The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by ACA New England. It is awarded to an individual who has given outstanding leadership and service to ACA New England for at least 10 years. It is easily recognized that no other award would do justice to the magnitude of this nominee’s contributions.
Sarah is the director/owner of Camp Nashoba North and an active volunteer in her community as a conservation commissioner for Littleton, MA and human and animal care-giver for the Red Cross and the US Humane Society.
Sarah has served ACA, Inc. for over 25 years as a member of the board development committee, member of the council of delegates, and as chair of the awards committee. Her work on the national level has been of great value to our relationship with ACA, Inc. On behalf of ACA New England, Sarah has served as the camp fair co-chair, CIS task force member, nominations chair, board member and vice president, public awareness chair, services chair, and has been a Standards Visitor since 1989.
Previously Sarah received an ACA New England Special Recognition Award in 1997, an ACA National Service Award in 2005, and ACA New England's Meritorious Service Award in 2010.
Community Honor Award
This award is given for outstanding contributions to organized camping or to ACA New England. It should be presented to individuals, groups or organizations that may or may not be members of ACA in order to recognize their support of quality camp experiences.
Due to the tireless effort by Maine Summer Camps to align itself with partners such as ACA and ACA New England, Executive Director Ron Hall, Counsel Jack Erler and the supporting cast continued to educate and guide camps through the confusion of the elevated level of interest in camps regarding enforcement of Federal transportation law. Today the success story is complete. The interpretations pushed onto Maine camps last year are gone, and all camps across the country are now exempt. Maine Summer Camps played an integral role and camps in New England and across the US have benefitted.
Congratulations to Maine Summer Camps for standing up for member camps in Maine and in effect for all camps across the country.
For many years, Massachusetts Camps had been required to comply with minimum wage regulations which mandated that camps pay 80% of the current minimum wage to student workers for all hours conceivably worked. As the minimum wage was poised to increase by $3.00 over 3 years last year, MCA engaged in a year-long campaign to amend the minimum wage statutes and regulations to secure relief for the entire camping industry in Massachusetts. On January 7th of last year, the MA Department of Labor granted day and resident camps in MA a full exemption from minimum wage for all camp counselors and trainees. This monumental success was the direct result of the hard work of the Massachusetts Camping Association’s Legislative Committee and MCA’s government relation strategists at ADS Ventures.
This was a huge victory for camps certainly in Massachusetts but also supportive to the other camps in New England as so much of what effects one state seems to influence the regulators in nearby states.
The Peter Kerns award is given to an individual, group or organization that has shown extraordinary commitment to the development of camp professionals. This award celebrates the life of Peter Kerns who inspired and challenged us to continually enhance the camp experience for all.
This summer marks Greg's 11th as the Director at Concord Academy Day Camp; his 17th directing a day camp and his 23rd working at camp. He has spent 3 years as the chair of the conference, 2 years as the Logistics Coordinator and 3 additional years on the conference committee. Greg served on the ECP (emerging camp professionals) committee for 2 years, helping to create a “track” for ECP participants to help them get the most out of the conference. Greg has also been on the faculty for New Camp Directors Workshop for 7 years, actively engaging himself as a teacher and mentor for new camp directors getting their start as a professional in our field.
Greg has shown himself to be truly extraordinary in his commitment to professional development.
Meritorious Service Award
The ACA New England award for Meritorious Service is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to ACA New England and the organized camp community in a multitude of areas. This award is given to a current or retired ACA member who has been involved in ACA NE for a minimum of 5 years.
Scott Brown has served as the Executive Director Winding Trails for 30 years. Since 1990, Scott has been a member of the Connecticut Camping Association, served with multiple CCA Boards, and as CCA President in 2003 and 2004. An ACA member since 1986, Scott has served ACA New England with distinction as a member of the Conference Planning Committee in 2004, as chair of the Board Stewardship Committee in 2009 and 2010, and as a Board Member from 2005 -2010. It was during his board tenure that he feels he was most valuable to the Association as a strategic thinker and planner. His work on Board Stewardship helped to create a strong foundation of Board Members who could forge the ACA New England mission forward. Ultimately his contributions assisted in the completion of our affiliation agreement with ACA, Inc., a hallmark accomplishment.
We are appreciative for all that Scott has done to advance camp, the Connecticut Camping Association and ACA New England.
Alex has been involved with ACA New England as a visitor since 1999. In 2010, she joined the Association’s Board of Directors and was elected to the Board Stewardship Committee in 2014. Alex has designed and delivered the curriculum for a certificate program in Adventure Education at Northwestern CT Community College. She was the Director of the Girls Scouts of Northwestern CT Clatter Valley Day Camp, the Program Director, Trainer and Membership Specialist of Girls Scouts of Northwestern CT and the Camp Manager for Girl Scouts of Connecticut. She also was the co-owner and director of DOAC Summer Camp and Conference Center, and now works as the Director of SJ Riding Camp in Connecticut. Her volunteer service includes serving as a member of the Connecticut Challenge Course Professionals board, dedicating herself to the Connecticut Camping Association as a Board Member, President and now the Secretary.
This award is presented for outstanding involvement in ACA New England activities. It should be awarded to an individual who has been involved for less than three years in ACA New England activities. It should encourage and reward our newer participants for becoming active in our activities and volunteer service.
Amy comes to us from the Girl Scouts of Eastern MA. During conference you will find her in the exhibit hall where she runs the vendor check-in process. Amy also shares her organization skills as part of the registration team at the Camp Champions Celebration where she makes sure that everyone gets checked in quickly and efficiently. Amy, we thank you for your devotion to camping and your commitment to ACA New England.
Angela and Sue are both long time members of the Camp Huckins staff and are sometimes referred to as the “Huckins Girls”. They have become an integral part of our conference. If your check in at the registration desk was smooth, if you were greeted with a smile, and if your questions got answered, you have probably encountered Angela and Sue. We thank them for their committed service and hope to see them for many years!
This award is given to an ACA member for dedicated service to ACA New England. It is given to an individual whose volunteer activities are considerable and deserve recognition.
At the age of 18, Amanda Choiniere began her 16 year career in camping, including 13 years with various YMCA’s in Greater Providence and Boston. Since 2005 she has been active with ACA New England serving on committees, as a Standards Visitor, and volunteering any way she can. She is consistent, dependable, and shows up to work hard at both the Conference and Camp Champions.
Cheryl Oliveira has been working in the camping industry for 16 years. She has worked as a Kitchen Aid, Counselor, Unit Leader, Arts and Crafts Coordinator, Trip Specialist, Adventure Coordinator, Leadership Specialist, and of course as a Camp Director. Cheryl has worked at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Wind-in-the-Pines and at Summer Fenn. This year she begin a new role as the Camp Director at Camp Naticook, in Merrimack NH. Since 2009 she has been very active with ACA New England serving on the Emerging Camp Professionals Committee, and currently as the Volunteer and Logistics Coordinator for Camp Champions and the Volunteer Liaison for the Conference.
To view more images of our Award Winners at this year's ACA New England Conference visit our facebook page.