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Looking ahead by honoring the past.

At the National Conference in Orlando, I had the opportunity to share the progress on the American Camping Association's three-year strategic plan. This plan began with questions about where we need to go as an association. We continue to recognize the needs of our current and future members and attempt to choose the best route to meet those needs. All of our hard work implementing this plan will lead to a time when more children will have a quality camp experience.

As we look ahead, we are also challenged to learn from our history as an association. ACA has a long history of outstanding individuals and camps who have set an example for future generations. While we applaud and support the work of all people in camping, we also pay special tribute to those who continue our tradition of excellence through exemplary deeds and programs. ACA's awards program honors our past and proves the future of camping is strong.

The association salutes this year's award winners.

Special Recognition Award

The Special Recognition Award honors groups, organizations, or individuals for their significant nation-wide efforts to promote camp.

This year's award recognizes the volunteers and staff who designed the Risk Management Forum & Exposition held in November 1993 in Richmond, Virginia. The forum represented a unique partnership between ACA and Markel-Rhulen Insurance Company, and was rated one of the most effective ACA educational events ever. The hundreds of hours spent planning and conducting this event changed the way camp directors and key staff do their jobs in relation to safety, risk reduction and protection of campers and camps.

Program: Robert Telleen, chair; Edward Schirick; Carol DePuy; Edie Klein; Douglas Pierce; and Allen Sigoloff. Mock trial: Ray Kalman; Vicki Kalman; Rich Smikle; and Glen Feinberg. Staff: James Cox; Amy Katzenberger; Ruth Lister; John Miller; Marge Scanlin; and Bill Willems.

National Honor Award

The National Honor Award recognizes meritorious service on the part of ACA members.

Russell Hogrefe received the 1995 award. He has served as the executive director of the ACA Illinois Section since 1979. His major contribution to the section was in relation to a State of Illinois Title XX Grant which funds camperships for public aid children. Russell achieved the impossible, a simplification of Title XX bureaucratic red tape, by working successfully with the Department of Public Aid and legislative representatives. He also worked to increase the Title XX allotments for camping services to their current level of nearly $1 million. In 1991-92 he played a major role in convincing the state legislature to retain the Title XX program in the state budget, an action that benefited many other agencies and their public aid clients.

Russell's career has been characterized by his commitment to inter-racial and inter-cultural programs and service to persons currently defined as the underclass. At Chicago Youth Centers and the ACA Illinois Section, Russell provided leadership in obtaining funding for camping opportunities for literally tens of thousands of inner-city children.

Eleanor P. Eells Award for Program Excellence

Eleanor P. Eells was a leader and inspiration within the field of camp throughout her life.

She was an active participant in the Settlement House and Social Service Agency camp movements and a pioneer in therapeutic camping. She was one of the founders of the Fund for Advancement of Camping and served as its director through FAC's formative years.

Eleanor Eells had an equally important influence on ACA. She worked with FAC to support programs such as ACA's 1970s standards research and rewrite; the pilot Camp Director Certification Institute; the Camping Unlimited/Intergrouping Project; ACA's last reorganization; and securing government funding for campership use.

Her greatest contribution was helping individuals and camps start new programs. When these programs were operating, she shared results with countless others.

Eleanor Eells' life was an example for the camp professional. The first recipient of ACA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, Eleanor Eells passed away in her 94th year in Calgary, Alberta. The Awards for Program Excellence are designed to:

* Motivate staff to develop effective, creative responses to the needs of people through camp.

* Encourage the development of creative responses to societal problems through camp.

* Stimulate the exchange of creative ideas with others.

* Promote, in and out of camping, the positive contribution camp makes to the well being of individuals and society.

* Give recognition and honor to those whose programs exemplify these objectives.

This year's award recipients are:

The Druzhba ProJect

Camp Friendship, Palmyra, Virginia Movement for Understanding, Moscow

This program provides an environmental education program to children from northern Russia; offers opportunities for Russian children to interact with American children in a camp setting; and exposes Russian educators to private and nonprofit camps, private and public schools, and American culture.

Russian-American Diabetic Camp Exchange

Happy Hollow Children's Camp and Diabetic Youth Foundation of Indiana, Indianapolis, Indiana

This program provides an American camp experience with life-long recreation and education components to a group of Russian diabetic teenagers. At the same time, it provides a cross-cultural visit to Russia to a group of American diabetic teens.

Seeds of Peace

Camp Powhatan, Oxford, Maine Seeds of Peace, Washington, DC

This program brings together 12- to 14-year-old youth from the Middle East to summer camp in Maine where they can get to know one another as individuals rather than stereotypes. Coexistence sessions, conducted by professional Arab and Israeli facilitators, help the next generation of Arabs and Israelis become seeds from which an enduring peace will grow.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor afforded to members by the American Camping Association.

Morry Stein, a true visionary who bridged all aspects of camping, is this year's recipient. He was committed to what camping does for children and wanted to do all he could to assure the camp experience continues to be available to children.

Morry lost his life in the commuter plane crash in northern Indiana on October 31, 1994. He was on his way home from chairing the fall meeting of the American Camping Foundation where he assumed a key role in planning the completion of the $1.2 million Endowment Campaign.

A member of ACA for 27 years, Morry served in many leadership positions, most currently as chair of the foundation. He served on ACA's National Board of Directors, and as president and board member of the ACA New York Section. He also served as president of the New York State Camp Director's Association.

Morry was the recipient of the National Honor Award, the Hedley Dimock Award, and numerous section, regional, and Association of Independent Camps awards.

For 30 years, Morry and his wife Amy operated Camp Echo Lake in Warrensburg, New York. Under their directorship, the camp's enrollment grew from 80 to 450 boys and girls, ages 8 to 17 years.

Morry also founded the Echo Lake Idea, a scholarship program that for 25 years has brought underprivileged city children to camp on scholarship for a week.

Ernest F. Schmidt Memorial Endowment

Ernest F. Schmidt served for 29 years as a professional leader in the Boy Scouts of America. For 17 years, he was a member of the Boy Scouts' national staff. He was the director of camping and assistant director of professional training at the Boy Scouts National Training Center in New Jersey before he was selected to become the executive vice president of ACA. He served in the latter post for 10 years before retiring in 1974.

The Ernest F. Schmidt Memorial Endowment was established by friends and family to honor him and to provide an annual scholarship for a Boy Scout professional to attend an ACA educational event.

This year's recipient, Richard A. Kirkendall, is the director of camping and properties for La-No-Che-Scout Reservation, Central Florida Council, in Paisley, Fla. He also held the position of the council's ranger, property superintendent, and property executive. From 1952 to 1980, he was scoutmaster for various councils.

J. Wendell Howe Golden Quill and Golden Lens Awards

Please see page 15 for the recipients of the J. Wendell Howe Golden Quill and Golden Lens awards. Their work is featured in this issue of Camping Magazine.

Congratulations to all award recipients, and to each of you who carries on the ACA tradition of excellence in your camps and conference/retreat centers.

Connie Coutellier is president of the American Camping Association. She was elected by the general membership and is serving her third year of a three-year term.
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Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Camping Assn.
Author:Coutellier, Connie
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:May 1, 1995
Words:1402
Previous Article:Group facilitating.
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