April 28, 2009

Touch of Nature to host summer adventure camp

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Are you looking for something out of the ordinary for the kids this summer? Something memorable, exciting and fun?

“There is only one word for fun this summer and that is W.O.W.!” said Travis Geske, outdoor program leader for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center. “If swinging on ropes, climbing rocks, canoeing, hiking and caving sounds appealing to you, then Wild Outdoor Week, or W.O.W., as we call it, is definitely the place for you to be this summer.”

W.O.W. is an experiential adventure camp with the emphasis on learning and individual growth through outdoor activities and adventure. The first session July 6-10 is for youth entering grades 5-7, while the second session, July 27-31, is for those entering grades 7-9. The day camp starts at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up at 4 p.m. each day at the center’s main office.

Campers can also ride a free shuttle bus from the SIU Arena to and from the camp. The bus departs the arena at 8 a.m. and campers return there about 4:30 p.m. each day.

Participants will enjoy the teams course and canoeing, rock climbing at Giant City State Park, caving at the Illinois Caverns, hiking at Panthers Den, lots of swimming and tackling the famous Touch of Nature high ropes course. W.O.W. is a component of the Underway Adventure Program, host since the mid-1970s to thousands of people participating in exciting outdoor activities.

The W.O.W. camp fee is $250 per session and that includes lunch, snacks and equipment. There’s a limit of 20 campers per session. Trained, experienced program leaders direct and supervise all activities.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

To register for W.O.W. or for additional information, contact the Underway Adventure Program at Touch of Nature by calling 618/453-1122, ext. 238, or via e-mail at travisg@siu.edu. Or, look online at www.ton.siu.edu.