ACN Awards

ACN Awards
Recognizing excellence in the profession of Camp Nursing, ACN has four award opportunities.
Jeanne Otto Award

The first ACN special recognition award was given to Jeanne Otto, ACN’s founder, in 1992. The award was then changed to the Jeanne Otto Award. This award was created in honor of ACN’s founder, as a way to formally recognize a camp nurse for outstanding professional contribution to the practice of camp nursing. It is meant to recognize only exceptional effort; consequently, the Award is not usually given each year. Any ACN member may nominate another member for the Jeanne Otto Award.

The individual nominating submits a letter to the Board for consideration.  The letter should highlight the outstanding contributions to camp nursing and provide examples of meritorious accomplishments in the field.  The Board decides if the nominee merits the Award. If so, the recipient is informed and the award is conferred at the Association’s next National Symposium.

Please submit nomination letters to by December 1 of each year.

Award Recipients: 

1992: Jeanne Otto, RN, MS

1997: Dr. Kris Lishner, RN

1999: Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS

2004: Myra Pravda, RN, MS

2009: Susan S. Baird, RN, MPH, MA

2013: Doris Nerderman, RN, BSN

2018:  Mary Marugg, RN

2020: Pearl Bell, RN

Camp Nurse of the Year

A hallmark of a profession is that it recognizes excellence among its practitioners. This award is designed to recognize a nurse who, by virtue of his/her camp nurse work, made a significant impact to that camp’s health and wellness profile. While the Association’s Jeanne Otto Award recognizes contribution to the profession of camp nursing, the Camp Nurse of the Year Award recognizes a camp nurse’s significant contribution to the health status of his/her own camp.

Nomination Criteria

The nomination is made by any individual familiar with the camp nurse’s practice, performance and nursing activities. Nurses may also self-nominate. Both ACN and non-ACN nurses may be nominated. The award will be publicized in CompassPoint and in various other camping publications. Nomination criteria

  • The nominator completes the nomination form that provides evidence of how the camp nurse’s work has impacted the health and wellness profile of the camp
  • The nominated individual must be a licensed nurse
  • It is not sufficient for a nominee to merely work as a camp nurse; this award recognizes the camp nurse who goes above and beyond the job description and camp’s expectations in a way that improves the overall health and wellness of the camp; the camp is healthier because of the actions and vision of the nominated nurse. A copy of the camp nurse’s job description must be included with the nomination form.

Use the Award Nomination form below, deadline is December 31, 2021.

Award Recipients

The first Camp Nurse of the Year Award was given in 2014

2014: Tracey Gaslin, PhD, CRNI, CPNP, FNP-BC

2016:  Bev Unger, RN

2017: Jane McEldowney, RN

2018: Stacy Dorian, RN

2020: Katie Waldrep, RN

2021:  Karen DeDominicis, RN, BSN

Susan Baird CompassPoint Writing Award

In honor of our previous editor, the Susan Baird CompassPoint (CP) Writing Award is given each year to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in writing and publication about camp health.  The award winner is selected by the editorial board using the criteria of content, creativity, writing style, and application to camp health services.

Potential award winners do not have to be ACN members but will have published in CP within the last year.  The award is given at the National ACN Symposium to celebrate the accomplishments of a dedicated individual.

Award Recipients

2021: Cinthia dosSantos Mesquita, MSN, RN

2020: Karen DeDominicis, BSN, RN

“Super Sleuths”

2019: Sara Brown, MSN, DNP, CPNP

“Concussions at Camp” and “Common Dermatological Concerns at Camp”

2018: Dr. Vicki Moran & Dr. Abby Hollander

“General Diabetes Management at Camp”

2017: Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS, PHN

“Write Right: Creating Useable and Defensible Forms for the Health Center” and

“The Camp Nurse on Stage: Presentation Tips and Strategies”

2016: Ashley Marass, DNP, CPNP

“Adolescent Health: Issues at Camp”

2015:  Ellen Reynolds, MSN, CPNP-AC/PC

“Unexpected Presentation of a Well-Known Illness: The Importance of a Complete Assessment”

2014: Stephanie Kassels, CNP, FNP-BC, CDE

“Campers with Diabetes: Understanding Management, Asking the Right Questions, and Preparing a Plan”

2013: Tracey Gaslin, RN, PhD, CRNI, CPNP

“Autism: Key Elements for Camp Success”

2012: Ellen Reynolds, MSN, CPNP

“Coping with Concussion at Camp: New Concepts in Management”

2012 Honorable Mention: Ed Schirk

“Personal Risk Management – Don’t Take Professional Liability Insurance for Granted” and “Staff Accident Medical and Sickness Insurance”

2011: Rebecca Mitchell, RN, MSN

“Bacterial Meningitis and the Meningitis Vaccine: Protecting Campers and Staff”

2010: Jenn Harber, Ed, M

“Supporting Campers with Autism Spectrum Disorders”

2009: Mary Marugg, RN

“Keeper of the Kits” column

2008: Anne Martin, RN, MScN, CNE

“The Choking Game: Important Information for Camp Nurses

Research Award

Annually the Association of Camp Nursing (ACN) seeks to acknowledge the newest research efforts in camp health. The research committee requests nominations and selects an Research Award winner to highlight the exemplary work performed by individuals or groups.

Research in Camp Health Award

2010: O’Mahar, K., Holmbeck, G., Jandasek, B., Zukerman, J. (2010). A camp-based intervention targeting independence among individuals with spina bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(8), 848-856.

2010: Conrad AL & Altmaier EM (200). Specialized summer camp for children with cancer: social support and adjustment. Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing 26(3), 150-7

2011: Anne Bakker, Peter G.M. Van der Heijden, Maarten J.M. Van Son, Rens Van der Schoot, & Nancy E.E. Van Loey; Impact of pediatric burn camps on participants’ self esteem and body image: An empirical study. Burns, 37(8), 1317–1325.

2012: Julie Hantson, Pan Pan Wang, Michael Grizenko-Vida, Marina Ter-Stephanian, William Harvey, Ridha Joober and Natalie Grizenko. Effectiveness of a Therapeutic Summer Camp for Children with ADHD: Phase 1 Clinical Intervention Trial

2013: Woods, K., Mayes, S., Bartley, E., Fedele, D., & Ryan, J. (2013). An Evaluation of Psychosocial Outcomes for Children and Adolescents Attending a Summer Camp for Youth with Chronic Illness. Children’s Health Care, 42(1), 85–98. doi:10.1080/02 739615.2013.753822

2013: Jacobs, A. L. (2013). An Exploration into the Phenomenon of Bullying in the Jewish Residential Camp Setting through the Perspective of Bunk Counselors (Psy.D.). Alliant International University, United States – California. DAI-B 73/11(E), May 2013.

2014: Alexandra Martiniuk, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor University of Sydney, Australia, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health and colleagues

2020: Alxsandra Dubin, 3rd year PhD student at Clemson University in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Ali’s is recognized for her research on workplace-related fatigue within the context of camp.  This research, conducted in close cooperation with ACN, sought to better understand how camp employees (i.e., camp directors and nurses) experience fatigue within the camp setting as well as factors that contribute to camp-related fatigue. Ultimately, this study aimed to identify effective practices for identifying and reducing the experience of fatigue by camp employees.

2021: Dr. Carissa Bunk

  • Is a resident in Children’s Emergency Services at Mott Children’s Hospital at Michigan
  • Was first author on a manuscript titled, “A Survey of Camp Leadership to Assess Immunization Requirements, Policies and Current Practices in a National Cohort of Summer Camps” published in JAMA Pediatrics in January 2021
  • Recently provided leadership to an immunization study and survey of national summer camp leadership in partnership with the American Camp Association and the Association of Camp Nursing

Use the Award Nomination form below

Jeanne Otto receiving the ACN special recognition award in 1992. The award was then changed to the Jeanne Otto Award

Jane McEldowney receiving the Camp Nurse of the Year Award 2017


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Association of Camp Nursing

Executive Director: Tracey Gaslin PhD, CRNI, CPNP, FNP-BC

19006 Hunt Country Lane, Fisherville, KY 40023
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