By Samantha Hall
BYU students taking classes during spring and summer terms this year will have more than their share of distractions to keep them from their scholastic duties.
Utah County offers an array of options as breaks from the stress of studies and jobs. Great locations for outdoor activities and volunteering opportunities add to events already taking place on-campus.
?Spring and summer are a blast in Provo,? said Ashley Chapman, a senior, from Colorado Springs, Colo., majoring in recreation management and youth leadership. ?The whole feeling is more laid back and fun.?
Wayne Childs, the director of assessment planning for Student Academic and Advisement Services, said he chaired a committee to encourage students to consider staying in Provo after the crowds have left. The Spring/Summer 2005 Campaign included posters around campus pointing out the perks of attending spring and summer terms.
?There?s a lot to do here, and staying and going to school doesn?t have to mean you give up all or part of your summer,? Childs said. ?There are a lot of activities and things going on in this area, a lot of outdoor activities.?
Lake trips and barbecues are among summer plans for Rob Nelson, an international relations major, from Mesa, Ariz. Though his main reason for staying was to keep his job, other incentives also factored into his decision.
?I was here a few years ago for summer and it was way fun, so that?s another motivation,? Nelson said.
The Campus Life Events Management Team has several activities planned, and BYU?s surrounding community also offers various opportunities for students to get out and have fun in the sun.
Dollar movies, arcade game locations and Center Street restaurants are around for entertainment all year, though certain venues are only open during the summer months.
One venue is Seven Peaks Water Park; their season starts May 28 and a student discount is offered on season passes. College pool parties and murder mystery dinner shows will take place Friday nights.
For golfers, the East Bay Golf Course on South East Bay Boulevard offers a nine-hole executive course at a reasonable price.
?Students can play the executive course for six dollars,? said Jason Nicholson, a pro-shop assistant at the course.
Rock Canyon Park in Provo offers a large grassy area for the community?s outdoor needs. Groups go ice blocking and create water slides using the large hills there.
?It?s a fun place to be,? said Ryan Serr, a business major at UVSC. ?Our ward has done a lot of barbecues there, volleyball, baseball, soccer. A lot of people there fly toy airplanes and kites. It?s a large open area where a whole bunch of wards and groups can do their own thing there because it?s so big. It?s a lot of fun.?
The great weather allows for more enjoyable opportunities to serve the community, said Mary Alice Cannon, director of the volunteer center for United Way of Utah County.
A number of summer volunteer opportunities can be found listed on the organization?s Web site.
?At the Provo City Cemetery, groups of any size can go and rake under the trees,? she said. ?There are opportunities with the Forest Service involving trails and things like that. I think it?s especially nice with the outdoor opportunities because it allows for different sizes of groups.?
Habitat for Humanity of Utah County is also looking for volunteers, especially as site and safety coordinators for the summer.
Provo Parks & Recreation offers volunteer opportunities to coach T-ball for children who attend kindergarten to third grade.
?We?re more than happy to take volunteer students to coach,? said Katie Obray, a recreation coordinator. ?It only takes an hour of their day to coach the team at games two nights a week.?
The Campus Life Events Management Team has planned several large events for students this summer.
Dollar nights at the Varsity Theatre include ?Rear Window,? ?Shrek 2? and ?Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? in May and June. ?Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3-D? will be shown in August. An outdoor movie, ?Pirates of the Caribbean,? will also be offered in the SWKT Quad on July 8.
In addition, a spring dance will be put on in Brigham Square on May 27, and a pinewood derby will be held on July 16.
Outdoors Unlimited offers a river and rafting guide clinic starting May 5.
?They take trips on the Green River to give experience of raft guiding,? said Justin Ray, a customer service representative there. ?It comes with a first aid class and a CPR class.?
Kayaking opportunities are also available through Outdoors Unlimited.