May 21, 2013

WOW camps will introduce youths to the outdoors

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Adventure, excitement and hands-on learning is the priority at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center Wild Outdoor Week (WOW) summer camps.

Each of the two WOW-inspiring sessions will feature a variety of outdoor activities for even beginning campers.

WOW Camp for boys and girls entering grades 5-8 this fall is July 15-19.  WOW Southern Adventures is July 22-26 for youths entering grades 7-9 this fall.  Both camp sessions take place at the center, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

Organizers say the Wild Outdoor Week camp is fun, exciting and a wonderful introduction to the great outdoors and the many programs that Touch of Nature offers. The camps provide a time of personal growth and exploration and allow participants to experience and learn new things.   Participants will enjoy hiking, team building, canoeing, rock climbing, swimming, and the high ropes course. 

Those attending Southern Adventures camp will enjoy the high ropes course, the zip line and other components of the WOW camp, and also the area’s natural beauty.  Campers will visit local natural and wilderness areas and enjoy rock climbing on the sandstone bluffs in the Makanda area.  They will also explore a wide variety of trails as they visit hidden canyons, rolling hills, lakes, other water features, and much more. Participants will learn camping, hiking and basic survival skills, and enjoy an overnight campout at the end of the week.

Both camps are open to beginners and no previous experience is necessary.  Each camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.  Free shuttle transportation is available for campers from the SIU Arena to Touch of Nature.  Pick-up is at 8 a.m. and drop-off is at 4:30 p.m.

The registration fee is $250 for WOW Camp and $300 for WOW Southern Adventures.

For more information or to register for either of the camps, call 618/453-1121 or visit the website at