School’S Out!

Summer activities aplenty for all ages


School came to a close this past week. Now it’s time to find something to keep the kids busy for the next eight weeks or so.

Plenty of summer fun is out there, just waiting for the Rim Country’s young people, their visiting friends, parents, grandparents and others.

Visit the pool at Rumsey Park, check out the barrel racing and pole bending practices at the Payson Event Center, see what the libraries have planned for their summer reading programs or get enrolled in a parks and recreation program.


The Fourth of July festivities in Green Valley Park include good, old-fashioned fun like a tug-o-war and sack races.

The weekly concerts at Green Valley Park’s amphitheater start this Saturday, June 2 and the town’s Mountain High Games are this weekend too.

Taylor Pool

Taylor Pool is at North Rumsey Park on North McLane Road and its regular hours for public swimming will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and cost is $2 per visit.

Lap swimming will also be at this time and costs $2 per visit as well.


The whole family can cool down and stay active at Taylor Pool. There are swimming lessons, water aerobics classes, lap swimming, youth swim team practices and more.

Swimming lessons will be offered from 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Monday and Wednesday and from 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday; lessons will start every 30 minutes.

A water aerobics program will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday and Wednesday and cost is $2 per visit. Adult Group Swim, with planned workouts provided, will be from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., Monday through Thursday.

Practices for youth swim team will be from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., Monday through Thursday for those 11 and older, and from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Thursday for those 10 and younger.

Enrollment is now open for the swimming lessons; youth swim team and adult group swim. Pre-register at For more information or to book a pool party call 1-877-539-5009 or e-mail

Summer Rec Program

The town’s Summer Rec Program starts this week, with activities offered from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday. There will be physical and cultural activities, field trips and more during the eight-week program.

The program is open to youngsters who will be entering the first through sixth grades in the fall. The cost is $30 per child and includes lunch at Rim Country Middle School.

Pre-registration is required. Call the parks office at (928) 474-5242, extension 7, go online to or stop by the office at 1000 W. Country Club, Payson, at Green Valley Park.

Mountain High Games

This weekend, Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3, the town, with help of many supportive sponsors, will host the Mountain High Games with a wide variety of fun and challenging events for people of all ages and skill levels. The fun takes place at the Payson Event Center, located just south of town on Highway 87 across from the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

Events include archery competitions, ATV trail ride and rodeo, mountain bike races, horseshoe tournament, dutch oven cooking contest, sawdust events and a demolition truck derby.

To learn more, go to


Contributed photo

Junction 87 will be among the performers featured during the annual Summer Concert Series. The local favorites are scheduled to appear June 30. Enjoy a variety of music at 7 p.m. every Saturday evening at the Green Valley Park amphitheater.

Summer concerts

The annual Summer Concert Series by the parks department also starts the first weekend in June.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. every Saturday from June 2 through July 28. The concerts are held in the amphitheater area of Green Valley Park where the audience can bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show.

Scheduled to perform are MC6 A Capella with Doo-Wop from the 1950s and 1960s, June 2; J. Powers Band with R&B, Motown music and rock, June 9; Blue Frog with blues, June 16; Breaking Point with both jazz and country music, June 23; hometown favorites, Junction 87 with country music, June 30; more hometown music by the popular John Carpino and the Hot Cappuccinos, July 7; Big Daddy & The Dynamites, blues, July 14; Southern Flight Band with variety and rock music, July 21; and another popular local group, The John Scott Band with blues, July 28.

Summer reading

The public libraries in Payson, Pine and Tonto Basin are getting ready for their summer reading programs.

The Tonto Basin Public Library just has parents come in and register their children for the program and then has a party with awards for those who have participated after a few weeks. Stop by the library or call (928) 479-2355 for more details.

Payson Public Library is now taking pre-registration for its summer reading programs and will continue to accept new participants through June 19. The program is free and designed to promote reading and learning while maintaining skills during the summer recess from school. Space is limited so organizers request participants be registered on a weekly basis. There is a program for children 6 months of age to 3 years of age; another for those 3 to 12 in age; and a third for ages 10 to 18.

The youngest participate in the Baby Reading Program, which includes ticklers, brain play, lullabies and stories. There is a half-hour in-house program at 10:30 a.m. every Thursday June 7 through July 12.

The program for those 3 to 12 in age is the Cosmic Super Hero Summer Program with puppet shows, arts and crafts, fun games and stories. The hour-long, in-house program is at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., every Tuesday and Wednesday June 5 through July 11.

The program for older children is the Ultimate Avengers Summer Program at 4 p.m. every Tuesday from June 5 through July 11. It offers a chance to make new friends, participate in cool crafts and the ultimate water battle where super heroes will face super villains.

The programs will close with a prize giveaway and picnic Wednesday, July 18.

The Payson Public Library is in Rumsey Park, 328 N. McLane Road, (928) 474-9260.

The Pine Public Library will be celebrating the Arizona Centennial with its summer reading program, which begins Wednesday, June 6.

Designed for children from age of 2-1/2 year through their teens, the program will not only have participants reading books about Arizona, it will also feature guest speakers, such as a snake specialist and rancher. Participants will be given all their materials at the first session they attend and prizes will be presented at the last session.

The program will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., each Wednesday in June in the Library Activity Room. No registration is needed, but to learn more stop by the library at 6124 N. Randall Place, Pine, call (928) 476-3678 or go online to


Kids Quilt Camp, hosted by the Strawberry Patchers, takes place July 9-12 at the Pine Library.

Kids Quilt Camp

In addition to the summer reading program, the Pine Public Library is once again working with the Strawberry Patchers quilt group to present its popular Kids Quilt Camp this summer.

This program is for youngsters who have not participated in earlier programs, reside in the Pine-Strawberry area, and are between the ages of 8 and 12. It is being requested that parents not try to “help” their children by staying for the program, which will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday, July 9, Tuesday, July 10, Wednesday, July 11 and at 9 a.m., Thursday, July 12. Families and friends will be welcome at the Student Quilt Show planned from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, July 12.

There is room for only 10 students in the program and the required pre-registration closes Saturday, June 30. No walk-ins will be allowed and if a child is registered, they must participate in all four sessions in which a quilt will be completed.

All supplies and machines for the program are furnished by the Strawberry Patchers.

To learn more, stop by the library or call (928) 476-3678.

Longhorn Academy of Basketball Fundamentals

Join coaches Joe Sanchez and Bill Farrell and the Payson High School basketball team to brush up on basketball skills and fundamentals. Camp is open to all boys and girls in the third through ninth grades. The camp will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday, June 11 through Thursday, June 14 at Wilson Dome at Payson High School. The cost is $40 per person. Register through the start of the camp at Payson Parks & Recreation, 1000 W. Country Club Drive, Payson; call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 or go online to

Volleyball Camp

Join Payson High School coaches and players for the annual summer volleyball camp from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, June 18 and Tuesday, June 19 in Wilson Dome at Payson High School. The camp is open for all players going into the fourth through eighth grades. The cost is $30 per participant.

Register through the start of the camp at Payson Parks & Recreation, 1000 W. Country Club Drive, Payson; call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7 or go online to

Sprint Triathlon

The Sprint Triathlon, for ages 15 and older, is Saturday, June 9 starting at Rumsey Park at 6:45 a.m. Registration is $60 for individuals and $85 for teams. The event consists of a 50-yard swim, 15-mile bike ride and 5k run. The top 150 finishers receive participation medals.


Barrel racing and pole bending practice continue Wednesday nights at the Payson Event Center. Books open at 4 p.m., time only runs are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Barrel Racing & Pole Bending

Barrel racing and pole bending practices continue Wednesday nights at the Payson Event Center. Books open at 4 p.m.; time only runs are from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The fee is $3 per run or $5 for a 3-minute time slot.

PATS hikes

There will be a hike from the Payson Event Center to the Peach Orchard Trailhead at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 16. The trail is moderate in difficulty.

A five-mile, moderately difficult hike of Houston Loop Trail is planned for 8 a.m., Saturday, July 7.

A hike of Houston Trail to Flat Rock, two miles in length and moderately difficult, is scheduled for 8 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 11.

Vacation Bible School

First Baptist Church of Pine will have its Vacation Bible School from June 11 through June 15 at the Pine Strawberry School. The theme is SonRise National Park and will include music, games, skits, snacks, Bible stories and more. The program is for children 4 years of age through the sixth grade and will be held from noon to 3 p.m. daily.

For more information, call (928) 476-3552.

Ponderosa Bible Church is presenting “Never Give Up” Vacation Bible School from June 18 through June 22.

The program, “Never Give Up” is about an Olympic event and will introduce the characters, Sydne and Simon, along with an exciting drama cast of Olympians. Music, crafts, games and snacks will be part of the daily schedule.

Children ages 4 through 6th grade are invited to attend from 9 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. each day.

Children will be introduced to God and discover that they can shine and need “Never Give Up” on God!

Each day will open with an Olympic rally, with Olympic stations jam-packed with exciting activities. At these stations, children experience creative projects that reinforce the Olympic Mission for each day. Each day will feature an exciting “Bible Toon” and interactive teaching at the Olympic rally. The Music Studio introduces a new song daily for children to rock along with.

To register a child for the program, call Ponderosa Bible Church at (928) 474-9279.

Ponderosa Bible Church is at 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson.

First Southern Baptist Church is presenting Amazing Aviation during its Vacation Bible School program, June 18 through June 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The program is for pre-kindergarten aged youth through those who are 13.

First Southern Baptist Church is at the corner of West Bonita Street and South Colcord. Call (928) 474-3374 for more information.


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