June 12, 2008

Media Advisory -- Summer Youth Camps

Reporters, photographers and camera crews can find a wide assortment of interesting summer activity stories this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s youth camps.

The schedules, brief camp description, opportune times to catch newsworthy stories and contact information for camps taking place during June 15-30 include:

• Summer Wings is an exciting aviation camp that offers high school students opportunities to learn about planes, undergo flight training similar to what SIUC flight students get, attend ground school classes, utilize University flight training device and even experience flight for themselves. Summer Wings I runs June 15-20 while Summer Wings II is June 22-27 at the Southern Illinois Airport.

Each week, weather permitting, camp participants will be doing pre-flight inspections about 2:15 p.m. Monday, 9:15 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, and media are welcome. For more information, contact Lorelei Ruiz, camp director and aviation management and flight associate professor at 618/453-9251.

• Beginning Robotics Camp participants get to make and take home their very own robotics kit. There’s a public competition and demonstration the last afternoon of the camp that runs June 16-19. Media are welcome from 9 to 11 a.m. each morning or during the final afternoon in Room 204A of the ASA Building. For more information contact Martin Hebel, camp director and assistant professor in the school of information systems and applied technologies, at 618/453-8806.

• Eco U summer nature day camps at Touch of Nature Environmental Center’s 3,100-acre Little Grassy Lake site provide children entering grades one through six hands-on activities as they learn about the environment. “Survival 101” is June 16-20 as children discovering the ways Native Americans used this land to meet their needs. “Eco You!” is June 23-27 with youngsters exploring Planet Earth and learning how to protect it and enhance its health. Both weeks, professional staff will lead innovative, inspiring and safe environmental activities enhancing each child’s ecological awareness and understanding.

Activities are at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center located about seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. Good media opportunities fill ach day from about 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Kate Hellgren, environmental educator, at 618/453-1122, extension 250.

• Challenge to Excellence I is a residential camp program for academically talented students entering sixth through eighth grades. The goal of the 25th annual camp, set to run June 15 -20, is promoting higher thinking skills in various academic areas, encouraging students to “stretch themselves,” thus expanding their thinking skills and enhancing creativity, while giving them a sample of college life.

The best time for media visits is between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day, June 16-19, or until noon June 20 at the Wham Education Building. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact John McIntyre, camp director, at 618/453-2415. Additional camp details are also on the Web site www.coehs.siu.edu/challenge/

• The Universal Cheerleaders Association Camp is from noon June 17 until June 20, with ongoing activities at the Student Center Ballrooms. Instructors will work with youths from about 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day, with breaks for meals, teaching them cheers, sidelines, dances, routines and more. They’ll wrap up with a competition the morning of June 20.

• Kid Architecture introduces youngsters to architecture and design. At workshops June 22-27, fourth through sixth graders will learn about why buildings look as they do, how buildings stand up, what architects and designers do, and how the design process works. They’ll learn about construction materials, tools used in design including computer graphics systems, and much more.

The kids will create concrete steppingstones with Gaudi mosaics at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 24, in the parking lot at the corner of Mill and Washington streets. They’ll also be constructing domes at 9:30 a.m. June 26 at Quigley Hall and at 3:30 p.m. they’ll test their new-found architectural expertise as teams construct foam bridges in hopes they’ll support a watermelon. Media are welcome at any of those events during the award-winning camp. For more information, contact Jon Davey, camp director and architecture professor at 618/453-3734.

• The National Cheerleading Association is coming to the Student Center Ballrooms on the SIUC campus from noon June 23 to noon June 26. Association instructors will work with young cheerleaders promoting individual and team growth. Activities are set throughout the day with breaks for meals.

• Saluki Swim Camp brings youths ages 8-15 to the Student Recreation Center pool June 23-27 for water sports, games and skills improvement. In addition to swimming there, participants will enjoy activities at the campus lake, craft shop and more. The camp runs from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.

More information about all of the 2008 summer camps is on the SIUC Web site at http://www.dce.siu.edu/youth/youthmain.htm or available by contacting the Division of Continuing Education at 618/536-7751.