ACA Awards

Review the award criteria and nominate someone today!

Enter The 2021 Golden Lens Contest

Enter the 2021 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.

2020 ACA National Award Recipients Announced

The American Camp Association is proud to honor those who lead the way — in exemplary leadership, in service, and in passionate commitment to the value of the camp experience.

We are pleased to recognize the following individuals and programs as recipients of our 2020 Awards. Please help us celebrate our 2020 winners at the National Conference in San Diego and all year long!

Learn more about ACA's awards.



Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Evaluation & Research

The Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Evaluation & Research is designed to honor programs in which camp professionals conduct or apply meaningful, quality research or evaluation to improve program practice and/or uncover findings that are useful to other camps. 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:

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:

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.