of America (PCA) Junior Education Program was established in 2013 by Dennis McCoy, MaryEllen Fischler, Gina Wieser and Tabatha Waters. Its goal is:

Foster and reward youth participation, teach ethics in animal care, handling and training practices, encourage young people to become actively involved in the sport, instill good sportsmanship, generate pride in accomplishments earned competing with Poodles.

It’s a pretty awesome program. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Monday is Agility Day. And it’s also the first day the PCA Junior Education Booth is set up. It’s kind of hard to miss. The PCA Junior Ed banner hangs on the wall. It features the unique logo designed by Juniors, representing Juniors competing in Companion Dog and in conformation. It’s also got full-color photos from previous years, so don’t forget to SMILE!  You might be up there next year. 

The booth has several tables, because there’s the Take What You Want Library for Juniors as well as the silent-auction items generously donated by supporters, both Poodle people and non. Signs for the 50/50 raffle that funds the Anne Rogers Clark Stipend are in picture frames. Were you awarded a stipend for attending the national specialty? I HOPE SO! The Junior Education Program awards ALL Juniors who submit a completed application. (The ARC Stipend is also awarded to Poodle Juniors attending Westminster and the Royal Canin National Dog Show. AOJ Agility participants with Poodles are awarded, too!) Anyone who wants to know more about the stipend, or who needs an application for the Anne Rogers Clark Stipend, can email

Sign in with us at the Junior table, and then head off to check in with AKC Agility and Chuck A Duck. And explore!

Tuesday is rally and obedience. It’s been a goal of the PCA Junior Ed Program to reward Juniors in Companion Dog events as well as conformation, so head over to the table and pick up your towel with the Junior logo on it, and the welcome bag donated by Purina. Artero and Pet Agree Grooming are yearly sponsors of great awards for HIT Obedience, HIT Rally and HIT Agility, as well as Best Junior and Reserve Best Junior. They well understand that planting the seed now is believing in the future. Support, education and preparation now shape our future communities, and we appreciate them for that!

Don’t forget to volunteer! If you aren’t competing or getting your Poodle ready, rally and obedience and agility chairs welcome you Juniors as assistant ring stewards. It’s fun, and there’s lots to learn while you’re enjoying the competition.

Wednesday is a big day: It’s Pizza Party Dayyyyyy! 

We’ll have the Best Junior Competition. Current and past Juniors have helped ring-steward, and as tough as the competition is, there’s laughter and camaraderie and game faces on. Afterward, we’ll get that group photo and then head up for our Junior Party.



Past Juniors who are now professional handlers have held a fashion show of what to wear and what NOT to wear. That was fun! Others have shared stories of international competition and done their best to answer all questions. (Tricky!)  Last year Gina Wieser (above) gave a full judges’ education program on the Poodle, and this year Mari-Beth O’Neil explored the AKC Junior Program with us, AND every Junior got to join Take the Lead. Bill McFadden stopped in and talked about what it takes to be a professional handler.



(In addition to the activities coordinated by Gina Weiser, PCA supports the 2023 AKC Junior Open Agility World Team each year. PCA member and team manager Debby Dubay works tirelessly all year round to make this team possible.)

LISTENING and LEARNING while the experts talk is key, because after the presentation, the yearly Trivia Game is ON! There are super prizes, and you get to pick your prize by being the fastest to correctly answer a trivia question about the day’s presentation. Trivia questions are also asked about the national specialty and the breed standard, but all the questions come from activities we get up to during the week in the Junior Ed Program, so pay attention, take down your competition and get the prize you want. Sometimes we get a little carried away, but it’s super fun and we are learning and all expressing good sportsmanship in competition.

How ya doing? Staying with me?

Now, either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday afternoon, depending on time, it’s Hands-On With the Pros. Depending on the year, professional handlers have worked one on one with Juniors handling their dogs. Agility, rally and obedience skill classes are taught, we’ve learned CPR for our Poodles, and we’ve learned how to properly care for coat! Once, after the Juniors took the judges’ education class, they took turns judging AND explaining their placements.



Friday, we wrap it all up. The help from Juniors present and past with the silent auction and the booth pack-up is always welcome. We learn. We laugh. We joke.

We say our farewells. And we hope to see you next year in the PCA Junior Education Program.



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