May 13, 2009

Touch of Nature accepting camp registrations

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The show will go on. That’s the motto for Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

Although Touch of Nature remains without electricity due to Friday’s storm, staff members continue to book events and accept camp registrations for the 2009 summer camp sessions. Touch of Nature staff members are functioning in temporary quarters at the University’s Division of Continuing Education at Washington Square. Officials say all should be well at Touch of Nature in time for the camp season starting next month.

“We are up and running and taking registrations for Eco U summer nature camp, Wild Outdoor Week (W.O.W.) and Camp Little Giant,” said Kate Hellgren, environmental education program coordinator for Touch of Nature. “We hope parents don’t let the recent calamity ruin summer fun and adventure for their children this year.”

In fact, Hellgren is quick to note that the recent storm illustrates the value of lessons taught at “Survival 101,” the June 15-19 session of Eco U. The Eco U schedule includes three additional weeklong camps, each with its own theme. You can find all the details about Eco U online at

There are two sessions of Wild Outdoor Week this summer too, June 4-8 and July 23-27. It’s an action-packed outdoor adventure. Check out the details at

Camp Little Giant sessions are set throughout the summer for youths and adults with various disabilities. Touch of Nature is the country’s first university-affiliated residential camping program for those with disabilities and throughout the summer sessions welcome campers of all ages.

Camp registration deadlines are fast approaching. For registration or additional information about all of the 2009 summer camp programs at Touch of Nature, visit the Division of Continuing Education Web site at or see You can also call 618/536-7751 or 618/453-1121.