Beacon Campus

One of University Settlement's most important gifts in its earliest days was the donation of approximately 100 acres of bucolic property at the foot of Mount Beacon, 60 miles up the Hudson River from our home on the Lower East Side. It was 1910, and the Settlement quickly established its renowned residential camp facility there, a haven for generations of New York City children, where thousands fled urban life and experienced nature for the first time. Part of the camp's philosophy was to spread a message of hope, tolerance and community building. A corps of Work Campers helped staff the camp in the decades after World War II to learn the art and the value of community work and selfless service. Generations of other young adults were counselors, and many remain the Settlement's most fervent supporters today.

University Settlement Beacon CampIn 2007, after a difficult period when the challenge of supporting a residential, seasonal camp became untenable, a decision was made to sell the property. The sale was made final on Friday, January 4, 2008 - a very sad day for many who worked diligently to save the property for productive and quality uses. However on a very positive note, the sale provided University Settlement with additional financial resources with which to strengthen its core operation. The New York State Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the camp for its full appraised value; the State will make an arrangement with the City of Beacon to manage most of the property as a public open space according to a plan to now be developed by Beacon. The remaining property (the mountain slope) will be protected as part of the larger publicly-owned watershed area.

To all who loved camp and worked so hard to support it, we thank you and hope that you will stay in touch with University Settlement where the work and message remain the same, and 30,000 City residents a year are improving their lives with our programs.

 

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