ARC Innovator – PBC Historian

Princeton Blairstown Center

Princeton Blairstown Center

Project Title: 

110th Anniversary History Project

ARC Innovator Title:

PBC Historian

Who is the nonprofit partner?

Princeton-Blairstown Center empowers young people, primarily from under-resourced communities, to strengthen their social-emotional skills through experiential, environmental, and adventure-based programming. 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.

What skills or interests do I need to do the project?

The Innovator will be asked to do the following:

Research PBC History from 1970-2017 using Board minutes, archival materials, PAW, The Princetonian, Town Topics, and interviews of Board, etc.

Write an updated organizational history.

Create a historic display and story that tells of PBC’s impact on the towns of Blairstown and Princeton.

We are looking for someone with strong research and writing skills with a love of history, particularly Princeton history. Someone who has experience is museum exhibitions would be an added bonus.

What’s the project all about?

In preparation for PBC’s 110th Anniversary, we are seeking a researcher, writer, story teller, and someone who can help us prepare exhibits for the Blairstown Museum and (hopefully) the Princeton Historical Society. William Selden wrote a history of the Princeton Summer Camp (PSC) that takes us from 1908-1975. We are also interested in having an ARC Innovator research and interview key folks to add to the PSC/PBC history from 1975 through today so that we have more stories from staff, board, administrators, and young people who worked or attended programs run by the organization to share on our website and via social media.

This project cannot move forward without a skilled volunteer. Staff have too many other pressing deliverables to complete. This project will help us meet one of our strategic goals of being able to tell a better story through the written and spoken word. It will also allow us to expand our circle through displays at both museums. Ultimately, this helps with brand-raising and results in increased donations and partnerships.

What are the project objectives and deliverables?

1. Research, write, and deliver a written history of PBC from 1975-2017.

2. Interview key stakeholders to develop stories about the Blairstown Campus that will be shared via oral history by staff and in written format in marketing collateral.

3. Work with the Director of Development & Communication to develop a written and photographic historical display for the Blairstown and Princeton Historical Museums.

Who from the organization will provide me with support?

The Innovator will be supported by Executive Director and Director of Devleopment.

How long will the project take?

The project will take between 10 – 12 weeks depending on time available from the Innovator.


Where will I complete the project?

The work can be done onsite or remotely.




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Author: alumnicorps

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