To kick off the summer and Great Outdoors Month, BYU-Idaho’s Outdoor Learning Center, located at Badger Creek, held a summer slip ‘n’ slide and BBQ event June 4.

The event included a giant slip n’ slide, water kickball, and barbecue, according to the event’s Web page.

“The BBQ and slip ‘n’ slide activity is just a fun time with friends at the OLC,” said Jason Thornton, manager of the Outdoor Learning Center.

A climbing tower, a giant swing, an inclined log, a power pole, a jungle gym and horseback riding are also available, according to the OLC web page.

The OLC is a hands-on learning laboratory located at Badger Creek in the base of the Teton Valley. It is dedicated to providing learning experiences for the University and the community, according to the OLC’s Web page.

“All of our activities promote recreation or leisure activities that could be done with your own family or ward after you leave BYU-Idaho,” Thornton said. “The BBQ and slip ‘n’ slide certainly falls into that category as we enjoy the sun, cook some food and slide down a 600-foot waterslide.”

Thornton said the OLC provides more than just a fun time for students and families, it also provides educational opportunities.

“Most of our activities have a heavy learning element involved,” Thornton said. “Many of the activities are introductory, and include lessons or workshops.”

According to the OLC Web page, anyone that is looking for deeply significant leadership, learning, and outdoor experience can plan an activity through the OLC.

Thornton said the OLC provided transportation to the slip ‘n’ slide event and it only cost $7 for the day.

“We meet at the Outdoor Resource Center under the stadium for departure,” Thornton said.

The OLC holds this event each year to kick off the summer by helping students become aware of Great Outdoors Month, and how to stay active.

In 2011, President Barack Obama announced the Great Outdoors initiative, proclaiming June as Great Outdoors Month, according to

Great Outdoors Month urges all Americans to spend time outside, upholding our nation’s legacy of conservation, according to the National Wildlife Federation website.

“I didn’t even know about Great Outdoors Month,” said Jeff Gillan, a junior studying exercise physiology. “I haven’t been celebrating anything.”

Gillan said he is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys the great outdoors all year long.

“Every month is outdoor month,” Gillan said. “And every month should be outdoor month, not just June.”

There are several activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, camping, and Idaho is filled with clean air, natural beauty and nice people in southeast Idaho, according to

Spencer Flake, a junior studying political science, said Great Outdoors Month is a good reminder to step away from social media.

“I think the more we can escape our virtual world of Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and I-Learn, and actually interact with physical matter in nature, we will see the beauty of the earth,” Flake said.

Flake said he thinks getting outside will help humanity have a happier and more peaceful outlook on the meaning of life.

“Our mission is to create deeply significant leadership, learning and recreational experiences through partnerships with campus organizations and academic departments,” according to the OLC Web page.

Thornton said anyone interested in finding out more information about events like the BBQ and slip ‘n’ slide activity, or the OLC, can contact him directly or visit: