2020 research award winners

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. Another national award, the Eleanor P. Eells Award that honors outstanding programs, is also presented at that time. 


If you are like most of us in camping, it was a very busy summer and we are all trying to recover.  Many of us are vacationing, trying to catch up, or just doing what we need to do.  Camping professionals have done amazing work during these challenging times and we want to recognize them.  Please consider nominating one of your colleagues for their amazing work.  

Submit Nominations


Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is ACA’s highest award. This award honors a lifetime of service to ACA and camp.

National Honor Award
This award is for individuals who have given exemplary service to  ACA; work is regional and national in scope through committees, addresses, or research.

Hedley S. Dimock Award
Awarded to individuals who contribute to the field of camp from related professions, such as outdoor education, medicine, or social sciences.

National Service Award
Given to recognize continued and increasing service to ACA beyond the local level.

Special Recognition Award
Designed to honor groups, organizations, or individuals for their efforts to promote camp.

Jack Weiner Leadership Award
This award is given annually to a young professional who is pursuing a career in camp.

Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence
The Eleanor P. Eells Award will focus on recognizing program excellence at camps.

Eleanor P. Eells Award for Excellence in Research in Practice
The Eleanor P. Eells Award will focus on recognizing research in practice at camps.

J. Wendell and Ruth T. Howe Golden Quill & 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 Marge Scanlin Outstanding Research Award
This award recognizes one student each year for his/her research related to the camp experience.

Pioneers of Camping


Do you have a great story to share, but don’t see an award category that fits your story?