Princeton-Blairstown Center

justineh

PICS Organization Name
Princeton-Blairstown Center

City/State
Blairstown, New Jersey

Organization Description
In 1908, a group of Princeton University undergraduates founded the Princeton Summer Camp to serve young boys from urban Philadelphia. With the goals of sharing Princeton’s rich heritage, as well as providing an opportunity for Princeton students to give back to the broader society, the founders were determined to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged inner-city children by offering healthy and character-building camping experiences.

Over our 112-year history, our name has changed several times but our mission is quite similar. Today we empower young people, primarily from under-resourced communities, to strengthen their social-emotional skills through experiential, environmental, and adventure-based programming.

In 2013, the Center became a stand-alone non-profit and in 2015, we started our award-winning Summer Bridge program, a week-long academic enrichment and leadership development program designed to lessen summer learning loss and build leadership and social-emotional skills.

Students are divided into cohorts of 10-12 and paired with a PBC Facilitator and a teacher or chaperone from their own organization. Each cohort spends approximately three hours a day engaged in hands-on literacy; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and project-based learning work; an hour-and-a-half a day in waterfront activities (swimming/canoeing/kayaking); and two hours a day in leadership, team-building, and problem-solving activities on our ropes and challenge courses. Students also engage in their choice of several recreational or STEAM activities for an hour each day along with daily restoration duties (stewardship of their cabins, the dining room, and the wash houses) that are designed to teach responsibility and community.


PBC will benefit greatly from sponsoring PICS interns. Having two or three PICS students work at our Blairstown facility as STEM or Literacy Instructors or as a Facilitator allows PBC to offer more intensive experiential STEM and Literacy programming to the at-risk youth that we serve which will ignite their curiosity about the natural world and written word. It will engage them in a dynamic way of learning about topics ranging from pond & stream study, composting, solar and hydro-electric power, the flora & fauna of the eastern woodlands, organic gardening, script writing, journaling, college essay writing, and many other topics. It also serves to deepen our relationship with the University community.

Internship Description

The Summer Leader-in-Training Intern (SLITI) is responsible for the safe and effective implementation of Princeton-Blairstown Center’s (PBC) six-week Leader-in-Training (LIT) Program at the Blairstown Campus. The SLITI utilizes a youth development model that actively engages participants and supports them in identifying and achieving individual and group goals. The LIT program aims to expand career awareness and readiness, promote financial literacy and entrepreneurship, explore topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and apply an understanding of these issues to the fight for social and environmental justice, and help students increase their social emotional learning (SEL) and problem-solving skills. The LIT program serves 8 rising high school seniors from historically marginalized communities. SLITI will receive 1.5-2 weeks of training and preparation for the six-week program, which begins July 5, 2021. SLITI will then remain on PBC campus for the remainder of their internship experience, facilitating regular groups, assisting with Family Camp, acting as distance/virtual mentors for graduating LITs, and debriefing the program.

  • Develop, facilitate, and debrief 6-week leadership program for rising seniors from historically marginalized communities with the following workshop components: College and Career Readiness/AwarenessFinancial Literacy/EntrepreneurshipLiteracy/Book Group & JournalingSocial and Environmental Justice/Diversity, Equity and InclusionOutdoor Education Skills (Facilitation, First Aid/CPR, Waterfront, Nature Interpretation, and Risk Management
  • Train and supervise LIT planning and delivery of full-day, on-site Summer Bridge program for middle school students from historically marginalized communities.
  • Train and supervise LIT in delivery of Summer Family Camp program, including workstations in the following areas:  Food ServicesOutdoor RecreationHospitality; Farm and GardenFacilities
  • Provide overnight supervision of LITs in rustic cabins on PBC property.
  • Ensure safety of LITs and other participants at all times.
  • Maintain a friendly, cooperative, and professional relationship with fellow staff, chaperones, and partner organization stakeholders.
  • Occasionally participate in off-site day trips, river expeditions, and rock climbing.
  • Assist with program logistics and administrative duties.
  • Assist with housekeeping and facility upkeep.
  • Participate in job-related training and staff meetings. (late June 1.5-2 week training)
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external individuals to ensure the successful functioning of the Blairstown Campus and PBC programs.
  • Demonstrate a professional demeanor which is reflective of the values and standards of the Princeton-Blairstown Center in all formal and informal contacts with the organization’s constituencies, including consistent adherence to PBC electronic device policy.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$450 10 6/14/21 - 8/20/21 8:00 am 9:00 pm Yes Yes No Unsure

Internship Qualifications

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Some college, preferably in Education, Psychology, Environmental Science, Outdoor Education, or other related fields.
  • Documented experience working with young adults, individually and in groups.
  • Documented training and experience, or willingness to lead and/or facilitate canoeing, backpacking, expeditions, rock climbing and other outdoor recreation activities.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding customer service, group facilitation, and logistical planning skills.
  • First Aid, CPR, and ARC Lifeguard Certification preferred.
  • Experience living and/or working with people from diverse cultures or backgrounds preferred.
  • Experience or willingness to live and/or work in a rural, outdoor setting with limited modern comforts and conveniences.
  • Able to work well with a team of others and on a one-to-one basis.
  • Able to work long hours, including evening and late-night programs, in high stress conditions.
  • Able to lift and carry up to 40 plus pounds for extended periods at a time while backpacking.
  • Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate, and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, professionalism, a commitment to lead by example, and dedication to the mission of PBC.

Additional Info
There may be preparation time outside of regular work hours.

Background checks are required for everyone who works at the Center since we work with youth.

Former Interns
Jennifer No '22, Sera Gorucu '20, Sally Jane Ruybalid '21, Grace Logan '21, Irene Ross '20, Elisabeth Juechser '20, Alexandra Wilson '20

Evaluation Excerpt

The main strengths of this organization were its incredibly helpful supervisors and director, the freedom that was provided in creating a lesson plan, and the amount of resources I had access to. The supervisors and director were always available to answer any questions I had or provide any assistance that I needed both during and outside of work hours. They guided me throughout the summer and offered feedback on my work in order to help me improve.
—Elisabeth Juechser '20

My internship absolutely met the goals put forward. My experience was extremely enriching, and I was able to connect to students who are excited about making changes in their communities and in the world. PBC cares about the people who come to campus and learn, and they also care about their interns. The motto of PBC is "A Place to Grow," and I believe PBC offers that to both the participants and the employees who are connected with the camp.
—Alex Wilson '20

My best work experience was facilitating growth and learning for children who had not yet experienced living in the outdoors, and working on life skills like team building, leadership, and communication. I loved when children who at first were skeptical of the experience came to me at the end and said they wished they didn't have to leave.
—Irene Ross '20

I was teaching inner-city kids STEM. It was a perfect challenge for me, having to work with diverse groups, building lesson plans, and being willing to change things up at a moment's notice. This was definitely about flexibility and patience! —Sally Jane Ruybalid '20