The Princeton-Blairstown Center, a nonprofit founded in 1908 by Princeton University students, transforms the lives of vulnerable young people through integrated experiential adventure-based programming in schools and at the 264-acre Blairstown Campus in northwest New Jersey.
The methodology uses carefully chosen experiences – ropes courses, games, camping, canoeing, and other physical and team-based challenges - in a summer camp-like setting supported by reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis to help students take initiative, make decisions, build relationships and develop other social-emotional skills.
Some of the words used to describe, or associated with, the organization and its services are: Heritage, Service, Social Justice, Sustainability, Environmental Stewardship, Nurturing, Social Emotional Learning (Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, relationship skills).
Words to describe the experience for students include: Leadership, Self-actualization, Adventure, Challenge, Grit, Reflection, Fun, Daring, Commitment, Action, Responsibility, Emotional Safety, Growth, Character, Emotional Intelligence, Teamwork, Healthy Risk Taking, Transformation, Hands on Learning, Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution, Effective Communication, Resilience, Goal Setting, Overcoming Obstacles, Group Dynamics, Healing Power of Nature, and Exploration.
The organization’s current logo is a tree with roots inside an oval. The oval sometimes appears on a shield representative of the historical connection to Princeton University. The tag line which accompanies the logo is “a place to grow.” Our first inclination is to consider an updated, more modern version of the tree, as the 264-acre Blairstown campus is an ideal setting for environmental stewardship and sustainability education. The tree and roots also symbolize the growth, and potential for growth, that vulnerable young people experience through Blairstown programs. We also recognize the healing, centering, calming effect nature has on many and the profound impact the natural world can have on those who can’t enjoy it regularly. The current logo can be viewed at princetonblairstown.org.