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Helping Hands: Barstow a busy place this summer

Information shared today is a continuation of last week’s summer activities in Barstow.

The Jr. Naturalist Day Camps started a few years ago by the Bureau of Land Management.

There are four sessions of summer day camps. Each is for one week, Monday through Friday. The camps start at the Desert Discovery Center, 831 Barstow Road at 9 a.m. Pick up is at 4 p.m. Each week session is $90. There will be some scholarships available. Registrations are due July 15. For more information contact Rosa Yriarte at 252-6060.

• Session 1 (July 21-25) is for 10-12 year olds and Session 2 (July 28 - Aug. 1) is for 7-9 year olds. They are both “Jr. Naturalist” programs. Activities include: Monday - Recycling; Tuesday - Organic Gardening; Wednesday - Native Plants/Habitat Gardening; Thursday - History/Desert Safety; Friday - Wildlife.

• Session 3: (Aug. -8), “Junior Gardening” for 9-12 years olds, Monday - Introduction to Native Pants; Tuesday - Community Gardening; Wednesday - Intro to Habitat Gardening; Thursday - Soil and Landscape Designing; Friday - Installation and Wildlife Observation.

• Session 4: (Aug. 11-15), “Performing Arts” for 9-12 year olds, Monday - Desert Tortoise Tales Overview; Tuesday - Script Writing and Set Design; Wednesday - Set design and Costumes; Thursday - Practice, Practice, Practice; Friday - Desert Tales Performance.

What to bring: Canteen or water bottle; sunscreen and lunch. A camera or binoculars is optional.
What to wear: Light-colored T-shirts and shorts, sneakers or hiking boots, and cap or hat with brim.


Other summer activities:

• Main Street Murals will present monthly tours the last Saturday of each month. Next one is this week, June 28. Meet at the Barstow Flower & Bridal at 616, E. Main at 9 a.m. There will be a slide show before Steve Smith leads a 6-block tour of the hand painted Main Street Murals. (Time: about an hour and a half.) Call 256-8408 for more information.

• Weekly programs at the Boys and Girls Club have begun and continue through Aug. 22. There are summer camps and full day programs. Call 255-2422 for costs, hours and other details.

• On July 4 the City of Barstow offers us a free celebration to show appreciation for efforts in reaching a 62 percent success rate in the diversion of solid wastes from the landfill. The day begins with a 5K Freedom Run at 7 a.m. Sportspark gates open at 5 p.m. and activities close following the fireworks display. For more information check the city’s web site at and check this newspaper.

• The Kids Care Fair will be Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cora Harper Recreational Center. This will be the 11th fair and is hosted by Barstow Community Hospital and Barstow Chamber of Commerce.

• Meetings for volunteers interested in helping with the Kids Fair are scheduled for June 28, July 12 and July 26 and from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Aug. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m.

In addition to items giving time and dates for specific events, I am sharing the following list which I hope will have the interest of locals as well as guests:

• Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce (In the historic old Harvey House), 681 N. 1st Ave., phone, 256-8617.

• Route 66 Museum, 861 N 1ST Ave., phone: 255-1890.

• Western America Railroad Museum, 685 N. 1st Ave., phone: 256-9276.

• Mojave River Valley Museum, 270 East Virginia Way, phone: 256-5452.

• Centennial Park, across Barstow Road from the museum. Displayed are items of three major industries in Barstow — Mining, Military and Railroads.

• Skyline Drive-in theater, 31175 Old Hwy. 58. Popular at one time, now unique and only a few left in the U.S. Phone 256-3333 for open hours, prices, what’s playing and more.

• “Shoebox X-mas is an activity for those who wish to participate. Rimrock Convalescent Hospital delivers shoeboxes of toys, clothing, school and hygiene supplies collected by individuals, organizations and small groups to a collection center in the USA. Samaritan’s Purse (international relief organization) then ships them to poverty stricken countries of the world. For many this is the only gift they will get this year. We have helped since 2001 when we sent 350 boxes. Two years later the count was 663 boxes and I’m told it increased each year. Learn more about the project by contacting the activity director at 252-2515.

• Around Town in this paper gives readers good information, Monday through Saturday about activities in this area for those organizations sending notices to them. To submit an event to the Around Town section, e-mail Kay Lovato at or drop the information off at the Desert Dispatch at 130 Coolwater Lane.


Helen Bendure is a correspondent for the Desert Dispatch She can be contacted at

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