girl in a wheelchair holding a hoop

April 07, 2021

SIU’s Camp Little Giant resumes in 2021 on limited basis

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Camp Little Giant, the first university-affiliated camp for children and adults with differing abilities, is back this summer. SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center had to cancel its acclaimed residential camps in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camp Little Giant is returning on a smaller scale, offering two day camps in July that will implement special safety precautions, including social distancing, in compliance with state and SIU protocols.

Dyna Camp

Dyna Camp, for youths ages 8-17 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder, will take place July 5-9. Participants will enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, archery, arts and crafts, games and other activities.

Campers will need to be comfortable following directions, taking care of their personal needs and managing independently for brief time periods. The camp is designed to provide a positive experience for the participants and encourage their successes.

Traditions Camp

Traditions Youth Camp, for youths ages 8-19 who have cognitive, developmental or physical disabilities, will be July 12-16. Campers will participate in a variety of activities, including canoeing, games, archery, arts and crafts and therapeutic drumming.

Participants must be able to eat, dress and handle other needs with minimal assistance.

The details

The camp sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and include lunch.

Camp Little Giant takes place at the center, located at 1206 Touch of Nature Road, about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road.

The camper-to-staff ratio is 4-to-1 for each camp.

Drop-off for the campers is a half-hour prior to the start of each session and pick-up is during the half-hour after each camp day ends.

Sign up now

Registration is underway and online signup is available. The registration deadline is two weeks before the start of each camp. However, space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so organizers encourage early registration.

The cost is $400 per camp session.

For those with financial needs, camperships of up to $400 per camper are available. Email for more information.

Contact Jasmine Cave at or 618-453-3950 with questions about the camp.