Children are canoeing on a lake.

EdventureCanoe – Children enjoy canoeing and a wide variety of outdoor activities at the Edventure Camps at the Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center. (Photo by Malea Bailey)

July 06, 2023

Media Advisory: SIU summer camps July 9-28

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting a diverse assortment of academic, athletic, art, music and outdoor camps for children and youths of all ages throughout the summer, offering reporters, photographers and news crews numerous opportunities to capture engaging activity stories, photographs and video.

Several options for capturing noteworthy summer camp stories are available from July 9 through July 28, the end of the summer 2023 camp season. Camps focus on art, nature, experiences for adult campers with disabilities and more. Camps still have openings; sign up at

Eclectic options on campus

Here are media opportunities for summer camps on the SIU campus this month, with favorable times to visit:

  • Mixed Media Sculptures – Participants in this July 10-14 camp will discover the world of 3D sculptures as they create a pinata, hat, masks or animals using clay, papier-mâché and mixed media. They’ll make their own designs, build an armature and decorate their creations. Join them July 13, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3:30 p.m., as they work to complete their sculptures or pinatas made from wire, cardboard and more and add paint and decorative paper to their designs.
  • Fibers and Printmaking Week – This July 17-21 workshop melds printmaking and fibers as participants create handmade fabrics with dye and printmaking techniques, explore weaving, build a loom, learn to use a sewing machine and sew by hand, screen and mono print, and more. Visit July 20, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3:30 p.m., as they learn to batik their own fabric with the technique that uses wax and dye to create a pattern. The campers will then use the fabric to make personalized tote bags.
  • Design Your Own Board Game – Campers make individualized board games July 24-28. That includes creating a design, rulebook, developing board box packaging, and making the board and all game pieces using clay and mixed media. Visit 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3:30 p.m. July 27 as they paint the game boards they designed and craft tokens or playing cards.

Each of these three artistic camps takes place in the Student Center Craft Shop’s Paint Bar (located on the lower level). Children in grades 1-3 attend morning sessions while grades 4-8 create during the afternoons. Contact Stephanie Dukat at or 618-453-3636 for more information about these camps.

Options at Touch of Nature

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, about 8 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, is hosting several Edventure camps. Most of the camp activities will be outdoors. Story opportunities include:

  • Edventure: Water Critters – Participants ages 5-8 learn all about aquatic life and activities during this July 10-14 camp as they explore Little Grassy Lake and Indian Creek through lessons, free play and fun activities, with separate sessions for ages 5-6 and ages 7-8. Visit the Touch of Nature Camp 2 Beach for story options:
    • July 12, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Campers ages 5-6 will be swimming, splashing on the beach and building sandcastles.
    • July 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Campers ages 7-8 will be kayaking and paddling around the Beach Cove.
  • Edventure: X-Treme Outdoors – This popular July 10-14 camp immerses children ages 11-12 in a variety of adventures including rock climbing, hiking, the high ropes course, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, zip lining, ledge jumping and more. Visit the High Ropes Course 9:30-11:30 a.m. July 14 as the campers challenge themselves with high-flying fun on the high ropes course and zipline.
  • Edventure: Forest Explorers – During this July 17-21 camp, children ages 5-8 learn about the forest and water through free play, activities and adventures focusing on the plants and animals that live there. Come to the Touch of Nature Camp 2 Beach 9:30-11:30 a.m. July 18 as the campers put their swim lessons use and take the Touch of Nature swim test and then enjoy fun and play at the beach.
  • Edventure Camp – Participants in this July 24-28 camp explore the great outdoors and enjoy a variety of activities to learn more about plants, animals and all things natural. Visit Freeberg Hall 1:30-2:30 p.m. on July 26 as children ages 5-10 participate in the weekly knot fair.

Contacts for all Edventure camps are Sydney Pogue at or 618-453-3950, or Lindsay Meverden at or 618-453-3954.

Camp Little Giant returns reimagined for 2023

Camp Little Giant, SIU’s historic camp for people with disabilities, has returned this summer with a redesigned format to be even more appealing and relevant to today’s campers. Media opportunities include:

  • Camp Little Giant: Dynamic Duos Session 2 (adults), set for July 9-14, is for adults with developmental, cognitive or physical disabilities and their college/adult age peers. The camp buddies pair up for activities, including hiking, swimming, kayaking, arts and crafts, rock climbing, the high ropes course, team building and more. Come to Giant City Stables 9-11 a.m. July 10 when campers will be horseback riding in the park, a longtime Camp Little Giant tradition.
  • Camp Little Giant: Dynamic Duos (Teens), set for July 16-21, is specifically geared toward teens with developmental, cognitive or physical disabilities and their teenage peers. The camp buddies team up to participate in diverse camp activities including canoeing, fishing, rock climbing, swimming, hiking, the high ropes course, arts and crafts, team building and other things. Two media opportunities are available during this camp session. Visit Giant City Stables 9-11 a.m. July 17 as campers enjoy a favorite camp tradition, horseback riding through the park. Come to Touch of Nature’s Camp 2 Beach 3-4 p.m. July 20 as campers enjoy some fun and play at the beach.

Contacts for Camp Little Giant are Lindsay Meverden at or 618-453-3954, or Sydney Pogue at or 618-453-3950.

A bit more information

Events and Outreach and Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center coordinate the majority of SIU’s camps, while Saluki Athletics and other campus units take care of the rest. Visit for complete details about SIU’s numerous summer camp offerings for all ages.

Scheduled activities are subject to change due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.