Successful nominations can either focus on a particular project or initiative, or describe an ongoing system of continuous program improvement.

Nominations typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • Evaluation projects implement reliable evaluation strategies and use evaluation data for meaningful program improvement. 
  • Research projects address questions intended to generate new knowledge or understanding. Findings can applied to similar camps or populations.

Nominations are judged the following criteria:

  1. Purpose and/or research questions are clearly stated and appropriate.
  2. Multiple stakeholder groups are engaged in the development of the project, such as frontline staff, parents, community partners, past or current participants
  3. Clear plan for ensuring ethical treatment of participants and data, including plan for protecting privacy and consent/assent processes
  4. Data collection methods selected to fit the project purpose/research questions; multiple methods used where appropriate
  5. Surveys and other evaluation tools tested to ensure reliability
  6. Findings are shared in a timely way and with multiple stakeholder groups
  7. Narrative describes specifically how findings are used to improve camp programs, practices, or policies.

The award review committee will recognize the nominations that best represent these criteria. To qualify for nomination for this Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Evaluation & Research, a program or camp must have been in operation for at least two years (planning and development time do not count), membership in ACA is not required. It is desired that a representative of the organization receiving this award be present to accept it at the annual ACA National Conference

Nominate Online 

Nominations are due by December 1.

Have questions? We are more than happy to discuss. Please feel free to contact the coordinator of the award:

Dr. Eddie Hill, CPRP (he/him)
Associate Professor 
Weber State University 


Past Recipients (Includes Program Excellence Winners)

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 Camp 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.