Skip to contentSkip to left sidebar Skip to footer

About Recreation

Tompkins County Recreation Partnership

The Tompkins County Recreation Partnership serves youth from Tompkins County. Through the Partnership, children who live in the Town of Dryden can participate in select Ithaca Youth Bureau programs and events at the same registration fee as City and Town of Ithaca residents. This serves two main functions–increased diversity of programs, and allows Dryden children who live in the Ithaca City School district to participate in programs with their peers. In 2023, the Tompkins County Recreation Partnership enters its 28th year. With ten municipalities and Tompkins County, this unique alliance is one of the largest in New York State. The Ithaca Youth Bureau Recreation Division is the program provider. The Tompkins County Youth Services Department provides planning and financial coordination. The contributions of the County and participating municipalities keep programs affordable and accessible.

Rural Youth Services (RYS) Dryden and O.U.R.S. Youth Services

Program Provider: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850

The Town of Dryden works with the Tompkins County Youth Services Department and Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County 4-H Rural Youth Services, to provide youth development programs for middle and high school aged youth living in the Town of Dryden (including the villages of Varna, Freeville, Etna, McLean, and Ellis Hollow). Programs promote youth development and youth voice. The Dryden Recreation and Youth Commission (DRYC) helps to assess youth needs and recommends to the Dryden Town and Village (Dryden, Freeville) Boards programs to be operated by the municipalities or through contracts with qualified local agencies.

Program Managers are CCETC staff. All registration forms and permission slips are to be sent to CCETC in Ithaca or turned into CCETC Program Managers.

RYS Dryden Youth Services

Program Manager: Dave Hall

Dryden Youth Services is a 4-H program for middle school aged youth from the Town of Dryden or attending Dryden schools. Programs have included; outdoor cooking, primitive skills, hiking, wildlife identification, arts and crafts, and more. Programs are offered year round after school and ¾ day programs during the summer. Programs are free, with donations always welcome to help cover the costs.

RYS Dryden O.U.R.S.

Program Manager: Patrick Lynch

Dryden O.U.R.S. (Opportunity, Understanding, Respect, Success) is a 4-H program for youth residing in or nearby under-served mobile home parks in Freeville. During the school year, Dryden O.U.R.S. partners with volunteer mentors from Cornell University’s Y.O.U.R.S. (Youth Outreach Undergraduates, Reshaping Success) to provide after school programming Monday-Thursday at 4-H Acres. The Y.O.U.R.S. volunteers work with the youth through mentoring, games, crafts, outdoor activities, cooking, field trips and more. Transportation and healthy meals are offered at these programs.

Project L.E.A.D.

Program Manager: Patrick Lynch

Project LEAD is a youth employment initiative sponsored by the Dryden Recreation and Youth Commission (DRYC). The program is run through Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Rural Youth Services and staffed by the Program Manager. The program is free for middle and high school age youth living within the town of Dryden (including the villages of Varna, Freeville, Etna, McLean, and Ellis Hollow).

This program aims to help youth understand and develop the skills they will need to be successful in the workplace. Additionally, Project LEAD participants will learn more about local organizations and businesses and different career paths as they contribute to local projects. Finally, Project LEAD participants will have an opportunity to meet new friends from across town and have fun together!

Participants will spend 2-3 hours per day working on a community service project with a local partner. The other 2-3 hours of the day will be spent on lunch, workshops, and recreational activities.  While youth can sign up for more than one session, new participants will be prioritized for registration with each new session. Youth will be dropped off and picked up by a parent or guardian at one “home base” location. They will then be transported by program staff to the worksite for their community service project. Each family will receive a detailed schedule on the first day of the week. At the end of the session, youth will receive an Employment Skills certification and other perks!