For over 100 years, the Princeton-Blairstown Center has provided adventure-based, experiential education to young people, primarily from under-resourced communities. What began in 1908 as a summer camp run by Princeton University students and faculty has evolved into a wide variety of year-round programs serving over 6,000 young people from the Mid-Atlantic states. Today our award-winning Summer Bridge program serves as the centerpiece of the Center’s work and provides week-long educational programs to approximately 450 underserved students from Trenton, Newark and New York City free of charge.
As a leader in social emotional learning, the Princeton-Blairstown Center offers young people the opportunity to leave distractions behind and to build bonds, self-confidence, and leadership skills through unique, adventure-based experiences and personal challenges.
Founded by Princeton University Undergraduates & Alumni
In 1908, a group of Princeton University undergraduates and alumni founded the Princeton Summer Camp. They were determined to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged inner-city children by offering healthy and character-building camping experiences.
In 1930, the Blairstown Campus, which eventually grew to 264 acres, was purchases and managed by Princeton undergraduates. In 1973, the site was winterized and professional staff began providing experiential education to urban youth. Princeton undergraduates continue to help staff the Center during the summer months. As the needs of our urban youth have evolved, the Princeton-Blairstown Center has expanded programming into urban schools.
The Center has a longstanding and deep commitment to social justice. Princeton Summer Camp student Director Frank Broderick, Class of 1943, who was also chairman of The Daily Princetonian, waged a tireless war at Princeton University working to mobilize those who advocated for racial integration. While he was not successful during his undergraduate years, he convinced the faculty advisor of the Princeton Summer Camp to integrate the program during the summer of 1946 when, as a graduate student, he returned as a student Director. His courageous efforts helped pave the way for the eventual integration of the University.
The Princeton-Blairstown Center seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable young people through integrated experiential and adventure-based programming in schools and at our outdoor campus. We collaborate with schools, university partners, and community-based agencies to develop in youth deepened self-awareness, responsible decision-making, teamwork, and leadership skills.
A program at the Princeton-Blairstown Center empowers participants to:
- Sharpen decision-making skills;
- Articulate personal goals;
- Persevere through – and learn from – challenges;
- Develop leadership skills and use creativity to solve problems;
- Practice effective communication – active listening, negotiation and compromise;
- Learn positive ways to resolve conflict; and
- Gain an awareness and respect for diversity.
Current research shows these skills are strongly linked to staying in school, avoiding risky behaviors and improving health, happiness and life success. A student who has social-emotional support can learn to manage his/her behavior, can participate in and contribute to group activities, has sense of community in school and seeks to maintain it. He or she can set goals and even against overwhelming odds, push through to pass a class or keep school attendance high. He or she can apply for a job, apply to college and set goals above and beyond what peers and family may expect.
Come spend some time with us. Princeton-Blairstown Center – a place to grow.
Country: United States
State: New Jersey
Name: Roberto Gil
Phone: (908) 362-6765