children having a picnic beside a lake with canoes in the background.

July 18, 2022

Media Advisory: SIU summer camps from now through end of summer

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to host an assortment of camps for children and youths of all ages this summer, offering diverse opportunities for reporters, photographers and news crews to capture engaging activity stories, photographs and video.

Several options for obtaining good summer camp stories are available between now and the beginning of the fall semester. Camps focus on outdoor adventure and exploration, arts and crafts, gamification and artificial intelligence and more.

Happening this week

  • Gamification Camp – During this all-new camp, junior high school students will learn about incorporating virtual reality, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and podcasting together as they gamify their stories in this fun, educational camp featuring virtual reality headsets, a podcasting booth and other technology. You can join the youths any morning between 9 and 11:30 a.m. in the Digital Humanities Lab, Room 640A, in Morris Library as they participate in a wide variety of hands-on activities involving CD modelling, artificial intelligence, gamification, coding, photogrammetry, game engines and other related topics.

For more information about Gamification Camp, contact Layla Murphy at, Pinckney Benedict at, Nora Catalano at 618-201-8246 or Rebecca Dycus at 618-559-1047.

Media options July 25-29

Here are the details for the camps happening July 25-29:

  • Print Factory art camp – Participants will explore the various styles of printmaking including monoprints, linocut and screen-printing and discover artists including Andy Warhol. You’re welcome to come to the Craft Shop paint bar at the Student Center from 1 to 4 p.m. any day as youths in grades 4-8 create their very own series of prints on paper and fabric. Contact Stephanie Dukat at 618-453-3636 or or Jackie Welch at 618-453-5672 or

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, located about 8 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, will be hosting four camps this week. Most of the camp activities will be outdoors, and campers will be at various locations throughout the park. Members of the media can arrange a visit in advance by contacting Sydney Pogue at 618-453-3952 or or Brian Croft at 618-453-3954 or Or you are welcome to come to the Touch of Nature administrative office during the camp hours and staff will direct you to the location of the campers and ongoing activities. The sessions for children ages 4-5 are from 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. while all other sessions run 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

  • Forest Explorer 2 for ages 4-5. The children will explore all of the nooks and crannies of the camp, checking out the bugs, leaves and other living things they find in the water, mud, plants, trees and sand.
  • Forest Explorer 2 for ages 6-7. Children will get the chance to indulge their natural curiosity as they explore the grounds of the camp, finding all manner of living creatures and learning all about them and their habitats.
  • Eco Camp: Aqua Adventures 2, for ages 8-9. Campers will make waterways, dams, boats and learn about local aquatic plants and animals as they explore Little Grassy Lake and Indian Creek via dipping, measuring, splashing, paddling and fishing.
  • Adventure Camp: X-Treme Outdoors 3, for ages 10-12. This camp was so popular, organizers added another session. Participants will enjoy rock climbing, hiking, zip lining, the high ropes course, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and other adventures.
  • Underway Camp: Mountain Bike Day Camp, for ages 13-16. Teens will learn the proper techniques of mountain bike riding and safety and tricks of the trade as they explore the miles of trails within the Touch of Nature Multiuse Trail System, one of the premier multi-purpose trail systems in the Midwest.

Story opportunities Aug. 1-5

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center will host five camps the week of Aug. 1-5. Camps for children ages 4-5 are 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. while all other sessions are 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with the exception of the Underway Camp, which is an overnight camp trip to Missouri.

  • Water Explorers 2, for ages 4-5. The children will dive into Little Grassy Lake and Indian Creek as they learn all about insect, fish and other aquatic life while splashing, fishing, paddling, dipping and investigating the waterways.
  • Forest Camp: Water Explorers 2, for ages 6-7. Campers enjoy cooling off, swimming and playing aquatic games in Little Grassy Lake and Indian Creek as they explore the waterways and all of the aquatic life living there.
  • Eco Camp: Woodland Wanderers, for ages 8-9. Campers will become nature sleuths, putting their detective skills to work as they explore the numerous plants and animals living in Southern Illinois and find out interesting information about them.
  • Adventure Camp: Aquatic Adventures 2, for ages 10-12. It’s a week of water-filled fun as campers kayak, paddle, swim, canoe and play water games on Little Grassy Lake as they learn about the critters who call the water home and the history of the lake.
  • Underway Camp: Eleven Point National Scenic River Trip, for ages 13-16. Teens will explore the nature beauty of the backcountry and test their expertise on the water with Class I and II rapids as they canoe the scenic Eleven Point River in the Missouri Ozark hills.   

Conference and Scheduling Services and Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center coordinate most of the camps while Saluki Athletics and other campus units take care of the rest.