Through our long nights on the porch in Twins and countless team building activities, I learned to love and trust the LITs as though they were my biological siblings.  More importantly, I learned things and made memories that I will cherish forever. PBC was a huge learning experience. In some way or another, everything that happened [there] impacted me.

- Bailei, 2018 Leader-in-Training Participant


The Princeton-Blairstown Center reimagined and restarted its Leader-In-Training (LIT) Program in 2018.  A two-year program for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school, LIT focuses on helping teens develop strong leadership skills, lessen summer learning loss, increase 21st Century social-emotional skills, and gain hands-on employment experience. The program consists of intensive work over two summers and additional touch points throughout the year.

Students from low-income communities who have attended Blairstown at least once with a school or community-based organization complete an application and competitive interview process to secure one of 20 spots. Phase I begins in the summer and students receive a $500 stipend after they spend three intensive weeks:

  • Exploring a range of leadership styles, identifying their default leadership style, and actively developing leadership skills;

  • Honing critical 21st Century social-emotional skills like communication, cooperation, critical thinking, and problem-solving through the Center’s initiatives, challenge courses, and high ropes courses;

  • Engaging in hands-on financial literacy, literacy, and S.T.E.M. classes to combat summer learning loss;

  • Rotating through three to five jobs at the Center to determine job preferences for Phase II participation;

  • Planning and executing a two-day/one-night expedition as a culminating project;

  • Planning and executing a service project to benefit the Center.

Students who successfully complete Phase I apply through a competitive process for acceptance into Phase II. The summer portion of Phase II includes a $1,000 stipend after they spend six weeks:

  • Learning and practicing hard and soft employment skills through a six-week paid internship at Blairstown (kitchen, facilities, facilitator, waterfront, instructor, office, garden) that includes an application, interview, and performance review;

  • Engaging in goal setting and developing a plan for school and work for the next two years;

  • Developing a resume and a personal statement;

  • Honing critical 21st Century social-emotional skills like communication, cooperation, critical thinking, and problem-solving through the Center’s initiatives, challenge courses, and high ropes courses;

  • Engaging in hands-on financial literacy, literacy, and S.T.E.M. classes to combat summer learning loss;

  • Planning and executing a three-day/two-night expedition as a culminating project.

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Leader-In-Training application - must be a rising Sophomore or Junior to apply - here is the link to apply: LIT APPLICATION