Image of children in canoes, wearing life jackets

June 12, 2024

Media advisory: SIU summer camps June 15-29

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting an eclectic mix of academic, athletic, art, music and outdoor camps for children and youths of all ages and interests this summer, offering many opportunities for reporters, photographers and news crews to obtain interesting activity stories, photographs and video this month.

The great outdoors, baseball, STEM research and much more are among the focuses of the camps.  (Note that scheduled activities are subject to change due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.)

Campers can still sign up for a fun, enriching summer experience. Visit for the complete schedule and details.

Diversity of options

Here are media opportunities for June 15-29, along with brief descriptions, contact information and opportune times to visit:

  • 8U – Coach Pitch at “The Itch” – a baseball team tournament at Itchy Jones Stadium for players ages 8 and younger on June 15-16, giving them the chance to enhance their skills playing on a college field while making great memories. You are welcome from 10 a.m. to noon daily. Contact Jake Ryan at or 818-200-3997 for information.
  • STEM Research Camp – a new hands-on experiential research camp June 16-29 for high school students that has them exploring a wide variety of intriguing research projects from white light solar flares to the Mississippi River wetlands to white-tailed deer and so much more. Campers will collect and analyze data, interpret results, create an academic poster and publish research findings as well as enjoy recreational opportunities. Connect with them from 3 to 5 p.m. June 16 in the lobby of Neely Hall as they check in and participate in an intriguing orientation as they prepare to choose from a list of current SIU research projects that they will be working with researchers on. For more information, contact Jose Martinez Herrara at or 618-453-5493 or Dan Brown at or 618-453-7451.
  • 10U – Coach Pitch at “The Itch” – a team baseball tournament for players ages 10 and younger in Itchy Jones Stadium June 22-23. Players will improve their skills as they enjoy the opportunity to play on a university baseball field. You are welcome either day from 10 a.m. to noon. For more details, reach out to Jake Ryan at or 818-200-3997.
  • 9U – Coach Pitch at “The Itch” – a 9-year-old and younger baseball tournament at Itchy Jones Stadium on June 29-30, creating a unique, fun learning environment. You’re welcome to cover their sporting weekend from 10 a.m. to noon daily. Direct any questions to Jake Ryan at or 818-200-3997.
  • Legos camps – SIU is offering four unique and exciting Legos camps during the last half of June for various ages and interests. Come any time between 8:30 a.m. and noon or 1 and 4:30 p.m. June 17-18, 20-21 and 24-28 to Quigley Hall Rooms 118-120 to capture photos, video and interviews of participants. Camps include:
    • Beginning engineering Legos camp — Each morning, children in grades 1-2 will create a wide variety of engineering projects, including a motorized car, merry-go-round, conveyer belt and more.
    • Advanced engineering Legos camp – Each afternoon, children in grades 3-5 will create more advanced engineering projects, including a motorized dragster, a tow truck, a helicopter and an airplane.
    • WeDo Robotics Legos camp – Each afternoon, children in grades 3-5 will use Lego Education WeDo hardware and software to engage in interesting learning experiences that use wild animal themes to teach science, literacy, math and social studies with drama, music, visual arts and technology in a fun way.
    • Lego Mindstorms EV3 camp – Children in grades 3-5 will create and command their very own robots, using remote control and an app to take on challenging missions during the mornings.

For additional details about any of the Legos camps, contact Rebecca Dycus at or 618-453-1141 (office) or 618-559-1047 (cell).

Options at Touch of Nature

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, about 8 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road, is hosting numerous sessions of the popular EDventure Camps in mid to late June. Story opportunities include:

  • Edventure: Enchanted Forest Camp week 2 – Children ages 5-10 will enjoy immersing themselves in a whimsical world of enchanting outdoor fun and educational activities including boating, swimming, playing games, crafts and much more from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. June 17-21. Opportunities to consider:
    • “Bobcats” ages 7-10 get to swim at Touch of Nature Camp 2 beach for the first time, June 17, 1-3 p.m.
    • “Raccoons” ages 5-6, enjoy hands-on environmental education activities at Touch of Nature Camp 2, June 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Edventure Camp, week 3: Mad Scientist Week – Youngsters ages 5-10 delve into scientific exploration through hands-on experiments, observing nature at its finest, talking with scientists and engaging in science adventures. This popular camp, which also features arts and crafts, swimming, designing terrariums, purifying water, magnetic fun and other action, is fully booked. Several options to check out include:
    • Join “Clovers” ages 5-7 at the Burke Lounge adjacent to Freeberg Hall for arts and crafts “mad scientist style” from 1 to 3 p.m. June 24.
    • “Raccoons” ages 7-8 will be participating in “high challenges” including the zip line and the high ropes course at Touch of Nature Camp 2, 1-3 p.m. June 26.
    • “Bobcats” ages 8-10 will be boating to Rocky Ledges and jumping off the cliff to swim on June 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Touch of Nature Camp 2 beach.

Contact Sydney Pogue a or 618-453-3950 or Morgan Kruse at or 618-453-2906.

Camp Little Giant camps in session

Media opportunities for Camp Little Giant, SIU’s historic camp for people with disabilities, include:

  • Adult Retreat, session 1– Set for June 17-21, this exhilarating camp is designed for adults of all ages who are looking for the thrill of adventure combined with the serenity of nature with a program featuring swimming, boating, sports, games, environmental education, arts and crafts, and much more with a camper to staff ratio of 4 to 1. Cover their foray into practicing outdoor living skills at the Touch of Nature Windwagon on June 20 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Smith Pavilion. Contacts for Camp Little Giant are Sydney Pogue at or 618-453-3950 or Morgan Kruse at or 618-453-2906.
  • Dyna Camp – This June 24-28 camp is for youths ages 10-14 who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and/or attention deficit disorder and provides them with positive experiences and consistency and celebrates their successes with swimming, environmental education and activities including boating, sports, games, outdoor education, arts and crafts, and memory-making activities. Join them for sports and games at the Touch of Nature Camp 2 playfield on June 27 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Twice the fun

Campers from the EDventure Camps and the Camp Little Giant will join together several times for fun all-camp beach parties on the Touch of Nature Camp 2 beach. Details of the get-togethers include:

  • Campers from EDventure Enchanted Forest and Camp Little Giant Adult Retreat will be swimming and playing, 9:30-11:30 a.m. June 19.
  • EDventure Enchanted Forest participants and Camp Little Giant campers will enjoy a giant beach party together, 9:30-11:30 a.m. June 21.
  • Campers from EDventure Mad Scientist and Camp Little Giant Dyna Camp will have an all-camp beach party on June 28 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m..

Contacts are Sydney Pogue at or 618-453-3950 or Morgan Kruse at or 618-453-2906.

Events and Outreach and Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center coordinate most of the SIU summer camps while Saluki Athletics and other campus units take care of the rest.