2023 Essay Contest

The Camp Pendleton Historical Society (CPHS) is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Historical Essay Contest for high school students living in those School Districts adjacent to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton.

Scope. The essay is limited to history of the land now known as Camp Pendleton. This includes the pre-history (archeology) of the land, its native American occupants, the Spanish exploration and mission era, the rancho era, and the history of the Camp as a significant cultural and economic institution in San Diego County since 1942.  Not included in the essay scope is the history of any military units (Marine Corps, Navy, Army, others) based at Camp Pendleton.

Essay Length.  Essays are limited to 5,000 words (not including graphic captions, numbered end notes, and bibliography).

Prizes.  1st Place – $1,000 / 2nd Place – $500  


  • A letter application for entry into the contest is required and must contain the student’s name, address, high school name, essay area of interest, and tentative title.  This letter application must be emailed to and received no later than Jan. 31, 2023 to be eligible for the contest.
  • The essay must be submitted (as an attachment) via email ( no later than March 31, 2023.

Contest Details.  Essay rules, deadlines, and judging criteria are contained in the flyer which can be downloaded by clicking on the following link:

Flyer – CPHS 2023 Essay Contest


  • Send an email to and place “Essay Contest” in the Subject line of your email. 
  • If you would prefer to talk to someone about the essay contest versus sending an email, please contact Michael Kelley at (760) 207-8940.