April 05, 2004

Touch of Nature offering summer Ozark Expeditions

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If you're one of those kids who gets their thrills exploring the outdoors, listen to this: There will be five guided canoe trips this summer on the Eleven Point River and applications are being accepted now.

Two six-day trips are for kids in sixth through eighth grades, two will take high schoolers and a three-day weekend excursion is for families.

These popular Ozark Expeditions are among the Environmental Ed-Ventures activities sponsored by the Touch of Nature Outdoor Environmental Center, run by Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

And you may enter an essay contest whose winners may receive full or partial funding for their trip.

Experienced adult river guides -- employed by SIUC and trained in wilderness first aid, CPR and water safety -- lead the trips. Costs cover all group gear, food and transportation.

Participants will explore a national scenic river that flows through the Mark Twain National Forest in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks.

Additional activities include swimming, hiking, caving, going on owl prowls, no-impact camping under the stars and traditional campfire sing-alongs and storytelling sessions.

A list of sessions, with dates and costs by age groups:

Sixth through Eighth grades


Sundays through Fridays, June 20-25 and July 18-23; $350.


High School Age


Sundays through Fridays, July 11-16 and July 25-30; $350.


Family Expedition

Friday through Sunday, June 25-27: Adults $150, children $75 each.


If you wish to participate in the essay contest, write a 300-word paper explaining the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and why it was enacted and include some information about why you are interested in the natural environment.

Students in grades six through 12 may apply. Essay deadline is May 1.

Mail them to Curt Carter, SIUC's Touch of Nature Environmental Center, Carbondale, IL, 62901-6888.

For more information, call Carter at 618/453-1121 ext. 256 or send him e-mail at curtc@pso.siu.edu.

Reaching out is among the goals of Southern@150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.