Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented to a member of the American Camp Association. The award recognizes an individual for outstanding service in the field, as well as leadership within ACA.
- Jane Sanborn, Rocky Mountain
National Honor Award
The National Honor Award is designed to recognize meritorious service by an ACA member or former member for noteworthy contributions to the advancement of camp through leadership and industry.
- Phil Liebson, Chesapeake
- Carl Metzger, Esq., New England
National Service Award
The National Service Award is designed to recognize continued and increasing service to ACA at the national level.
- Jared Knight, Southwest
- Johnny Domenico, Rocky Mountain
- Andrew Kimmelman, Southern California/Hawaii
- Darby Dame, Southeastern
Hedley S. Dimock Award
The Hedley S. Dimock Award is given to one who contributes to camping through related fields such as outdoor education, conservation, recreation, medicine, education, architecture, or social sciences.
- Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner
Founders, Foundation for Jewish Camp, New York/New Jersey
Jack Weiner Leadership Award
The Jack Weiner Leadership Award is designed to support a young person who is pursuing a career in the camp field. The award ensures professional development by providing financial support for the recipient to attend and fully participate in the ACA National Conference.
- Marshall Cherry, Rocky Mountain
Special Recognition Award
The Special Recognition Award is designed to honor groups, organizations, or individuals for their efforts to promote camp on a national level.
- Steven R. Nelson, Oregon Trail
- Maine Summer Camps (MSC) - Indigenous Neighbors Working Group, New England
Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence
The Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence is designed to honor programs that develop effective, creative responses to the needs of people and/or societal problems using the camp environment or programs which demonstrate the positive contributions the camp experience has on the well-being of individuals and society.
- Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Y Camp at Horsethief Reservoir, Oregon Trail
- CampOut Family Camp, Michigan
- Camp Kiwanis, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Southeastern
- Camp Pemigewassett, Cans from Campers, New England
- MGH Aspire, New England
Eleanor P. Eells Award for Research in Practice
This award recognizes excellence in research practices that improve program practice or evaluate the outcomes of the camp experience.
- Camp Twin Lakes, Southeastern
Marge Scanlin Research Award
Marge Scanlin was a driving force behind many of the research efforts of ACA. Upon her retirement, this award was established as an ongoing tribute to recognize Marge’s contributions. The monetary award is given annually to a student in recognition of their completed research efforts that result in originality, innovation, and significant contribution to the advancement of the body of knowledge concerning the camp experience. In addition to being presented with the award at the national conference, the winner will present the research at the Research Symposium.
- Monica Arkin, University of Massachusetts Boston, New England
J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe Golden Quill and Golden Lens Awards
These awards, which are funded through a memorial established in J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe’s name, encourage excellence in writing and photography. The awards recognize those individuals who contribute their talents to Camping Magazine through quality articles that address the needs of camp professionals and outstanding photography.
2024 Golden Quill Recipient:
- John Hamilton, MA, Bedford, NH, for the article “Foster a Feeling to Cross the Generational Divide” (published September/October 2023).
- Dave Thoensen, Lincolnshire, IL, for the article “Addressing the Elephant in Camp: Little Pay Creates Big Challenges” (Published March/April 2023), Southeastern
2024 Golden Lens Recipient:
- Joshua Reed for the photo “Camp ‘Specs’-tacular!”; The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County, Shrewsbury, NJ
- Ruth Jay Royce Mabwe for the photo “Go with the Flow”; Camp Friendship, Palmyra VA
During the conference, members of the news media will have the opportunity to interview featured presenters, keynote speakers, and ACA spokespersons. For additional information, interview requests, and press credentials, please contact us at pr@ACAcamps.org or 812-269-2819.
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization serving the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps in the US who annually serve 26 million campers. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accreditation provides public evidence of a camp's voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit ACAcamps.org or call 800-428-2267.