Eric Aitken

Eric Aitken, Tuolumne County library and recreation manager, cleaning the public swimming pool in Twain Harte prior to its opening in 2016.

A public swimming pool in Twain Harte has reopened and other summer programs through the Tuolumne County Recreation Department have started taking registrations despite ongoing struggles with finding seasonal part-time workers.

Eric Aitken, library and recreation manager for the county, said Twain Harte community pool opened for the season on Tuesday and has recreational swimming hours scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Aitken said they are hoping to have enough lifeguards hired and trained by next week to also open the Tuolumne community pool, though they may have to reduce the recreation swim hours for Twain Harte to Mondays through Thursdays in order to open the Tuolumne pool Friday and Saturday.

The department currently needs an additional 30-plus people to staff all of its programs for the summer, including the pools and youth sports camps.

“Thirty to 35 would put us in a good situation where we could do everything we want to do,” he said. “We’re trying to do as much as we can with what we have right now.”

As previously reported, the county’s community pool in Columbia will remain closed this year for needed repair work. 

Aitken told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that he’s hoping to have enough lifeguards to open the Sonora pool early next month, though it’s currently being used by Sonora High School through the end of this month to offer P.E. credits that it couldn’t for the past school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People can purchase tickets for single-day admission at the Twain Harte pool gate. The cost is $2 for children 3 to 17 and adults 62 or older, $3 for adults 18 to 61, and free for children 2 and younger.

Ticket books good for 25 admissions are also available for varying prices depending on age groups.

Swimming lessons will be held Mondays through Thursdays at the Twain Harte pool. The cost is $30.50 per child for each lesson and can be purchased at the pool gate by cash or check only.

People can call the Twain Harte pool at (209) 586-1842 if they have any additional questions.

The county’s summer reading program also began on Tuesday at the Sonora, Tuolumne, Twain Harte and Groveland library branches. Parents can sign up their children by going to the branches, Aitken said.

Both the Jamestown and Tuolumne youth centers also opened on Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic began last year. Both are scheduled to be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Tiny Tots summer camps program starts on Monday, and registration is currently open for a soccer camp on June 28 and a baseball camp on July 19, though Aitken said that slots are already filling up fast.

Aitken advised that the best way to stay up-to-date on the latest recreation program openings is to be registered for an account on the department’s website at https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/448/Parks-and-Recreation.

Anyone interested in applying for the remaining summer job openings can also do so through the department’s website. For additional questions, call the department at (209) 533-5663.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.

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