OCTA Awards

Awards, Credits, Prizes & Programs


Recognition for exceptional contributions!

OCTA recognizes individuals and groups that protect and share the legacy of emigrant trails.

OCTA is especially proud to support and recognize educators and students through awards, an honorarium, and annual prizes.

**NOTICE** – Due to the present virus situation and related school closings, the deadline for the submissions of student calendar artwork has been extended to May 15, 2020, and the deadline for the Outstanding Educator Award has been extended to April 30, 2020.

Announcing the Winners for Western Calendar 2020

several young girls sit at table with papers and talk to a man

Announcement of the winners in the 2020 Student Western Calendar “Wild Creatures encountered by Emigrants & Indians” contest. CONGRATULATIONS to the young budding artists whose artwork was selected and THANKS to those many other students who participated and submitted their work. The judges always state how difficult the selection task is. Thanks also to those teachers who found the extra time to include the project in their busy curriculum and  schedules and encouraged their students’ participation. Those students, with their teachers and schools, whose artwork appears in the 2020 calendar are: Gordon Rice, Mr. Thorpe, Ms Leisha Black, Canyon Rim Academy, Salt Lake City, UT; Claire Blakesley, Mr. Thorpe, Ms Leisha Black, Canyon Rim Academy, Salt Lake City, UT; Xavier Flouers, Mr. Thorpe, Ms Leisha Black  Canyon Rim Academy, Salt Lake City, UT ; Tess Malmrose, Mrs. Lowry, Ms Leisha Black Canyon Rim Academy,  Salt Lake City, UT ; Shelly Hansen, Ms. Hudson, Ms Leisha Black, Canyon Rim Academy, Salt Lake City, UT;  Madelyn Gibson, Ms. Hudson, Ms Leisha Black, Canyon Rim Academy,  Salt Lake City, UT; Lucy Herrold, Mrs. Kolarik, John Paul II, Overland Park, KS;  Mirabelle Sullivan, Mrs. Gittemeier, John Paul II,  Overland Park, KS ;  Maizey Wellisch, Mrs. Dutson, Bennion Elementary, Taylorsville, UT;   Angelica Alcala, Mrs. Dutson, Bennion Elementary, Taylorsville, UT;   Hunter Hill, Mrs. Flink, Renaissance Academy, Lehi, UT;  Vivian Zhao, Mr. Drake, Golden View School, San Ramon, CA;  Clint Lundin, Mr. Drake,  Golden View School San Ramon, CA; Prathik Prasanna, Ms. Banis, Golden View School, San Ramon, CA. The theme for the 2021 calendar is “Dangers and Hazards Along the Trails.”  We look forward to expanded  participation and another difficult task for the judges. For more information about the contest click on “Call for Artists – Western Calendar”  below.  


Outstanding Educator Award

Woman holds an award plaque and stands next to another woman and man

The Outstanding Educator Award seeks to honor outstanding educators and institutions for their fine work. The award includes a $250.00 honorarium. Nominations for the Outstanding Educator Award are open to any individual and/or group of educators or institution that contributes significantly to students’ education about the 19th century westward overland migrations in the United States. The 2020 deadline for submissions is April 30. The recipient for OCTA’s 2019 Outstanding Educator Award is Jill Jones.  Jill teaches US history in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, at the Silver Lake Intermediate School. She received the award during the convention’s  awards program in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Material about her unit “To Oregon or Bust” was displayed during the convention.  


Activity Book Raffle

book cover with text Reading, Writing and Riding Along the Oregon-California Trails

Each winter we sponsor an activity book raffle for a class set of one of our specially developed activity books on the Oregon-California Trail, Mormon Trail, Lewis and Clark Trail and Pony Express Trail.


Western Calendar

several Shoshone Indian people stand near two tipis

Each year the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) produces a special western calendar based on a particular theme. The calendar will be created using the original artwork of elementary students. Prizes will be awarded to each child whose artwork is selected. Each selected student receives a $50.00 prize. The theme for the 2021 calendar is “Dangers and Hazards Along the Trails. The deadline to enter is May 15, 2020.

OCTA 2020 Calendar Cover

OCTA Awards

OCTA awards are given each year to people who have made exceptional contributions toward the furtherance of OCTA’s mission and objectives. Awards recognizing those contributions are presented at the annual convention. As a general rule, when giving out awards, preference is given to persons residing in the general area where the national convention is being held. The objective of this rule is to maximize publicity and interest at the local level and to increase participation in the awards program. Types of Awards Gregory Franzwa Meritorious Achievement Award The highest award OCTA can give to recognize long-term and significant contributions to OCTA. Only members can qualify for Meritorious Achievement. Dave Welch Preservation Award For special efforts toward Preservation. Distinguished Volunteer Award Bestowed on OCTA members who contribute significantly to achieving OCTA goals and projects. Only OCTA members can qualify for Distinguished Volunteer. Distinguished Service Award Granted to organizations, businesses, government agencies, individuals, or others who contribute or participate in furthering OCTA’s programs directly or provide substantial support in a non-affiliated way to trail preservation and education. Friend of the Trail Award Presented to groups, individuals, or organizations that have direct ties to lands over which historic trails pass. Neither property ownership nor current residence on trail property is required, but emphasis is on preservation of trail remnants, education of the public about their historic resources, and allowing responsible public access to the historic resources. National Certificates of Appreciation Presented to individuals and organizations that have made a particular effort in achieving a short-term OCTA goal. These certificates are for efforts of national scope; more regional or local efforts should be recognized by appropriate chapters. Young OCTAN Award Presented to children and youth between the ages of six and twenty-one who have demonstrated particular interest in OCTA and the history and/or preservation of historic emigrant trails. The nominee will have demonstrated this interest by an activity in the field or via a school or class project in such a manner that is considered outstanding and far above the typical field or school project. The project may also be an outstanding personal endeavor on the nominee’s own initiative. An entire class or group of school-aged children may be nominated as one aggregated nominee. Qualifying standards would include participation in OCTA meetings, outings, and/or work projects over an extended period. OCTA membership is not a requirement. In addition, other awards may be appropriate, such as the Past Presidential Award, the Special Presidential Award, Certificates of Appreciation for outgoing officers and directors, and Resolutions of Thanks for convention program chairs and local arrangement chairs. Awards Presented by Local Chapters Local chapters of OCTA may present Certificates of Appreciation to deserving individuals or institutions who have shown outstanding contributions in preservation, research or education on the local level. Although these certificates are primarily intended for those outside of OCTA, it is also open to OCTA volunteers. Award Forms Awards forms can be filled in and submitted electronically.