January 25, 2017

Mini-camp experience available for children

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The How Sweet It Is Winter Mini Camp at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center offers children ages 7-12 a unique winter camping experience filled with hands-on learning experiences, wildlife exploration and an introduction into the art of making homemade maple syrup.

The camp takes place Feb. 17-18 at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. The cost is $65 for the overnight camp. Children who have previously participated in an Eco Camp at Touch of Nature pay $60. If more than one child from the same immediate family participates, the cost is $50 for additional siblings. The price for those who elect not to stay overnight is $40.

The camp experience begins at 5 p.m. on Feb. 17 and it wraps up at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 18.

Elliot Zieman, an SIU zoology teaching assistant and doctoral student involved in bobcat research, will lead participants in a field experience spotlighting bobcats and his research and campers may even be able to see one of the beautiful creatures. Participants will also enjoy playing games, making crafts and music performed by The Mystic Shrines. They will learn how trees are tapped and the sap processed into homemade maple syrup; the syrup will be a star attraction at Touch of Nature’s annual Maple Syrup Festival Feb. 25-26.

Sign up for How Sweet It Is Mini Camp at http://ton.siu.edu/camps-and-retreats/how-sweet-it-is-winter-mini-camp.php. For more information, call 618/453-1121, email tonec@siu.edu or visit www.ton.siu.edu