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 Awards for Program Excellence:
- Motivate staff to develop effective, creative responses to the needs of people through camp.
- Encourage the development of creative responses to societal problems through camp.
- Stimulate the exchange of creative ideas with others.
- Promote, in and out of camping, the positive contribution camp makes to the well-being of individuals and society.
- Give recognition and honor to those whose programs exemplify these objectives.
- Past Recipients 
- Nomination Form  (PDF cannot be saved in Acrobat Reader. Please fill in fields and print, then fax back to ACA: 765-342-2065)