By Marissa Willman

As the middle of summer approaches, the excitement of being out of school wanes and children start to say every parent’s favorite phrase: “Mom, Dad, I’m bored!”
There’s still more than a month to go before the kids head back to school and the Desert Recreation District has plenty of summer programs and camps that will keep your children active and healthy as they learn a new sport or improve on an old favorite. Here are a few programs available to local youth:
From Aug. 2nd to Aug. 30th, the Indio Community Center will hold a Summer Basketball Camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays for children ages 5 to 14. Held in a state-of-the-art gymnasium, participants will learn competitive basketball rules and strategies. Classes will cover everything from proper stretching and warm-ups to offensive and defensive drills. The program fee is $40-$50.
Football season is fast approaching, making summer the perfect time for kids to brush up on their skills. The Desert Recreation District will host a Flag Football Training Camp at Freedom Park in Palm Desert on Saturdays from Aug. 4th to Aug. 25th. The coed camp is for children from ages 7 to 13 and will introduce players to football positions, stretching and coordination skills. To prepare players for the upcoming football season, the program will focus on catching, throwing and form running. Program fees range between $50-$60.
Giddy up, cowboys and cowgirls! The last session of the Summer Saddle Up for Success Camp will be held from July 23rd to July 26th. The one-week program is open to youth between ages 8 to 18 and is held at the Coachella Valley Mounted Rangers Ranch in Indio. Participants learn the basics of horse safety, communication, care and riding. Program fees range from $150-$170, and private lessons are also available for $65/hour. For more information, call Annette Garcia at (760) 880-8954.
Participants can test their bow and arrow skills with Robin Hood Archery in the morning and cool off at the Palm Desert Aquatics Center in the afternoon as part of a special 3-day program hosted by the DRC. The program costs $180 for the 3-day package and will be held from Aug. 7th to 9th.
On July 20th, Aug. 4th and Aug. 25th, teens between ages 12 and 17 can head to Jungle Island Paintball Park with the DRC for a day of paintballing. Teens will play on a variety of fields with different game styles. Equipment rental is included with the $70 program fee.
End summer on a high note with the DRC’s Summer Blowout, a 3-day program from Aug. 21st to Aug. 24th that includes two trips to Knott’s Soak City and a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. The $180 program fee includes admission costs and lunch.
The Desert Recreation District also hosts weekly, 2-week and 3-week camp programs throughout the Coachella Valley at various community centers for children ages 5 to 14. Campers participate in sports activities, themed games and creative arts.
To learn more about any of these programs or to register, visit or call (760) 347-3484.

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