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2010 2010-2012 ANNUAL REPORT

Introduction Vision Youth and young adults who are productive, responsible compassionate citizens in their communities.


Mission To facilitate the development of values and life skills essential for productive citizenship in youth through outdoor experiential education.

Guiding Principles Our programs are designed to fulfill four guiding principles. Through participation in our program, youth develop: 1. A love of learning for learning’s sake, reading and writing more. 2. A greater passion for the natural world and expand their knowledge of how to care for it and its inhabitants. 3. Improved health and body stewardship, eating healthier and maintaining a healthy self image. 4. Social and emotional competencies including self-confidence, teamwork, communication, empathy, conflict resolution and appropriate interaction with peers and adults. 2

Introduction Programs Trail Blazers’ holistic, award-winning programming emphasizes emotional, social, intellectual, and physical participation: Summer Outdoor Experiential Education Program – Sleepaway On our forested 1,100-acres, youth live for 14 or 28 days in a “smallcamp,” a family-like group of up to nine children where they schedule their own program in collaboration with their two to three Group Leaders. This structure, known as decentralized camping, is Trail Blazers’ unique approach.

Summer Outdoor Experiential Education Program – Day Camp Local children spend mornings and afternoons participating in day sessions, Monday through Friday. Though they go home each night, they are immersed in the same activities that encourage learning, personal development, physical engagement and health awareness.

Under One Sky Leadership Program Lessons learned at camp are translated into actions as empowered adolescents learn ways to be environmental stewards in urban settings. Youth start at sleepaway camp and continue via workshops through the academic year.

Counselors in Training Leadership Program Teen-aged campers interested in working with children develop the leadership skills, communication skills and competency required to succeed in this field by assisting Group Leaders in the Day and Sleepaway Summer Outdoor Experiential Education Programs.

Trail Blazers also provides Environmental Education day trips for schools, Conference & Community services, and Expedition Adventures.

The Youth We Serve Our programs serve youth from all backgrounds: • 81% are eligible for free or reduced lunch • 79% are from NYC, 21% from New Jersey • 44% are African American, 30% Latino, 17% White, 6% Asian • Youth come to Trail Blazers from word of mouth as well as relationships with schools and social service agencies such as Eva’s Village, Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services, and Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, among others. 3

From the Board Trail Blazers enjoyed many successes in 2011-2012. As always, they are due to the hard work and commitment of many people – our Board, our staff, our long-time supporters and our new friends. Their extraordinary generosity of spirit, effort and support makes it possible to continue “Building Values for Life” and helping our campers become more productive, caring and responsible members of their families and communities.

We celebrated our 125th Anniversary this year with a very successful and energizing Gala. We are gratified to reach this rare milestone. Trail Blazers is the second oldest American Camping Association accredited camp in continuous operation in the United States. This attests to the enduring resonance of our mission and the quality of a unique program that changes young lives in remarkable ways year after year after year.

In 2012, we served 375 children in our summer residential camp and 45 more children in the third year of our day camp. The total represents the most children we have served in a single year. Continuity was again provided by winter and year-round programming, and by our commitment to accepting returning campers for at least three years. Our new Under One Sky leadership program was a great success. We established new partnerships with Children of Promise in Brooklyn and the I Have A Dream Foundation of Newark. Twenty children aging out of foster care in New Jersey learned practical job search skills in a new Intensive Life Skills program while being full-time campers.

Our Board has been enhanced substantially by the addition of several new Board members in 2011 and 2012. Their time, effort and talent have served us extremely well.


We look forward to continued growth and success in 2012-2013. Arthur Fishelman, Co-Chair

Marc Hyman, Co-Chair

Riel Peerbooms, Director


From 1887 to Today In 1887, John Ames Mitchell, original editor of Life magazine, raised $800 to send 266 underprivileged youth from New York City to the Life Fresh Air Farm in Branchville, CT. In 1939, the nation's second oldest American Camping Association accredited camp moved to a forested 1,100 acre site in Montague, NJ. Today, at 125 years old, Trail Blazer Camps is a nationally distinguished model for summer experiential programming as demonstrated by our 2006 Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning’s “Excellence in Summer Learning Award.” In 2012, there are still songs around the campfire instead of iPods, a chef preparing freshly cooked meals instead of heating up frozen pizzas, and canvas shelters and outdoor latrines instead of cabins. At Trail Blazers, we go back to basics. Non-competitive activities enrich our campers: learning about mushrooms while on daily hikes and practicing math and problem-solving by calculating water used during showers. More importantly, we foster the development of 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, and confidence. This supportive setting benefits all, especially those who have not succeeded in traditional school environments. The highlight of every Trail Blazers’ experience is the Vagabond, the multi-day hiking adventure down the Appalachian Trail or via canoe down the Delaware River. This bonding experience tests survival skills learned during the session and its completion is an accomplishment campers are proud of for years afterwards. 5

Summer 2012 This summer, a record number of youth opened their eyes to the wonderment of nature and built lifelong memories at Trail Blazer Camps. 36 of these campers came through a new partnership with Children of Promise, an organization that serves children of incarcerated parents. 37 youth learned of Trail Blazers through a new contract with the State of New Jersey Office of Adolescent Services called Summer Intensive Life Skills Camp (SILC). This new initiative, awarded to only two camps in all of New Jersey, provides youth aging out of the foster care system with an opportunity to learn valuable life skills in an outdoor setting. In other words, to do what we have been doing for over a century! Our selection is a true testament to the excellence of our program. Also, for the third year, we welcomed local families in Montague, Port Jervis and surrounding areas at Trail Blazers Day Camp. Campers spent mornings and afternoons participating in the same outdoor, adventure-based and educational programming for which we are known: hiking, building birdhouses with Home Depot, and learning to recycle juice boxes into wallets with Montague Township’s Clean Communities Program, for example. They even made it into the local newspaper! Though many traditions remain the same: powwows, three bites, the vegetable garden, and Vagabond, we have updated some program elements to help today’s youth explore nature in new ways: Bakers Acres has always been known as the canoeing group. We now also have a cycling group, complete with a cycling Vagabond! 6

125th Anniversary On June 19, 2012, guests gathered at the Manhattan Penthouse and joined us in ushering in more years of serving youth with a cocktail reception, auction and seated dinner. All proceeds from this event went towards our Life's Campership Fund, named in honor of our founder John Ames Mitchell, which provides scholarships that enables families to give their children essential summer programming. Honorees Dr. Barbara Brummer and Eric Olsen of The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey received the Mashipacong Award for their work in environmental preservation and stewardship – named for the Lake in which campers learn to swim, fish, and canoe. Our second honoree, Michele Friedman, Executive Director of SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education), received the Lois Goodrich Award for her work in facilitating affordable camp programs for youth in need – named for Trail Blazers’ Director Lois Goodrich. As this was also a milestone in American Camp Association history, CEO Peg L. Smith sent congratulations via video.


Our Results Trail Blazers’ mission is “Building Values for Life.” At the end of the summer, campers evaluate their experience at camp and, year after year, we find:

Teamwork Skills


Friendship/ Relationship Building Skills

Interest in Exploring

Family Citizenship

Over 80% of children confirmed the Trail Blazers experience helped them

Motivation to Learn

Self Esteem

Health Awareness Responsibility & Accountability

Affinity for Nature

Testimonials Excerpt from a parent letter: I just wanted to send you a big thank you! My children came home so different, not just physically but also intellectually and emotionally... [She] found an inner strength about her, she is speaking up and making sure she is being heard. Never ever did this happen before! [He] is much more in tune with others around him, controls his impulses and is not afraid of trying new foods. I am so proud of my children and the growth they are showing and I am sure they will continue to develop as they begin to process their adventure.

Excerpt from an alumnus staff: …It was this thread through my 20's and into my 30's, the foundation for my professional life. I think the word that came up…a lot was confidence. With that confidence came leadership skills, communication skills, and relationship skills. The ability to develop those skills was directly influenced by the people that surrounded me each year I returned… A mind once stretched by a new experience can never return to its original form. I don't know who said that, but that was my experience each time I returned to TBC.


Our Results One strength of which Trail Blazers is particularly proud is our life-long impact on values. In 2012, we sent out a survey to program alumni, some of whom were campers as far back as the 1940’s. Below are some highlights of the survey results.

Say Trail Blazers positively influenced current relationships with family and friends

Say Trail Blazers influenced their curiosity and interest in learning

Say Trail Blazers influenced the role of environmental stewardship in their lives

Say Trail Blazers influenced their ability to relate to and get along with others

Say Trail Blazers influenced their ability to work in a team/with others on their job 9

Financial Statements Statement of Activities Trail Blazer Camps, Inc. Years ended October 31, 2011 and 2010 2011


REVENUE Contributions








Fundraising Benefits



Trust Fund & Investment Income



Registration Fees








EXPENSES Program Services



Management & General












Miscellaneous Income








Financial Statements REVENUE 2011 8%



Contributions 7%

Bequests Fundraising Benefits 51%

Trust Fund & Investment Income Registration Fees


Miscellaneous Income

87¢ of each $1 raised supports essential programming. Our strict fiscal monitoring and a shared resources arrangement with our partners enables us to maintain our nonprofit industry low of only 13% of total budget spent on overhead costs.

EXPENSES 2011 4% 9%

Program Services Management & General Fundraising



Supporters It is the generousity of those who have faith in our programs and continue to support us that allows Trail Blazers to continue our work. Welfare Agencies Lorraine Greene Lee $25,000+ Memorial Foundation ACA-SCOPE Mertz Gilmore Anonymous Foundation City of Paterson, NJ The Niki and Joe Gregory Department of Children Charitable Foundation and Families, NJ Anna Krassy Harriet Ford Dickenson Anne Jones Foundation Anton Finelli


Barry & Jamie Hyman Bob & Allison Wortman Camp Brooklyn Laura J. Niles Foundation Brooke Borner Chantal & Bill Bouw Newman's Own Charles Hyman Foundation Charles M. Royce Wells Fargo Securities, Charles Moyer N.A. Christopher J. Fiore Victoria Foundation Erica Rients $5,000 - $9,999 George Kunath Brick Presbyterian Katharine Bradbury Church Louis Esposito Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy, Marc Hyman & Bach, LLP Scott Napolitano The Hyde and Watson $500 - $999 Foundation Colorado Yurts & Union Foundation Earthworks Tipis Jonathan Peris Daniel Bumgardner Leslie Ballantyne Eric O. Fornell Susan Harte James Pappas Arthur & Linda Fishelman John Levesque Hugh D. Babowal Laura Markham Louis Milea $1,000 - $4,999 Lynn Rudolf Capital One N.A. Muriel Brownlie E. J. Grassmann Trust Federation of Protestant Peter Riguardi Richard Kramer 12 $10,000 - $24,999

Steven Borner William Ernest $100 - $499

I Have a Dream Foundation, Newark NJ Program Inc. Metadure Parts & Sales, Inc. Southwoods Recreation, Inc. Summer Trails Day Camp, Inc. Adam Turteltaub Alison W. Slone Anne & Kenneth Green Anthony & Giselle Vaccarino, Jr. Austa Devlin Celeste Frank Constance Cowen David Fisher David Fleischner David Hedden Doralba Lassalle Doreen Cunningham Doris Stillman Eileen Struna Elizabeth Cornacchio Emily M. Ragsdale Eunice Higgins Frank Cuevas Frederick Jackson Gloria Greenbaum Gloria Pflanz

GNG, Inc. Harris Gleckman Herbert Rakebrand Howard Schoor Jacqueline Ramirez James Bozza Janet Owen Jared Brody Jason Kaye Jennifer Lopez Jessica M. Gerber Jill Dexter Joann Lyden Joanna Hartell Joanne Beth Factor John Hackney John Oliva Julia Ivanova

Kathryn Riecks Lenard Thylan Maggie Casey Mark Siegeltuch Mary King Matthew L. Halverstadt Merrily S. Haas Michael Labadorf Napoleon Georgatos Nicholas Krassy Nicholas Krassy, Jr. Paul & Cynthia Clauss Penelope Winters Raquel Agramonte Ryan Hutchins Susan Dolin Suzanne Schaefer Sylvia Rodts


$1,000 - $4,999


ACA-SCOPE Anonymous City of Paterson, NJ Department of Education, NY Youth, I.N.C.

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy, & Bach, LLP Leon Clarke Charitable Trust

Martha Washington Straus/Harry H. Straus Foundation, Inc. $10,000 - $24,999 Mertz Gilmore Anonymous Foundation Camp Brooklyn Laura J. Niles Foundation Union Foundation Anne Jones Newman's Own Anton Finelli Foundation Barbara Wentworth Victoria Foundation Barry & Jamie Hyman $5,000 - $9,999 Catherine Nicholl Brick Presbyterian Church Chantal & Bill Bouw Harriet Ford Dickenson Charles Moyer Foundation Daniel Bumgardner Arthur & Linda Fishelman Erica Rients Hugh D. Babowal George Kunath James Pappas

Tiffany Caton Virgilio Bravo In-Kind

Abraham Puchall & Herald Square Hotel Debbie Hotalen Green Valley Farms Grove Street Bicycles Home Depot Montague Bagel Ridgefield Bicycle Co. Rizzo's Reptiles Sharon Orce Skylands Astronomy Timberland Village Pizza *as of Oct. 31, 2012 Jonathan Peris Karl Hersch Leslie Ballantyne Louis Esposito Luke Pittoni Marc Hyman Neil Benedict Rebecca Byam Scott Napolitano Susan Harte $500 - $999

Deloitte Services, LP Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey Amy Winsor Anna Krassy Charles & Kay Smorto Charlita Mays Colin Oerton David Cannon John Oliva Laurie Baskin Lynn Rudolf


Marshal Peris Riva Krut Roger Matthews Stephen Durkee Thomas Nakashian Tiffany Caton Tom Riddleberger William Ernest $100 - $499

Parish of Christ Church Aaron Smith Adam Comora Alexander Basse Alison W. Slone Anita Hammit Ann Grumpelt Anne Chiapella Barbara A. Sheehan Barbara Peters Charles Bach Corey Geis Daniel May David Dietze David Hedden Debra Dolph Diane Nardi Doralba Lassalle Edward Sherman Eileen McEvoy Elizabeth Cornacchio Elizabeth Manko Ellen Canterbury Frank & Francine

2010 $25,000+

ACA-SCOPE Anonymous City of Paterson, NJ Department of Education, NY Turrell Fund


Candela Gary Shaw George Buddensick Gregory Julich Helen Lunday Inge Lowenstein J. Charles Riecks Jacqueline BrownRichardson Jacqueline Ramirez James & Sharon Lemler Jane Berkey Jane Buchanan-Banks Janet Owen Jasmine Farrier Jeff Wedge Jo Cormack Joan Dickie John & Janis Gasparich John Colletti John Hackney John Marinuzzi Jordana Kozel Joyce Waltman Kate Sullivan Kathleen Dundas Kathryn Riecks Keith Derman Lisa Mitchell Lois Bayern Louis Milea Marjory Smith Mark Siegeltuch

Martha Grace Price Lawrence Mary King Megan Le Merrily S. Haas Michael Labadorf Michael McGowan Mike Diedrichs Monique Cameron Napoleon Georgatos Nicholas Krassy, Jr. Nicki Wallhofer Paul & Cynthia Clauss Paul Marcus Philip Baird Rachel Ash Raphael Berman Rossanna Wells Samuel Gilmore Sandra Catania Stancel Riley Stephen Fletcher Stephen Gruber Steve Moss Susan Crenny Suzanne Graver Suzanne Schaefer Tammy & David Nelson TJ Wagner William Hartman William Koch Zachariah Schreiber

$10,000 - $24,999

$5,000 - $9,999

ACA-SCOPE Anonymous City of Paterson, NJ Department of Education, NY Victoria Foundation

American Eagle Brick Presbyterian Church Harriet Ford Dickenson Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy, & Bach, LLP PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

$1,000 - $4,999

Adam Comora E. J. Grassman Trust Adele Ervin Federation of Protestant Anne Chiapella Welfare Agencies Barbara Peters Keating Crawford Bertha Fortney Foundation, Inc. Bradley Gerstle Leon Clarke Charitable Charles & Kay Smorto Trust Daniel May Union Foundation Daniel Ratner Anton Finelli Dena Operman Barry & Jamie Hyman Denise Holzka Catherine Nicholl Doralba Lassalle Chantal & Bill Bouw Dorothy Ingham Charles Moyer Edward Reilly Childrens Aid Society Eileen McEvoy George Kunath Eleanor McNeal James Pappas Elizabeth Cornacchio Jonathan Peris Evelyn Christensen Rebecca Byam Frank & Francine Tom Riddleberger Candela Frederick Jackson $500 - $999 George Brackett Martha Washington Straus/Harry H. Straus George Zimmerman Gerald Nolan Foundation, Inc. Gerard Collins Ann Grumpelt Hilde Adler Anne Jones Inge Lowenstein Joseph & Katherine J. Charles Riecks Mele Jacqueline BrownNicki Wallhofer Richardson Heasung Minjung Park Jacqueline Ramirez Debra Dolph James Key Anna Krassy James Margolis Doris Stillman Jane Buchanan-Banks Napoleon Georgatos Janet Owen Stephen Durkee Jeff Wedge Neil Benedict Jo Cormack $100 - $499 Joan Dickie Arthur and Pollock John Colletti Spiegel Foundation John Oliva New York Community Joseph Krassy Trust

Joyce Waltman Kate Sullivan Kathryn Riecks Kathryn Squire Kerry Doyle Kim & Joseph Martens Kristen Tranetzki Luke Pittoni Marie Gibson Mark Siegeltuch Martha Grace Price Lawrence Mary Alice Scully Mary King Michael Kolischak Michael Tannen Minnie Burns Patricia Boisvert Paul & Cynthia Clauss Paul Marcus Peter Sommerfield Petra Hall Philip Baird Regina Rivello Renee Osterhoudt Robert Kenney Ronald Rasdall Rosemary Smith Ruth Gregg Samuel Gilmore Sarah Petrey Scott Napolitano Scott Zimmerman Seendy Fouron Stephen Gruber Suzanne Schaefer Thomas Buddensick Timothy Ackerly Vi Martin William Cobbs William Koch 15

Board of Trustees and Staff 2012 Co-Chairmen

Marc Hyman (Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP) Arthur Fishelman (Trade Winds Lake Camp) Vice President

George Kunath, CPA (retired) Secretary

Leslie Ballantyne (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) Treasurer

Louis Milea, CPA (DeGraw Tompkins Solutions) Members

Hugh Babowal (Wells Fargo) Neil Benedict (FTI Consulting) Brooke S. Borner (Barclay Capital) William D. Bouw (Alumnus) Napoleon Georgatos (Deloitte Consulting) Susan Harte (Location Incentive Group, LLC) Karl Hersch (Deloitte Consulting) Anna Krassy (Alumna) Jonathan Peris (Merrill Lynch) Erica Rients (JP Morgan) Gilbert Maddock (Bank of New York) Scott Napolitano (PJ Solomon) Honorary Trustees

Catherine Smorto (Alumna) Eli Wallach (Alumnus) Executive Director

Riel Peerbooms, MSW Staff

Steve Bates – Property Manager Tiffany Caton – Development and Communications Kelly Oberndorf – Program Director Contact Us

153 West 27th Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10001 info@trailblazers.org (212) 529-5113

Profile for Riel Peerbooms

Trail Blazers Annual Report 2010-2012  

If you would like a print version mailed to you, please contact Tiffany Caton, Development and Communications Director, at tcaton@trailblaze...

Trail Blazers Annual Report 2010-2012  

If you would like a print version mailed to you, please contact Tiffany Caton, Development and Communications Director, at tcaton@trailblaze...