February 24, 2016

Wide variety of spring break camps, trips available

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting a variety of camps and trips for people of all ages during spring break 2016. 

Touch of Nature Environmental Center is sponsoring two camps especially for children, and families can join them for one. Global Adventure Camp is a new day camp for children in grades kindergarten through five and it takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 14-18. 

The Cultural Exchange Network, a non-profit organization focusing on providing global learning opportunities for youths, will present a camp that provides children with an international experience through themed hands-on activities. The camp will highlight the arts and crafts, festivals, celebrations, geography, books, legends, food, games, sports, customs and traditions of different cultures. 

The cost of the camp is $185 if registering before March 1 or $200 from that date until March 11. Healthy snacks will be provided; campers should bring their lunches. For an additional $25 per day, extended camp time will allow children to stay from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For additional information, email Emily Tanner at CITC@culturalexchangenetwork.org or call 573/335-7111. 

The Eco Mini Clan Camp is for children ages 4-14, along with their parents or guardians. Two sessions are planned: March 18-19 and March 19-20. Sarah Stoneski of Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge and Elliot Zieman, an SIU student researcher, will help participants get acquainted with various animal families and their habitats, including bats and bobcats. Activities and a dance are planned as well. 

The cost is $65 for overnight campers or $40 for those who just attend as a day camp. Children who have previously attended a Touch of Nature Eco-Camp pay $60 for the overnight camp and additional children within the same immediate family can attend for $50. The adult overnight camping experience is $75. The registration deadline is March 15. Email Steve Gariepy at mammoth@siu.edu for additional information. 

Women and men are welcome at the Spring Equinox Yoga Retreat at Touch of Nature March 18-20. Featuring mixed-level, alignment-based Hatha yoga, the retreat is taught by Dianna Lucas, who brings more than 30 years of yoga instruction experience to the retreat. The weekend will also include drumming and fire circles, an owl prowl, interpretive hikes, an animal totem workshop and five vegetarian, gluten-free meals, with a vegan option available. 

The cost is $210 and includes yoga and all activities and meals. Overnight lodging for singles and couples is available for modest rates for the two nights. For more information, contact Vicki Lang-Mendenhall at vickil@siu.edu

Two “Outdoor Adventures” spring break trips are being offered jointly by Touch of Nature and SIU’s Recreational Sports and Services March 12-19. Both are open to the public and payment plans are available. An informational meeting is set for 6 p.m. March 3 at the Student Recreation Center to provide additional information about these trips. 

You can walk the Florida National Scenic Trail and enjoy the state’s biodiversity, wildlife and beaches. Or, visit Moab, Utah, for an adventure that includes rafting, mountain biking, hiking and exploring the national park areas. 

The cost of each trip is $600 and includes transportation, food, gear and lodging. Contact Shey Lambert at shey.lambert@siu.edu for additional details about either of the Outdoor Adventures. 

You can obtain additional information about all of the preceding camps, or register for them, by visiting www.ton.siu.edu or calling 618/453-1121. Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. 

In addition, SIU Veteran Adventures is sponsoring two wilderness trips for any Illinois student veteran during the March 12-20 spring break period.  Student veterans can take in the Colorado Rockies, climbing to 12,000 feet about sea level. No mountaineering experience is required. The cost is $400 and that includes transportation, accommodations, gear, fees, food and guides. 

Or, backpack along Southern Illinois’ River to River Trail, from Eddyville, located on the Ohio River, to Grand Tower, along the Mississippi River. Along the way, explore Lusk Creek Wilderness, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Giant City State Park, LaRue-Pine Hills Research Natural Area, the Panther Den Wilderness area and other sites. 

The cost is $150 and includes food, transportation, gear, lodging and guides. Register online at http://veteranadventures.siu.edu/ or by calling 618/453-1121. To get additional details, or to learn about future Veteran Adventures or sponsorships opportunities, contact Shane Brady at shanebrady6@siu.edu