OA LogoOA 25th Anniversary
Reunion Weekend at Blairstown
September 24 - 26, 1999  

Summer, 1999
Friends of OA Newsletter

And You Thought the Frosh Trip was Fun!

As part of our continuing celebration of OA's 25th Anniversary we have a very special Reunion Weekend planned at the Princeton-Blairstown Center in northwest New Jersey. The very first OA trips twenty-five years ago left from Blairstown and three years ago OA and Blairstown merged, so it is a fitting site for our major reunion event. OA leaders, friends, and their families from all 25 years of the program as well as current OA student leaders and parents are invited to attend a fun outdoor weekend held at Blairstown. There will be time to hike, canoe, rock climb, experience the high ropes course, or just sit on the porch and reconnect with old friends. Cabin lodging or tents (for those who really want to get back to their OA roots) will be provided along with meals. We'll have a big barbecue on Saturday night. You can arrive on Friday evening or join us on Saturday morning. This promises to be a wonderful weekend with old friends and new.


We have put together a wonderful collection of activities for the weekend. Friday night includes a night hike followed by Thomas Sweets Ice Cream. Saturday you can choose from a range of activities all held at Blairstown. Each activity lasts for 1-2 hours and allows you to explore a range of outdoor activities in both morning and afternoon. We will have a central registration area at Blairstown where you can sign-up for specific activities. The OA "Eco-Challenge" is our own fun version of an adventure race that includes a hands-paddling canoe race, climbing wall event, jog, and swim. We'll also have a Trail Construction Service Project to do something for the environment. On Sunday we will offer a repeat of Saturday's activities and out-of-camp activities such as Hiking on the Appalachian Trail, Canoeing on the Delaware River, and Rock Climbing at Millbrook Rocks. These out-of-camp activities will run for 4-6 hours. Here's the list of what we have planned:

Saturday Evening - Barbecue, Speakers, Slides, and S'mores

There will be an outdoor barbecue Saturday evening (meat, veggie, and kosher options available). After dinner on Saturday night we will have leaders from a range of classes showing slides of the 25-year history of OA so dig out those old photos! We'll also have speakers from all 25 years of OA talking about the program and what it is has meant to them. And of course, no OA event would be complete without S'mores and GORP.

The Princeton-Blairstown Center

Some of you may have been to the Princeton-Blairstown Center as part of an OA trip. This is the perfect site for our 25th Reunion. It is a picturesque facility located an hour and a half from Princeton in northwest New Jersey. Blairstown is blessed with an unusually beautiful 275 acres of forest, lake, streams, waterfalls, trails, and wildlife. Facilities include: Egner Lodge (the multipurpose dining and program building), a lodge with an additional classroom and meeting space, 10 winterized log cabins, and a heated bath house. Nearby is the 77,000 acre Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area, and 37,000 acres of state parks and forests. The Appalachian Trail and a local rock climbing area are just ten minutes away. The Delaware River is just 20 minutes away.

Sign Me Up!

We've created a very flexible program that includes a range of lodging and meal packages to fit everyone's schedule and budget. There is a modest Registration Fee for the Reunion to cover programming costs. You can then customize your weekend with the days and type of lodging and the meal plan you prefer. Because of the limitations on space, we are offering a special Early Bird Registration rate of $25 for adults and $15 for children under 12 until August 15. Register now and save! Rates go up to $40 for adults and $25 for children after August 15 (lodging and meals are extra, see below for lodging ana meal plan options).

Reunions Schedule

Friday, September 24

6:00 PM - Arrive at Blairstown, check into cabins
6:30 - 7:30 PM - Light Supper
9:00 - 10:00 PM - Thomas Sweets Ice Cream

Saturday, September 25

7:00 - 8:00 AM - Early morning woods walk/run
8:00 - 9:00 AM - Breakfast
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Morning Activities
12:00 - 1:00 PM - Lunch
1:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Afternoon Activities
6:00 - 7:30 PM - 25th Reunion Barbecue
7:30 - 9:30 PM - OA through the Ages - Slides and stories from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s
9:30 PM - S’mores and OA stories

Sunday, September 26

7:00 - 8:00 AM - Early morning woods walk/run
8:00 - 9:00 AM - Breakfast
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Morning Activities
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM - Out-on-the Trail Activities
12:00 - 1:00 PM - Lunch
1:00 - 3:00 PM - Afternoon Activities


Arrive on Friday night and stay through Sunday afternoon, come in for Saturday and Sunday, or come for just the day on Saturday. We are offering two lodging options: cabins or tents. Cabins hold 8-12 in bunk beds. Tents are 2-4 person and OA can provide sleeping bags and foam pads. You can also bring your own tent and set it up on the field. Lodging rates are $10.00/person/night for cabins and $5.00/person/night for tents ($2.00/person/night if you bring your own tent).


We have a very flexible meal plan at $6.40/adult/meal and $5.00/meal for children under 12. Depending on your length of stay you can choose from Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch, Saturday evening barbecue, Sunday breakfast and Sunday lunch. We offer meal options for meat eaters, veggies, vegans, and kosher folks. Please specify your meal needs on your registration form.


There will be lots of activities to do with your kids. We will have a few game times set aside just for kids so parents can enjoy some other activities. For more information on bringing your kids to Blairstown, contact Keith Ely ’79 (610-444-0992 or ely05@aol.com).


Princeton-Blairstown Center is 1½ hours northwest of Princeton (65 miles) off Interstate 80. For those of you who are flying in we will have a shuttle going up from Princeton on Friday evening (7:00 PM) and again on Saturday morning (7:00 AM). We will have a shuttle leaving for Princeton on Saturday evening (9:00 PM) and Sunday afternoon (1:00 PM). You can take the Princeton Airporter from Newark.


The Jewish holiday of Sukhot starts on Friday night. We will be able to provide kosher meals on Saturday for those who can attend. For more information, contact Peter Bregman ’89 (pbregman@bregmanpartners.com).

What Should I Bring

We will send you a list of what to bring after you register. Here are a few items that you may want to bring along.

Guess Who's Coming!

One of the phenomenal things about OA is how much the program crosses generations and classes at Princeton. So-and-so led your frosh trip, someone else was your leader trainer, and then you led someone’s frosh trip. We plan to see over 150 leaders from all 25 years of OA’s history. We'll also have the current crew of over 150 OA student leaders so you can hear from them about what's happening with OA. Come join us to see old friends, explore the outdoors, and support OA. Here are just some of the people who plan to come back to celebrate OA’s 25th with you!

John Danielson ’58

Jim Garrett ’65

Warren Elmer ’69

Andy Brown ’69

Ed Seliga ’75

Bill Katen-Narvell ’76

Ron Grayson ’78

Rick Curtis ’79

Keith Ely ’79

Irene Pasternack ’79

Dan Schoeffler ’81

Chris VanBuren ’84

Dan Kastelman ’85

Steve Schoeffler ’85

Sandy Hill ’86

Carl Kruse ’86

Gail Shuttleworth ’86

Toby Yanowitz ’87

Chris Round ’88

Peter Bregman ’89

Dave Thickens ’89

Gray Tuttle ’89

Rachel Stein ’90

Grace Offutt ’91

Eleanor Harrison ’92

Ted Polubinski ’92

Spencer Reynolds ’92

Marjorie Lee White ’92

Adam Wolfensohn ’92

Susannah Ray ’94

Shane Woolf ’94

Billy Broaddus ’95

Alyssa Nelson ’95

Kristen Fountain ’96

Tom Lannamann ’96

Torrey McMillan ’96

Sue Suh ’96

Robin Hibbert ’97

Josh Roman ’97

Sarah Shamel ’98

John Gager Faculty

Updates on the Reunions Weekend

Go to the OA Web Site (www.princeton.edu/~oa) for the latest information about the OA 25th Reunion weekend including who has registered and special announcements.


Summer '99 Newsletter

Trustees Approve OA Alcohol Education & Diversity Initiative

The May issue of Tiger Trails reported on the exciting results of Brian Wardwell's senior thesis on the Frosh Trip. His research demonstrated that the Frosh Trip helps reduce student misperceptions about how much other students drink on campus. The Trustees have approved a grant of $13,000 for OA to implement an exciting new training program for Frosh Trip Leaders. Leaders will return an extra day earlier before the Frosh Trip to participant in a full-day training on how to effectively facilitate discussions about the responsible use of alcohol and on being a member of a diverse community. This will give leaders the tools to provide more information and guidance to frosh in the many informal discussions that take place on the trail. OA has contracted with Project Adventure in Hamilton, Massachusetts, one of the foremost experiential education training organizations in the world, to develop and provide the training. Once again, OA is paving new ground in expanding the impact of the Frosh Trip wilderness orientation experience. Thanks to support from the Dean of Student Life, Janina Montero, we will be repeating Brian Wardwell's thesis study to examine the effects of this training on making even greater changes in frosh attitudes about alcohol.

Donate your old Cell Phone to OA

OA needs cell phones for OA trips and Support Teams especially during the Frosh Trip (65+ trips). If you have an old cell phone that you are no longer using, you can donate it to OA. We can activate the phone using a Bell Mobile Minutes Calling card. We have already received 10 phones from donors, and we hope to get additional phones by August to use for Frosh Trip ’99. We prefer Motorola phones that can use standard AA alkaline batteries, essential for field use where there is no recharging capability. Your donation is considered a tax deductible contribution to Princeton and we will send you a letter confirming your donation for your tax records.

President Shapiro Presents Josh Miner '43 Experiential Education Award at Reunions

For those who were not able to be at Reunions this year, President Shapiro presented the Josh Miner Experiential Education Award for 1999 to Rick Curtis ’79. It was a special event and the president had a number of very positive things to say about OA. We want to share his remarks about the program and Rick with you.

Andy Brown ’69 Dave Wilson ’53

Co-Chair Friends of OA Co-Chair Friends of OA

"The Josh Miner ’43 Experiential Education Award was established five years ago by the Friends of Outdoor Action. It is named for an alumnus who served as a founding trustee of Outward Bound and who was instrumental in bringing the program to the U.S. The award is presented each year at the time of Outdoor Action’s reunion gathering to a graduate of Princeton who has provided outstanding leadership in the fields of experiential or outdoor education

This year’s recipient of the Josh Miner Award is Rick Curtis, Princeton Class of ’79, who is well known to everyone who has ever participated in Outdoor Action, since he has served as the director of that program since 1981. This year, as Outdoor Action celebrates its 25th Anniversary, it is particularly appropriate that we recognize Rick’s contributions. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the transformation of OA from a fledgling undertaking into a widely respected and much emulated model for campus-based outdoor leadership and education programs.

During the past 18 years under Rick’s leadership, Outdoor Action has grown significantly, with training modules and classes developed and offered in all aspects of outdoor adventure and experiential education. More than 2,000 students, in fact, have completed the 50-hour training program that is one of the requirements for certification as an OA leader. Participation in the freshmen trips has grown to the point where this past year, 603—more than half—of our incoming students took advantage of the opportunity to explore the outdoors in the company of small groups of their classmates prior to the start of the academic year. Literally thousands of undergraduates now participate in the annual menu of almost 200 events. In recent years, since Outdoor Action became part of the Princeton-Blairstown Center, Rick has been working with students and staff on the development of new OA community service initiatives that will bring students leadership and service resources to the communities surrounding the University. In addition, the new Community Based Learning Initiative offers students more opportunities to integrate their OA experience and their academic work.

As symbolized by the kayak that is more often than not ‘at the ready’ on the roof rack of his car, Rick’s activities—and contributions—extend well beyond the boundaries of this campus and this University community. He has been an active participant in the work of the Association for Experiential Education (and was in fact honored by the AEE some years ago with their Servant Leader Award). Through the website he established for OA, the resources of the program, and those of hundreds of related sites, are easily accessible throughout the world. And his Backpacker’s Field Manual, the outgrowth of the OA Leaders Manual and the distillation of untold hours of ‘hands-on’ experience, has sold more than 25,000 copies since it was published last year. Recognizing that to a backpacker weightiness is never a virtue, Amazon.com described Rick’s book as simply ‘invaluable.’

During my last regularly scheduled office hours for the academic year, five members of the senior class came in, not to discuss a problem, or to ask for financial support for a project, but to tell me how much their experience with OA and its leadership program had meant to them. I know that many of you are here today because you share these sentiments. All of us recognize the enormous debt OA—and Princeton-Blairstown Center-owe to Rick Curtis for the dedicated, energetic, and imaginative leadership he has provided to a program whose ‘ripple effects’ have enriched the lives not only of countless Princetonians but many beyond our campus community. Rick, It is a pleasure to thank you for all your efforts and to present to you the Josh Miner ’43 Experiential Education Award for 1999." 

- President Harold T. Shapiro

Friends of Outdoor Action

The Armory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, www.princeton.edu/~oa/

Name ______________________________________________________ Class __________


City ________________________________________ State _________ Zip ____________ q Please check if this is a new address.

Email Address________________________________________________________________

If you want to be contacted about upcoming OA activities.

OA 25th Anniversary Reunion - September 24 - 26, 1999

Early Bird Registration before August 15 - $25/adult, $15/child under 12 - ________ adults & ________ children

  Regular Registration after August 15 - $40/adult, $25/child under 12 - ________ adults & ________ children


Lodging is available in either cabins or tents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cabin Lodging - $10.00/person/night for ________ adults & ________ children Friday   Saturday
Tent Lodging - $5.00/person/night for ________ adults & ________ children   Friday   Saturday
I can bring my own tent - $2.00/person/night for ________ adults & ________ children.

Please try to house me with ________________________________________________________.


Meals are $6.40/adult and $5.00/child under 12. Please check the meals you wish and the number of people in your group for that meal. Like all OA activities, this is an alcohol-free event.

  Friday dinner ________ adults & ________ children 
Saturday Breakfast ________ adults &________ children
Saturday Lunch ________ adults & ________ children 
Saturday Barbecue ________ adults & ________ children
Sunday Breakfast ________ adults & ________ children 
Sunday Lunch ________ adults & ________ children

Please tell us your food needs/preferences and for how many people in your party:

  Red Meat _____   Chicken/Fish _____   Vegetarian _____   Vegan _____   Kosher _____

Registration = $__________
Lodging = $__________
Meals = $__________
Total =  $__________ 

I can bring a 10-minute slide show of OA Trips.

Please make your check payable to Outdoor Action.


Let us know the activities you are intersted in participating in so we can plan our schedule. You will need to sign up for particular activities and time slots once you arrive at Blairstown.

  Early morning Walk/Run _____ spaces 
Night Hike _____ spaces
Low Ropes Course _____ spaces 
High Ropes Course _____ spaces
Dam Rappel _____ spaces 
Nature Walk _____ spaces
Climbing Wall _____ spaces 
Canoeing on Bass Lake_____ spaces
Beginners Kayaking on Bass Lake_____ spaces 
Team Building Course _____ spaces
Zipline _____ spaces 
Trail Construction Service Project _____ spaces
New Games for Kids _____ spaces 
OA "Eco-Challenge" _____ spaces

Sunday - Out-of-Camp Activities

  Hiking on the Appalachian Trail_____ spaces
Canoeing on the Delaware River _____ spaces
Top Rope Climbing at Rick's Rocks_____ spaces

You can jump to a one-page version of the membership form or an Adobe Acrobat version to print and send in your membership dues or other gift.

Friends of Outdoor Action

The Armory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, www.princeton.edu/~oa/

Name ______________________________________________________ Class __________


City ________________________________________ State _________ Zip ____________
_____Please check if this is a new address.

Email Address________________________________________________________________
If you want to be contacted about upcoming OA activities.

Friends of Outdoor Action Membership Dues for 1999

_____ $5.00 Student dues
_____ $20.00 Friend/Parent dues
_____ $40.00 Pathfinder dues 
_____ Other Contribution $_______________
_____ $60.00 Trail Breaker dues
_____ $100.00 Wilderness Steward dues
_____ $250.00 Mountain Guide dues

    Please make checks payable to Princeton University. All contributions are tax deductible and eligible for matching gift programs.

OA 25th Anniversary Climbing to New Heights Campaign Donations

_____ Please send me more information on the OA 25th Climbing to New Heights Campaign and how I can support Outdoor Action through charitable contributions.

OA Challenge 2000 $_______________ Special gift for OA's 25th Anniversary
Leadership Development Fund $_______________ Supporting the new Program Coordinator position.
Zander Scott '92 Scholarship Fund $_______________ Building endowment for Frosh Trip scholarships.
Climbing to New Heights Fund $_______________ Building long-term endowment for Outdoor Action.

Please make checks payable to Princeton University. If you send one check, please specify what amount is for membership and what amount is for the Climbing to New Heights Campaign.

Outdoor Action Items

_____ $15.00 - OA 25th Anniversary T-shirt, ash gray with two-color logo (100% cotton). Size: _________
($5 of your gift is a tax deductible contribution to OA)
_____ $15.00 - OA 25th Anniversary Leader T-shirt, royal blue/white logo (100% cotton). Size: _________
($5 of your gift is a tax deductible contribution to OA)
_____ $27.00 - autographed copy of The Backpacker's Field Manual
($12 of your gift is a tax deductible contribution to OA)
_____ $40.00 - OA Crazy Creek Chair - the perfect portable chair for camp use with the OA logo.

Current tax laws require that the fair market value of an item received as part of a gift be subtracted from the amount that is considered tax deductible.

News from the Trailhead

Send us news about what you are doing or your latest outdoor adventures for the next issue of Tiger Trails.





Helping Outdoor Action

I am interested in

_____ serving on the Friends of OA Board
_____ helping with OA's 25th Anniversary activities
_____ being a resource for the OA Outdoor/Environmental Careers Network