The American Camp Association® presents its Awards at the 2017 National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico


1200 Camp and Youth Development Professionals meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Martinsville, IN (February 6, 2017): The American Camp Association® (ACA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 National Awards. The award winners will be recognized at ACA’s National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico from February 21-24.

2017 Award Winners

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.

2017 Recipient:

Posie Taylor, White River Junction, VT

Posie’s work in camp culminated in her twenty-year service as Executive Director at The Aloha Foundation in Vermont, her childhood home. In 1977, she discovered ACA, and began an almost-forty-year connection, filled with challenges and great joys. 

Posie has recently retired from serving as the New England Representative on ACA's National Board. She has been active in the New England Affiliate, holding numerous offices, including president, vice president, and chair of various committees for education, planning, and funds development. A frequent conference presenter and contributor to Camping Magazine, Posie has served ACA National in many capacities, including the ACA Audit & Financial Policies Committee, the Strategic Planning Task Force, the Core Services Task Force, the 20/20 Task Force, and multiple terms on the National Board.

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.

2017 Recipients:

Chris Thurber, of Exeter, NH

Scott Ralls, of Granite Springs, NY

National Service Award

The National Service Award is designed to recognize continued and increasing service to ACA at the national level.

2017 Recipients:

Mark Zides, of Woodstock, NY

Beth Johns-Thomas, of Milford, NH

Susan Yoder, of Martinsville, IN

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.

2017 Recipient:

Jalisa Danhof, of Newaygo, MI

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.

2017 Recipients:

Doug Siden, of Alameda, CA

Ken Glotzer, of New City, NY

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.

2017 Recipients:

Camp Corn Starch in Meridian, TX

Camp for All 2U in Burton, TX

Camp Sea Stars North in Newtown, CT

Camp Twitch and Shout in Dunwoody, GA

Camp Rising Sun in Albuquerque, NM

National Military Family Association — Operation Purple in Alexandria, VA

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.

2017 Recipients:

Roundup River Ranch in Gypsum, CO

Sanborn Western Camps in Florissant, CO

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.

2017 Recipient:

Ryan Gagnon, of Central, SC

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.

2017 Golden Quill Recipient:

Karen Goeller of Terre Haute, IN, for the article “Grab the Teenage Window of Opportunity” (published March/April 2016).


Scott Arizala, of Ann Arbor, MI, for the article “The Kids Are All Right” (published May/June 2016).

2017 Golden Lens Recipient:

Christina Allan of Boston, MA; Photo “Reaching New Heights”; Everwood Day Camp


Jolena Tanuvasa, of Kailua, HI; Photo “Waterfront”; Kama’aina Kids

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 or 812-269-2819.

About ACA:

The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization with more than 10,000 individual members and nearly 3,000 member camps.  ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults.  ACA provides advocacy and evidence-based education and professional development, and is the only national accrediting body for the organized camp experience.  ACA accredits approximately 2,400 diverse camps nationally.  ACA-Accredited® Camps meet up to 300 health and safety standards.  Accreditation provides public evidence of a camp’s commitment to the health, safety, and overall well-being of both campers and staff.  For more information, visit