Camp Mason has a venerable and exciting history….. Originally established near Washington’s Crossing in 1900, it was then called Camp Washington. In 1903 the camp was relocated to 200-acre Marshall’s Island in the Delaware River south of Frenchtown. Camp Washington continued to operate on this leased property until James J. Wilson, a member of the Trenton YMCA board, purchased Marshall’s, and donated it to the Y in 1919. The Camp was renamed in honor of Wilson and flourished as YMCA Camp Wilson until August 19, 1955, when Hurricane Diane flooded the Delaware and destroyed the camp.
After the flood, the Trenton YMCA granted a Camp Committee independent status and charged it with seeking other YMCA partners to participate in building a new camp. Under the leadership of Ralph S. Mason, formerly a camper and leader at Camp Wilson, the Central New Jersey YMCA Camps (aka “Central”) was formally organized by its five representative YMCAs – Mercer County, Trenton, Metuchen, New Brunswick, and Rahway. The first Board of Trustees, led by Ralph S. Mason, found the Blairstown tract and recommended it for the new camp. Fundraising, planning, and a host of activities were quickly mobilized in the summer of 1956. The property was purchased in 1957, and Central New Jersey YMCA Camp opened as planned on June 29, 1958. In 1972, the Board of Trustees honored their leader by renaming the camp YMCA Camp Ralph S. Mason.