May 08, 2009
Touch of Nature to host Camp Little Giant
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Where there’s a will there’s a way. Camp Little Giant at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center proves that, giving children and adults with disabilities a chance to enjoy a real summer camp experience.
“We have a can-do attitude at Camp Little Giant,” said Vicki Lang-Mendenhall, camp director and environmental education program coordinator for Touch of Nature. “We can provide an experience for our campers just like campers have at any other camp.”
Camp Little Giant is a therapeutic recreation camp offering swimming, fishing, paddleboat rides, horseback riding, talent shows, hayrides, carnivals, nature hikes and much more. The co-educational camp is all set on the center’s 3,100 scenic acres along the shores of Little Grassy Lake. It’s about seven miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.
SIUC is home to the nation’s first university-affiliated residential camping programs for those with disabilities. Delyte W. Morris, the late SIU president, conceived plans for an outdoor laboratory to support the University’s educational mission in 1949 and Little Grassy Camp accepted its first campers in 1951 on what was then a 150-acre parcel.
Now Camp Little Giant, it provides a variety of programs and activities for different ages and abilities.
Here’s the summer 2009 Camp Little Giant schedule, along with description of the special populations for which each is designed:
• June 7-12: Camp Olympia I, for adults 21 and older with high care needs, low mobility or using wheelchairs.
• June 7-19: Camp Olympia II, for adults 21 and older with high care needs, low mobility or using wheelchairs.
• June 14-19: Camp Olympia III, for young adults and adults with high care needs, low mobility or using a wheelchair.
• June 21-26: Camp Traditions I, for adults 21 and older with physical or developmental disabilities.
• June 21-July 3: Camp Traditions II, for adults 21 and older with physical or developmental disabilities.
• June 28-July 3: Camp Traditions III, for adults 21 and older with physical or developmental disabilities.
• July 5-10: Camp Shawnee I, for ages 8-21 with physical or developmental disabilities.
• July 5-17: Camp Shawnee II, for ages 8-21 with physical or developmental disabilities.
• July 12-17: Camp Shawnee III, for ages 8-21 with physical or developmental disabilities.
• July 19-25: Dyna Camp, for youth ages 8-18 with attention deficit, hyperactive disorder.
The cost of each six-day camp session is $925 while 13-day sessions are $1,925 for those who need one-to-one assistance. For campers requiring less care and supervision, the cost is $500 for a six-day session or $1,075 for a 13-day session. The fee for the seven-day Dyna Camp is $1,075 for those needing individualized assistance or $585 for those requiring less care and supervision.
Some campers may qualify for financial assistance. In addition, those who live nearby may attend camp just during the day for an adjusted rate.
The camp also welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in volunteering to help or those seeking employment as a camp counselor. Counselors must be at least 16 years old. They get free room and board along with their wages.
For more information about attending Camp Little Giant or volunteering or working there, contact Lang at 618/453-1122, ext. 231. You can also find additional information along with camper and staff applications online at http://www.ton.siu.edu/.