ACA Awards

In 1965, the ACA Board of Directors established a means of paying tribute to those who make an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of the camp movement in the United States and who have played an important role in creating today’s association. In 1991 the board updated all award criteria. Six recognition awards are currently presented at our national conference each year: the Distinguished Service Award, the Hedley S. Dimock Award, The Jack Weiner Award (approved in 2002), the Honor Award, the Service Award, and the Special Recognition Award.

Enter The 2018 Golden Lens Contest

Enter the 2018 J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe  Golden Lens Awards Photography Contest

You Could Win

  • A $150 cash prize for first place
  • A commemorative plaque
  • Acknowledgement in Camping Magazine
  • Recognition at the ACA National Conference

Photo Requirements

Send us no more than 10 of your favorite photos that depict the camp experience and represent the best practices in the field and accreditation standards.

Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice

The Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice is designed to honor programs that conduct or apply innovative, quality research or evaluation to improve program practice and/or uncover findings that are useful to other camps. Successful nominations typically focus on a particular component, strategy, or topic as opposed to general attempts to better an entire camp. Nominations generally fall into two types:

Inspiring Programs That Put Campers’ Unique Needs First — 2017 Eleanor Eells Award Winners

Each year, ACA’s Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence recognizes camps that embody the award’s namesake by developing superior programming that effectively and creatively responds to the needs of people and society through the camp experience. We commend the 2017 winners. They are all testaments to the power of camp programs that actively seek to realize the potential of the camper populations they serve by better equipping them to take on the world’s challenges with resiliency and belief in themselves.

Profile of the 2017 Recipients of the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice

In 2015, ACA, with the help of the Committee for the Advancement of Research and Evaluation (CARE), created the Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice. This award is designed to honor camp programs that:

2017 National Award Recipients

ACA is honored to recognize the following individuals and programs as recipients of our 2017 Awards. We greatly appreciate their continued dedication and contributions to camp and ACA. Learn more about ACA's awards.

ACA National Awards Nominations

Do you know a camp professional who deserves recognition for all that they do? Nominations are now open for the ACA National Awards Program!

Since 1965, the ACA National Awards have paid tribute to those who make extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the camp movement and the American Camp Association.

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