Youth Empowerment & Leadership for transgender, questioning, gender non-conforming, non-binary (TGQN), and otherwise LGBTQIA+2  

Fall Session: October 2 – December 11, 2021
7 Saturdays, 2:00PM – 7:30PM
Oct. 2, Oct. 16, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11

Winter Session: Jan. 15 – March 19
5 Saturdays, 11:00AM – 4:30PM
January 15 and 29, February 12, March 5 and 19

  • Who: Interested youth aged 11-15
  • Where: Locations TBA, and including Ecovillage, and 4-H Acres. Van transportation may be available as needed, and we encourage families to carpool whenever possible.

Tend the Fire of Your Truth

Our teen leadership programs offer team building and personal development in a nature-based setting. Each program day begins and ends with group connection and personal sharing, and offers opportunities for creative expression with a healthy dose of outdoor adventure and skill-building.

Creating a culture of connection and belonging in a nature-based space is one of the most healing and supportive gifts for young people. The leadership style we co-create at Gender Creatives invites forth the unique gifts of the individual, supports exploration of personal identity and encourages playful connection with nature. Working together we can gently identify our edges and begin to nudge them forward. We can acknowledge and celebrate the uniqueness of each gender expression journey, and support the individual and collective experience of leadership development among peers.

The Adventure Continues

In the fall our Gender Creatives group (Into the Woods) used plant dyes and natural materials to create unique fiber arts, honed knife skills in wood carving projects and took a deep dive into claiming symbols of personal power and mystery. We experienced being a part of a team in group challenges and invited participants to choose their own path in exploring a variety of outdoor skills and knowledge. This coming winter, we will again create a warm and welcoming woodland basecamp together, to hold us through the season of darker and colder days.    

While we always aim to be gender-inclusive, our Gender Creatives program is specifically designed for youth identifying as TGQN and otherwise LGBTQIA+2, and will be led, in part, by adult mentors who also identify as members of this group. Offering this unique space gives identifying youth an opportunity to connect with and be supported by their peers as well. As we gather in a safe, supportive and fun environment we’ll discover the threads of connection that weave us together, and develop our sense of self and belonging.

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

Sliding Scale Fee

*The true cost of this program is $250/participant, however, we are thrilled to extend grant funding and scholarship funds to create a more accessible program for our community! When you register, you will see a sliding scale option of $50-350.

  • This allows all families with financial need to choose their own price without going through an application process.
  • Any amount you contribute above $250/participant is tax-deductible and helps us achieve our mission, together

*If you know a young person who could benefit from a scholarship to this program, please be in touch!

Choose-Your-Price Sliding Scale System

At Primitive Pursuits, we are committed to making our programs available to as many people as possible. To this end, we generate scholarships via our choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, on a program-to-program basis. The base rate of our programs covers the cost of the program but in the case of this program, additional funds are being used to subsidize the lower end of the sliding scale. Payments above the $250 (actual) base rate are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. When filing for taxes Primitive Pursuits is listed under “Cornell Cooperative Extension” Tax ID #16-6072897. 

Registration Information

Space is not held until we’ve received payment in full. Use a computer or laptop with Firefox or Chrome to register online, since Safari and Explorer, and phones and tablets, are not compatible with our registration software.

Program Policies

Please visit our Program Policies page for more information.

Our Choose-Your-Price Sliding Scale System

At Primitive Pursuits, we are committed to making our programs available to as many people as possible. To this end, we generate scholarships via our choose-your-price sliding scale program costs, on a program-to-program basis. The base rate of our programs covers the cost of the program. Any payments above the base rate are tax-deductible donations to our scholarship fund. When filing for taxes Primitive Pursuits is listed under “Cornell Cooperative Extension” Tax ID #16-6072897. 

To learn more about financial assistance, please visit our Scholarships page.

Common Online Payment Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Please login to your Account Portal on a computer (not smartphone or tablet)
  2. Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser (not Explorer or Safari)
  3. Wait at least 30 seconds after submitting your payment for the screen to change (there is no visual symbol showing that the credit card payment is processing).
  4. If the payment does not go through and you are on a computer using Firefox or Chrome, it may be that your credit/debit card has a past expiration date on file. Try entering your current card as a ‘new’ card in the Account Portal.
  5. Check with your bank to determine whether your account has enough balance to cover the payment.
  6. If you have gone through the above steps, please email us for additional assistance:[email protected]

Pick Up/Drop Off Policy:

If your child is late to be picked up (or is dropped off early) you will be charged $20 per instance. By making payment for our programs you agree to this policy and agree to be charged accordingly. We are unable to provide supervision outside of the times indicated when you signed up for the program.

Should you need to pick up or drop off during a program:

Our camps are unique in that our programming occurs away from the drop-off area. Due to this aspect of our programs, getting a child to the parking lot or getting them to their group during program time can require extra staff and/or a restructuring of that day’s planned activities. We understand that your family is busy and everyone has a lot going on! Advance notice helps our instructors maintain the program’s structure with minimal disruption.

Contact our office via email ([email protected]com) or phone (607-272-2292) at least 24 hours in advance to let us know if you need to pick up your camper early or drop them off late. (If your request is for Monday, please let us know by 4pm the Friday before.) The more advance notice, the better! Please understand that we reserve the right to deny these special requests if we do not have enough time to provide accommodations.

Receipt Requests

If you require a receipt for program fees, please email [email protected]including the name of the account holder and the time period for which you need the receipt (eg. summer of 2019; fall of 2018). We do our best to respond within a week; in the busy summertime this may take longer.


Please look for your registration status in your Account Portal. If you see “waitlist” then that participant is on the waitlist. Our registration software will not accept payment for a waitlisted participant. If a spot opens, we call and email the next waitlisted person and include a deadline for reply and payment arranged through the office. Our field staff cannot accept payments for programs.

Cancellations due to Weather and Other Acts of Nature

If a single-day program (such as a school-break day) is canceled due to inclement weather, we will credit your payment toward a future program or refund your payment minus a $15 processing fee. If a single day of an ongoing program (such as a week-long camp, Homeschool program, or after-school programs) is canceled, no refunds will be made.

We will cancel our programs if the Ithaca City School District cancels school due to snow or hazardous weather. We will cancel Afterschool if ICSD cancels after school programs due to snow or hazardous weather. If the program takes place on a school break day or holiday, we will cancel our programs if the Tompkins County sheriff declares that the roads are closed due to hazardous conditions. If there is a 2 hour delay, we will delay our program for 1 hour. As always, we encourage people to travel only when they feel it is safe. You can check here for current school and road closings.

Mandated Cancellations due to COVID-19

Our programs may be cancelled by local or state Departments of Health or other such regulatory agencies in the case of concerns around COVID-19.

The following policy only applies to situations in which the program you are signed up for is cancelled due to mandates from state or local authorities based on concerns around COVID-19. Please note that all other cancellation policies still apply, including our policies for family-initiated cancellations for any reason.

Due to the continued need to plan for coronavirus-related program closures, we have updated our refund policy for our programs starting in 2021:

  • At this time, we are reserving the right to retain up to half of payments made to programs, if necessary, should our programs be cancelled by authorities due to COVID-19. The sole reason for implementing this policy, should we choose to do so, would be to continue paying our staff a minimum amount of income to prevent lay-offs and harmful loss of income. Should a new COVID-19 stimulus package help us prevent such losses, then we would credit program payments to the extent we are able.
  • This policy acknowledges a shared risk, both for families and for Primitive Pursuits, in continuing to achieve our shared mission at this time.
  • We will consider exceptions to this policy based on financial hardship. For more information, please email our office: [email protected]

Family-Initiated Cancellations

This section applies to cancellations and refund requests made by the Account Holder:

  • In order for any program change or refund request to be considered, it must be made in writing through the Registrar, even if you have discussed this with another staff person, such as a field educator.
  • The effective date of all refund requests is the date of the email notifying the Registrar of your request.
  • Changes and refunds are NOT guaranteed and only the Registrar can process these changes.
  • Epic Days and donations (amount paid above the base rate) are nonrefundable.
  • If we are unable to approve a scholarship request which prevents you from participating in a program, all payments towards that program (even “non-refundable deposits”) will be returned if you.

Please email [email protected] with your full name, phone number, the participant’s name, the full program name(s), and the program start date(s). 
No phone calls.

Refer to the program-specific policies below:

Academic Year (except Ithaca Forest Preschool):

  1. If you cancel 30 or more days prior to the program starting date, you are entitled to a full refund, minus the deposit & any donation above the sliding scale base rate.
  2. If you cancel between 14 and 30 days prior to the program starting date, Primitive Pursuits will retain half the program tuition, after the deposit & any donation above the sliding scale base rate.
  3. If you cancel fewer than 14 days prior to the program starting date or after the program has begun, there will be no refunds.
  4. Epic Day fees are non-refundable/transferable