Eleanor P. Eells Award


Eleanor P. EellsNew this year!

The Eleanor P. Eells Award will focus on recognizing program excellence as well as research in practice at camps. A total of six nominees will be selected for recognition at the National Conference and throughout the year. Evaluation and selection of the final awards will be completed by the National Awards Committee and the Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation (CARE) as a collaborative initiative to recognize excellence in all areas at camp! Two awards will be given out: the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence and the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Research in Practice.

Submit a Nomination


Eleanor P. Eells was a leader and inspiration within the field of camp throughout her life. She was an active participant in the Settlement House and Social Service Agency camp movements and a pioneer in therapeutic camping. She was one of the founders of the Fund for Advancement of Camping and served as its director through FAC's formative years.

Eleanor Eells had an equally important influence on the American Camping Association. She worked with FAC to support programs such as ACA's 1970s standards research and rewrite; the pilot Camp Director Certification Institute; the Camping Unlimited/Intergrouping Project; ACA's last reorganization; and securing government funding for campership use. Her greatest contribution was helping individuals and camps start new programs. When these programs were operating, she shared results with countless others.

Eleanor Eells' life was an example for the camp professional. The first recipient of ACA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, Eleanor Eells passed away in her 94th year in Calgary, Alberta.


The Eleanor P. Eells Awards are designed to honor programs that:

  1. Develop effective, creative responses to the needs of people and/or societal problems using the camp environment and encourage continued development of such ideas,
  2. Stimulate the exchange of creative ideas, or
  3. Present to the public examples of positive contributions camp has made

 Additionally, Research in Practice Awards will focus on programs that:

  1. Generate or apply innovative, quality research or evaluation.
  2. Use research or evaluation findings to improve program practice, and
  3. Share research or evaluation findings with others.


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