[The contest becomes official: Essays received from students of Santa Barbara Middle School sit waiting to be read. Photo: Tim Davis]
Last January, a half-inch-thick manila envelope was delivered to Patagonia's edit department and that made the contest official. We had 16 essays from students attending Santa Barbara Middle School and now we had to decide which essay – if any – could serve as the field report for 2010 Patagonia Kids' catalog. We had a weak backup plan in case the contest didn't work out, but we basically banked on the idea that the kids could write.