Studio: 618-457-3691 • Office: 618-529-5900 • 224 N. Washington St. Carbondale IL 62901

Explore the great outdoors at SIU’s Touch of Nature 2023 summer camps

Map Unavailable

Date(s) - 06/12/2023 - 07/28/2023
8:45 am - 3:45 pm


Summer 2023 will be full of outdoor adventure and fun for children ages 5-16, thanks to a wide assortment of summer camps at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center.

This year’s EDventure Camp schedule at the experiential learning center runs from June 12 through July 28 and offers some two dozen camps, each with a distinctive theme created especially for the specific age groups. The camps run Monday through Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 a.m., except for a few overnight camps for older teens.

Registration is now underway online. All camps take place at the center, located about 8 miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. Campers will enjoy special opportunities to explore and learn more about the great outdoors, do crafts, play, enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and have ample time to make new friends, interact and enjoy themselves. In addition, they will learn about the Leave No Trace principles so as to preserve the beautiful, scenic area.

Forest Day Camps

Six weekly sessions of Forest Camp are on tap for ages 5-8, with ages 5-6 and ages 7-8 participating separately. Children will explore the outdoors and learn about the world around them as they use their senses and discover flora and fauna and water-world life in the forest as well as in and around Little Grassy Lake, Indian Creek and the Shawnee National Forest.

Eco Day Camps

Campers ages 9-10 can choose from six Eco Day Camps where they will concentrate on learning outdoor skills, experimenting with the natural world, making new friends and more. They can learn to pitch a tent, paddle in the lake and creek, identify trees and leaves, look for fossils and more as they explore the forest, waterways, and plants and animals found at Touch of Nature. They can also enjoy exploring how the STEAM components (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) come together with brain games, experiences and other challenges.

Adventure Camp

Preteens ages 11-12 have six options for outdoor fun and excitement with the Adventure Camps They will explore the land and water via canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, playing water games, zip lining, doing the high ropes course, orienteering, building shelters and much more.

Underway Adventures Camps

An assortment of day and overnight camps are available for youths ages 13-16 during the Underway Adventures Camps. Activities include rock climbing, paddleboarding, zip lining, paddling, hiking, canoeing, enjoying the high ropes course, exploring the River to River Trail and numerous other natural areas in the region and beyond. One of the overnight adventures includes a trip to the scenic Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River in Missouri for backcountry exploring and canoeing among class I and II rapids.

Sign up early

Camp registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and some fill up quickly. All registrations are due no later than two weeks before the start of the camps.

Signup is available online for all camps. Most day camps range in price from $285 to $290, although some of the more intensive camps for older participants are up to $415 and the overnight camps are up to $450, all inclusive.

Monetary assistance is also available for children with financial need.

Transportation available

Shuttle bus transportation is available for children from the SIU Banterra Center to Touch of Nature for the camp sessions. The cost is $15 for the week and transportation can be arranged when registering campers, as can lunches

For more information, including the complete camp schedule, visit the website, call 618-453-1121 or email For information on all of the 2023 SIU summer camps, visit

Scroll to top