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 purchased 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 and during our Campus Expeditions program to the Princeton University campus. 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. As a result of his efforts, the Princeton-Blairstown Center established the Frank Broderick Award.
Princeton-Blairstown Center empowers young people, primarily from under-resourced communities, to strengthen their social-emotional skills through experiential, environmental, and adventure-based programming.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) includes five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Acquiring these skills will enable Princeton-Blairstown Center participants to change their communities and the world.
We strive for a future in which young people exhibit personal resilience and compassion, embrace expanded possibilities for their lives and enact positive change within their communities and the world.
To see a copy of our 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, click here.