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OVER 125 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE


INTRODUCTION In 2012 Trail Blazer Camps celebrated 125 years of serving inner-city youth through outdoor experiential education, making us the 2nd oldest summer camp program in the US and the 1st to offer environmental education.

In 2013, we continue fulfilling our mission of facilitating youth development through experiential education and the launch of environmental education and leadership program, “Under One Sky.�


OUR PROGRAMS & GOALS PROGRAMS

GOALS

Our holistic, award-winning programs emphasize emotional, intellectual, and physical participation:

Our programs are designed in order to fulfill our four guiding principles. By participating in our programs, youth develop:

Summer Outdoor Experiential Education Program (Sleep Away & Day Camp) On our 1100 forested acres, youth live for 14 or 28 days in a “smallcamp” where they schedule their own day as a group, in accordance with our decentralized program philosophy. Rustic accommodations of latrines and canvas shelters ensure youth experience nature intimately. The program culmination is the Vagabond, the multiday hike down the Appalachian Trail. Though they go home each night, day campers still participate in our enriching activities.

Counselors in Training - Leadership Program Adolescent campers interested in a career working with children are provided the opportunity to develop the skills required to succeed in this field.

Under One Sky - Leadership Program Lessons learned at our camp’s forested environment are translated into actions for participants’ urban home environments.

1. A love of learning for learning’s sake, reading and writing more. 2. Greater awareness of the natural world, its inhabitants and how to care for it. 3. Improved health and body stewardship, eating healthier and maintaining a healthy self image. 4. Social and emotional competencies including self-confidence, teamwork/collaboration, communication, empathy, conflict resolution and appropriate interaction with peers and adults.


OUR APPROACH

Trail Blazers’ program approach has been developed over the course of 125 years. We believe that being in groups and being deeply involved in your own experience is the best way to learn and grow. We facilitate this process by using nature: our 1000 acres of beautiful, untouched land and lake remove the distractions of modern life and is a place to connect to both the natural world and oneself. The learning and growth process is further developed through a range of non-competitive activities, group-oriented focus, and the individual’s input in creating their own experience. This approach establishes a program that is unique and personal to each participant and offers opportunities for personal growth and educational development.


OUR CAMPERS, OUR IMPACT On average, 450 youth (ages 5-17) participate in our programs every year: • 44% are African-American, 30% Latino, 17% White, 6% Asian and 3% multi-racial • 79% are from New York’s five boroughs, 21% from New Jersey • Self-esteem

• 81% are eligible for free or reduced lunch

• Teamwork skills • The return rate averages 50% for sleepaway camp, 85% for day camp

• Independence • Affinity for nature

• Youth are referred to Trail Blazers from schools and social services agencies such as Harlem Dowling, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, City of Paterson NJ, and Eva’s Village

• Responsibility & Accountability • Friendship relationship/building skills • Interest in exploring

• Motivation to learn

• Family citizenship

• Health awareness

At the end of each summer, over 80% of our youth participants report their two-week Trail Blazers experience helped them increase the essential life skills above.


PRESENTING: UNDER ONE SKY


PRESENTING: UNDER ONE SKY Under One Sky was born out of the realization that a complete understanding of “environment” involves much more than experiencing the outdoors. Under One Sky aims to expand our youth’s understanding of “environment” to include everywhere they live, work, and play and to help them take their personal connection with the outdoors and translate them into practical meaning for their urban lives. By supplementing science education with exploration of the links between environmental, personal, and community well-being, participants fully comprehend how “environment” in all its forms impacts our lives. Furthermore, and most importantly, Under One Sky helps youth understand how they can affect their environments for the better. We are especially pleased to announce Under One Sky will launch the Summer of 2013 with an competitive grant awarded from Youth, I.N.C.. Under One Sky, as a new year-round program, is an opportunity to engage and impact our youth even further as we work to build upon our 125 years of successful programming building skills and values for life.


PRESENTING: UNDER ONE SKY UNDER ONE SKY PILOTED IN 2011 WITH 7 YOUTH In addition to learning “Leave No Trace” principles during their summer at Trail Blazers, they participated in the following workshops in the summer and fall: • Participated in the urban land-to-plate process, visiting Western Queens Compost Initiative (WQCI) and learning about a community vegetable garden the compost fertilized. • Visited a local food market (Culver Lake Nursery Farm Market in Branchville, NJ) for discussions with vendors about the local food movement. • Participated in the Climate Justice Youth Summit, a roundtable on climate change and policy, exploring links between environmental policies and social equality. • Explored the economics of sustainability with Build It Green! NYC.


SPRING BENEFIT 2013 Join us as we launch our 127th summer of programming, and 1st year of Under One Sky •Monday, June 24, 2013; 6 – 9pm •The Glasshouses at the Chelsea Arts Tower •125 guests, silent auction, and cocktails •All funds raised supports our Scholarship Fund •Dollar for dollar match before June 15


For more information contact Tiffany Caton, Development and Communications Officer tcaton@trailblazers.org or (212) 929-7106 153 West 27th Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10001


Introducing Trail Blazers