By Michelle Carpenter
Oct 15, 2016

Camp JJ Celebrates Youth with Presidential Service Award

On Friday, October 7th families and friends crowded in the Canyonlands room at the Utah National Parks Council headquarters building in Orem. They came to watch their buddies and children receive the Presidential Service Award, an award that is given nationally for completing significant service hours.

Youth gathered together in groups to chat, rekindling summer friendships. People brought dessert to chow down on later in the night.  cookies

Then, the ceremony began, and leaders called out names of youth. Individuals walked onto the stage to receive their awards. The majority of the youth earned the Gold Presidential Service Award, and one received the Bronze.

Parents and others took photos of the youth, then watched a video reminiscing about fun camp times and enjoyed talking with their friends.

Here’s a list of those who received the award at the event: Andrew Holley, William Hansbrow, Shadrach Houtz, Bryton Bancroft, Eric Tiegen, Alexis Call, Quincy Smart, Caleb Lanier, Eve Wilson, and Enoch Wilson.

The youth earned the awards for spending their summer in an unusual way; they worked for free at Camp Jeremiah Johnson. The Gold Award was given for over 100 hours of voluntary service. The bronze award is given for 50-74 hours.

The Presidential Service Award website states the following about the award:

“Presidential recognition sets you apart from your peers. It is a tremendous honor. Even though you may not seek recognition, your example can deliver a powerful message that encourages others to take action.” 


The youth received presidential recognition and an official medallion for their efforts. They also got a congratulatory letter from Barack Obama, president of the United States.

More importantly, they received satisfaction knowing the good they’d done. They served other youth, teaching them essential skills and helping them enjoy the wonders of nature.

Ann Shumway, camp director, said she felt the youth did a great job assisting at Camp Jeremiah Johnson.

“I’m hoping all will come back next year as paid employees,” she said.

Michelle Carpenter


Author: Michelle Carpenter | Marketing Associate, Utah National Parks Council.

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