May 25, 2012

Spots still available for Touch of Nature’s Eco U

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There is still time for children to be part of a unique hands-on summer learning experience at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

Registration is under way for Eco U, the summer camp series for children entering grades two-seven this fall.  Each of the weeklong camps has a special theme and the focus of each is heightening ecological awareness and giving children an enhanced understanding of Planet Earth.

The 2012 Eco U camp schedule includes:

            •  Animal Adventures, June 11-15 -- Find out all about mammals, reptiles, bugs and birds and the environments they live in.

            •  Survival 101, June 18-22 -- Discover how Native Americans used the land to fulfill their basic survival needs.

            •  Wonderful Water, June 25-29 -- There’s a different and sometimes unseen world beneath the water and this session explores that realm.

            •  Planet Earth, July 2-3 and 5-6 -- Explore the planet and learn how to care for it and make it a better place.

This is the sixth year for the all-day nature camps and they are quite popular.  The cost is $185 per week for the first three camps and $148 for the Planet Earth camp since it is just four days long due to the Independence Day holiday.  Children can participate in all four camp sessions for $663, a savings of $40.

The camps are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  Parents may drop children off at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, or take advantage of free supervised bus transportation from the SIU Arena parking lot.  The bus leaves the lot at 8 a.m. and returns about 4:30 p.m.

Campers should bring sack lunches.  The camp provides snacks and water.

Each camp welcomes a maximum of 40 participants on a first come basis so sign up soon to guarantee a spot.  To register, or for more information, call 618/453-1121 or visit the website at