MARS campers show off a mural they painted depicting their trip to the aquarium in La Jolla. They artists are (from left) Emma Righetti, Lucas Odum, Alex Isaac, Emma Isaac, and Rylan Righetti. Photos by Sally Hedberg

The Town Hall Idyllwild Recreation District is celebrating the MARS (Mobile Activities Recreation Services) and Open Recreation Programs for youth with an end of summer event. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, the community is invited to a potluck where the children will perform and show off their artwork.


According to Marsha Gawecki, MARS summer camp aide and Idyllwild artist, “The children drew pictures and made murals depicting their field trips to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, the San Diego Zoo, the Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park, and they have three more to come.”

These are just two of the diversified programs, which the County of Riverside is offering to the community. For the year Amy Righetti, interim recreation director for the Idyllwild Recreation District, has been with the program, she has seen the opportunities and events expand to include all ages. Her challenge is to reach a broad range with a limited budget.

Rebecca Odum, the teacher of the morning Pre-K Adventures in Learning Program, has open enrollment all year. The MARS summer camp program is five days a week for school age children. They gather from 9 a.m. to noon. A children’s Open Recreation Program is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. These programs have low or no fees and are subsidized by the county. Scholarships are available for low-income families.

There are several free events for seniors. Cribbage is Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon and Wii computer games are on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The seniors have regular meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Several field trips are in the works for both adults and seniors, but these are subject to change unless there is enough interest generated.

Many adult and children’s classes are offered. Adult yoga is Wednesday mornings and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. to accommodate workers. Adults can enjoy learning the latest dance at Adult Dance on Wednesday nights 7 to 8 p.m. After school children can learn tap, ballet, a combination of tap and ballet, yoga and kid’s movement. The cost is $10 per class. Jazzercise classes are available at a different rate.

Jeremy Teeguarden is in charge of sports. Youth coed baseball had 96 participants with teams sponsored by local merchants. Kids have the opportunity to play soccer and basketball while the adults have volleyball and softball.

On Aug. 3, the movie, “African Cats,” will be shown at dusk on a big screen. Kids can enjoy pre-show activities while the adults relax on lawn chairs or blankets while picnicking under the stars.

All these activities held at Idyllwild Town Hall are for everyone to enjoy. Town Hall is located at 25925 Cedar Street or call (951) 659-2638 for information.

Amy Righetti, interim recreation director, stands with her energetic Town Hall Idyllwild Recreation staff (from left) Kelly Wills, Pre-K assistant, Rebecca Odum, Pre-K teacher, and Carolyn Pairis, Leanne Isaac, Wendy Watts and Marsha Gawecki, summer camp aides.