The Delaware Youth Center is used for a host of events and activities by 5 different townships in New York and nearby Pennsylvania. This is a very rural area. Many households work two jobs and still have very limited incomes. We try to provide social, recreational and educational opportunities to a community that includes many isolated individuals.
Children are the focus of much of our programming. We have run a summer program for them every year for at least forty years. The six-week Summer Youth Program is free to area residents and meets every weekday morning. It is funded in part by the Sullivan County Youth Bureau. A grant from the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance allows us to hire professional artists to teach workshops in mural painting, drawing, pottery and found art. The National Park Service teaches the kids about the world of nature. Raptors and reptiles, as well as farm animals come. The program director, has recruited volunteers to lead a wide variety of activities, from carpentry to martial arts to archery. Our activity director offers arts and crafts and leads the kids in a different sport every day. The program offers wonderful opportunities to try new things, learn some things and make new friends. This year, 140 children are taking part.
There is a soccer program in the fall with over 200 children participating. Cal Ripken baseball and softball use the field, as does the Men’s Softball Association. Karate and Zumba classes are held all year. For info on any of these programs, see the Contact Us page.
We also hold parties for the children throughout the year – an Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween Parade and Christmas Party. For the latter, directors dress up as elves and do crafts with the kids and even Santa comes. The playground is a favorite place for area children to play.
The skateboard park is a place for teenagers, especially the young ones, to spend time working on their sport. The teens have helped raise money for equipment by holding concerts, dances and selling flags.
We hold dances in the spring when everyone is suffering from cabin fever and on Halloween for adults. Men’s softball teams use our field. In addition, we try to meet the needs of every segment of our community with events throughout the year. The Tractor Parade, under the direction of Kathy Langley, is an unusual event that the DYC took over in 2004. In 2010, we had over 250 tractors and served over 1,000 people chicken barbeque and hotdogs. There is a Canoe Regatta and a 5K River Run.
All kinds of community groups use our facility for meetings, movies and fundraisers. The Visioning Committee, folks working to eradicate the knotweed choking our streams and citizens concerned about a proposed power line have all met there recently. The Delaware Young @ Heart will be organizing new activites for the young at heart. During the winter, there is a group that holds indoor walks three days a week. People rent the facility for weddings, family reunions and other celebrations.
Our Board of Directors are all very capable and energetic. Each Director offers their own talents and areas of expertise to run fundraisers for the Center. Their interests are diverse and their talents are many. Our caretakers treat the place as if it were their own. We are a unique organization and owe our success to teamwork and cooperation.