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"Meetups" in the Islands?

A note from a young Grindstone Island summer resident was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago, citing a need for a place in cyberspace to cater to the many 17-25 year olds who enjoy our region. His premise was that while the 1000 Islands region has a reputation as a family vacation spot, there are many young people that are looking for places to meet and socialize. While the concept of the region as a social “hot-spot” may be relative to one’s social schedule (or ambitions), one general theme that transcends time is that the youth are usually on the lookout for fun.

How? I took a moment a thought about my time up in the 1000 Islands at that age. Much of our nightlife and gatherings were usually word of mouth (while I am not that long in the tooth, the age of the internet and cell phone were not options at the time). However, the modern age has brought technology as a key component for social interaction and a medium for information on events and meetups. It is a vital resource for many young people. Even in a rural region such as this one.

After reading the e-mail, this writer did a fairly comprehensive search for web content in the 1000 Islands region that catered to the Gen Yers. While memories of my summertime in that particular timeframe were probably similar to many who are reading this (collegiate summers in particular….), the internet age would hopefully provide a modern portal for a central spot for events.

We are lucky that a group from the region has recognized that need. The Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization has created a community and website to bridge this age group and provide a resource for the area. Through a link in the Town Of Clayton, the organization has provided a gateway to many events that cater to both summer and year round residents in the region.

The TIYLO was formed last April by a group of young community members in the towns of Clayton and Orleans. The group founders have focused their efforts through a combination of social gatherings (Including last weekend’s Blue Jeans Ball and Upstate River Jam) mixed with community projects.

The website lists many events that will going on throughout the summer. Future items on the agenda include a health and wellness initiative as well as well as a food-co-op. The organization’s mission is to work for the betterment of the region and for the personal development of the young leaders and community members who reside here.

There is a major Music Fest planned for August 13-15 in Gananoque. This will replace the Festival of the Isles, and promises to be a popular event.  The site is on the The Dingman Farm at 15 Pykeview Dr. just north of Gananoque.  The event is presented by artistic directors Rian Malloch and Mark Watson from Watson Entertainment and local resident Rod MacDonald, president of the festival.

We also found two Facebook groups that may provide links to the region’s activities: Thousand Islands Fans, and  1000 Islands People. In addition many young adults volunteer for trail clearing at the Thousand Islands Land Trust or River Days at Save the River.

Looking at Meetups – we found a Thousand Islands Weekend Diver Trip planned for August 22-24.  However over the coming months, if you, our readers, know of music or sporting events that are of interest, send them to . We will post them on our Events page.  We also welcome information!

By James Rappaport, Indian Point Road

Originally from Connecticut's Farmington Valley, James Rappaport is a strategic management consultant for various publishing, radio, and cable television ventures as well as contributing writer for several media outlets.  Jim began his writing at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where he was a feature writer as well as a managing editor for the Hill News. His work has also been featured in various news outlets, including the Stamford (CT) Advocate and The New York Observer. Jim is a resident of Indian Point in the Town of Hammond and northwest Connecticut.

Posted in: Event
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Gary Sanford
Comment by: Gary Sanford ( )
Left at: 10:48 PM Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I was at the Ganonoque Music Festival last year to see the Blues Brothers Review. I had a great time but I was disappointed that there wasn't more people out for this. Not too many in my area knew about it. It was set up well, though. Great stages.
I'm a member of the Blues band "Still Dangerous". Our growing fan base has asked us to play more festivals and we would be open to playing yours, butI'm having some dificulty finding a contact. Any help would be appreciated.
We are currently on Facebook with a website coming along soon.