The First Twenty-Five Years
June 1961: The first FOCUS house party took place in the Adirondacks, sponsored by the fledgling organization, University and Private School Camps, the forerunner to FOCUS. The program and new organization were both inspired by the English branch of Scripture Union that sponsored similar camps in which Peter Moore had participated while at Oxford.
1963: The first Winter House Party was held at Gray Ledges in New Hampshire.
1965-1976: Pawling, New York was the site of camps in June and September, first at Carroll Lodge, then Holiday Hills, a YMCA facility.
1970-1971: Peter Moore and Whitey Haugan, then the chaplain at Ethel Walker, collaborated on an outreach on Martha’s Vineyard centered in a rented house, the Vanderhoop homestead just beneath the lighthouse at Gay Head.
1971: FOCUS was formally established as the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools, an independent organization with a Board of Trustees of faculty, parents, and alumni.
1973: Land with two rustic buildings on Lambert's Cove Road on Martha’s Vineyard was donated to FOCUS. This became the FOCUS Study Center.
Beginning in the mid-70s: FOCUS began to expand beyond the camps and a regular pattern of school visits in New England with the establishment of regional programs in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York. Soon there were regional centers of activity throughout the Northeast.
1979: The first Princeton Weekend was held with John Stott as the program’s speaker.