FIORELLA GUILLEN | Photo Illustration

FIORELLA GUILLEN | Photo Illustration

May 22, Outdoor Activities will kick off the first of four S’mores and Stars expeditions this semester, which will start at 8 p.m. and last until midnight.

Alex Zaleski, a leader of several expeditions that have taken place in the last four years and a senior studying mechanical engineering, said the S’mores and Stars activity is a great way for students to get to experience nature.

He said the trips are held at Henry’s Fork, which is about a 15-minute drive west of the BYU-Idaho campus.

He said even the dirt road the group takes adds to the experience.

As a leader, he has enjoyed helping people get the best outdoor experience.

“It’s not a very big dirt road, but some people have never been on a dirt road before,” Zaleski said.

According to the Outdoor Activities Web page, students planning to attend the activity should purchase their $4 tickets and meet at the Outdoor Resource Center under the North end of the stadium at 8 p.m. where they will be shuttled to the site.

Philip Brown, a leader of Outdoor Activities and a junior studying business management, said the S’mores and Stars expeditions are great opportunities for students to have fun sitting around a fire.

He said students can learn about the night sky, eat s’mores and have fun meeting lots of new people.

“It’s just one of the things that has always been really popular because it’s a laid-back, casual atmosphere,” said Christopher Morgan, an area director for Outdoor Activities and a senior studying biology.

Zaleski said that because the property is away from town, it is a lot easier to see the stars.

“If you get a clear night, that’s really neat,” Zaleski said. “You just lay down and there are stars everywhere. You don’t get to see that every night.”

Morgan said that during the trips, two of BYU-I’s telescopes are set up for people to look at the night sky.

He said he enjoyed seeing the red lines of Jupiter with his own eyes instead of just in a textbook.

Brown said he enjoys using the telescopes to look at the moon.

“You see what Galileo saw when he looked at it,” Brown said. “He saw mountain ranges on the moon when he pointed his first telescope at it.”

Zaleski said that because the property is right next to the Snake River, students often get to see a variety of wildlife such as deer, ducks and horses during the trips.

He said the S’mores and Stars trips are great activities for groups of friends to attend together or even for couples to go on dates.

He said generally there are plenty of get-to-know-you games that the students will play while on the trips, along with other activities.

Zaleski said that oftentimes there will be a spiritual thought shared during the trip.

He said he would encourage students to attend for an opportunity to relax and ponder about life and ponder over the things that God has created.

The scheduled trips for this semester are May 22, June 5, June 12 and July 7.

The trips are available for all current students and their spouses. Students can purchase tickets online or at the Spencer W. Kimball Building Ticket Office. They are $4 each, according to the Outdoor Activities Web page.