Awards in ACA, Southern California/Hawaii

It has been a long tradition of the American Camp Association, Southern California / Hawaii area to pay tribute to those who make an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of the camp movement, and who play an important role in ACA.  It is crucial as an industry and profession that we take the time to celebrate our successes and the individuals and organizations that have helped to make the camp experience happen in the lives of children, families and their communities. 

Please take a minute to consider your colleges and camp programs that deserve recognition! Make your nomination today! 

The Rising Star Award

2018 Recipients: Marina Knize and Stephen Smigielski

This award is given to recognize individuals who are new to service in organized camping and the local area. Awards will be presented at the Spring Leadership Conference.

To qualify for nomination:

  • The candidate must be a member of Southern California/Hawaii.
  • The candidate must be new to local service.
  • There is no age criteria for this award.

List of past Rising Star Award past recipients

Nominate a candidate for the Rising Star Award  

The Paul Somers Golden Acorn Award

2019 Recipients: Andrea Watson, Cal Fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department

This award is for members of the camp community - volunteers, public officials - who contribute to the field of organized camping on a short term or long term basis. Awards will be presented at the Business of Camp Seminar.

To qualify for nomination:

  • The candidate may be a non-member of ACA
  • The award may be presented to an individual, a group of individuals or an organization or company.

List of Paul Somers Golden Acorn Award past recipients

Nominate a candidate for the Paul Somers Award

The Southern California/Hawaii Service Award

2019 Recipients: Nick Coffing, Gabby Coburn

The Service Awards is given to recognize exceptional service to camping and the local area.  Awards will be presented at the Business of Camp Seminar..

To qualify for nomination:

  • The candidate must be a member of ACA, and served Southern California/Hawaii for not less than 5 years.

List of past Service Award recipients

Nominate a candidate for the Southern California/Hawaii Service Award

The Outstanding Service Award

2018 Recipients: Chad Edwards and Joyce Knoll 

This Outstanding Service Awards is the highest honor presented to a member of ACA, Southern California/Hawaii. It honors individuals who have given outstanding and exceptional service to camping and local ACA efforts. Awards will be presented at the Business of Camp Seminar.

To qualify for nomination: 

  • The candidate must be a member of ACA Southern California/Hawaii for not less than 5 years
  • Contributions should of exceptional benefit to local ACA efforts
  • The benefits of the candidate's service should go beyond the local area to ACA on a regional and/or national level or other noted organizations.

List of past Outstanding Service Award recipients 

Nominate a candidate for the Outstanding Service Award

The Program Excellence Award

2018 Recipients: The Painted Turtle, R.M. Pyles Boys Camp and Star Rock Ministries XLR8 Program

This award is given by ACA, Southern California/Hawaii to honor programs that develop effective, creative responses to the needs of a community and/or societal problems using the camp environment and to present the public examples of positive contributions camp can make to the well-being of individuals and society.

To qualify, camp programs will demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Understand and make use of intergrouping - combining groups that have differences (e.g., physical abilities, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, religion, and home environment).
  • Develop programs suited to the needs and interests of teenage campers.
  • Broaden the range of services to persons with disabilities.
  • Emphasize awareness of interpersonal relationships and development of interpersonal skills.
  • Conduct innovative and effective staff-development programs.
  • Offer support activities or leadership that significantly expands opportunities for human growth and enrichment through camping (for non-camp organizations)
  • Program must have been in operation for at least one year (excluding planning and development time).  ACA membership is not required for eligibility. Nominations will be judged on creativity and imaginative planning, relevance to the needs of participants; involvement of the target participants in the planning and implementation; adaptability and potential for replication; cooperative efforts with other organizations, agencies, or camps; and ability for the program to meet stated objectives.

List of past Program Excellence Award recipients

Nominate a camp for the Program Excellence Award

The Shirley Walch Recognition for Excellence in Standards Award

2019 Recipients: Chris Fife and Cory Jones

This award is presented to an individual, group or camp leadership team that has, in the eyes of the ACA Southern California/Hawaii Standards Leadership Team, advanced the cause of camp accreditation by going above and beyond the call of duty to embody the underlying principles – education, objectivity and support – of the ACA standards program. This award will be presented at the Business of Camp Seminar.

To qualify for nomination:

  • The candidate must have contributed to the standards program locally.
  • The candidate may be an individual, group or camp leadership team.
  • There is no age limit on this award.
  • The standards leadership team will choose the recipient.

List of past Shirley Walch Recognition for Excellence in Standards Award recipients

Nominate a candidate for the Shirley Walch Award 

Membership in the Legacy Circle

2018 Members: Michele Branconier, Maria Horner, Ray Sanborn and Ross Turner

This awards honors the vision and support of individuals who have been committed to the field of organized camping and ACA for more than 30 years. They have served in leadership capacities in Southern California or Hawaii and have made significant contributions to the camp industry. Awards will be presented at the Spring Leadership Conference 

To qualify for nomination:

  • The candidate must be a member (or former member) of ACA, Southern California/Hawaii.
  • The candidate must have contributed to the camping industry for more than 30 years.
  • There is no age limit on this award.

List of Legacy Circle Members

Nominate a candidate for the Legacy Circle