May 07, 2010

Touch of Nature to host youth adventure camp

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Outdoor excitement and thrills await those who join in Wild Outdoor Week, Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s experiential youth adventure camp at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

There are two camp sessions, each specialized for different age groups and offering the chance to grow and learn through a wide assortment of hands-on activities. The first session, running July 12-16, is for youths entering grades 5-7 this fall. The second session, July 26-30, is for youths entering grades 7-9.

Camp participants will swim, canoe, do team-building activities, hike at Panther’s Den, explore the Illinois Caverns, climb rocks at Giant City State Park and test their mettle on Touch of Nature’s legendary high ropes course. The camp promotes individual growth and learning while also fostering friendships and camaraderie through outdoor adventures. The camp philosophy is “challenge by choice,” with participants encouraged to explore their limits and expand their comfort zones, as they feel comfortable to do so.

“There is only one word for fun this summer and that is W.O.W.!” said Travis Geske, assistant program coordinator for 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.”

The camp registration fee is $250 per session and includes lunch and snack each day. Space is limited. Just 20 youths can participate in each camp session so register early. The deadline for registration is June 16.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located about 7.5 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. Parents can drop camp participants off daily at the center’s main office at 8:30 a.m. and pick them up there at 4 p.m. Or, participants can catch a ride, free, from the SIU Arena to Touch of Nature. Pickup is at 8 a.m. with a 4:30 p.m. return to the arena.

W.O.W. is one of the center’s Underway Adventure Programs. For more information about Wild Outdoor Week contact Travis Geske at 618/453-1121, ext. 238, or by e-mail at Or, visit the website at