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Maple Syrup Festival

Welcome to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center! 

Welcome to Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, where nature comes alive and learning takes on a whole new dimension. Nestled amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, our center offers a unique and immersive outdoor educational experience like no other. Whether you're a student, teacher, outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone seeking to reconnect with nature, Touch of Nature provides a diverse range of programs, activities, and serene surroundings that inspire discovery, personal growth, and environmental stewardship. Step into a world where adventure meets education, and let Touch of Nature ignite your passion for the great outdoors.


Registration for our summer EDventure Camps or Camp Little Giant is currently open. Applications are available now for summer employment as camp counselors for both Camp Little Giant and our EDventure Camps. The applications and position descriptions can be found here.

Interested in scheduling a retreat, program, field trip or more at Touch of Nature? Fill out our program inquiry form and a member of our staff will reach out regarding your inquiry.

Touch of Nature Program Inquiry

Upcoming Events 

Rooted In Play: The Power of Place

June 1-3, 2023

EDventure Camps

Beginning June 12, 2023

Camp Little Giant

Beginning June 18, 2023

Catalyst Race

September 9, 2023


September 23-24, 2023

Little Grassy Get Down

October 6-8, 2023

Catalyst Race

October 28, 2023

2024 Solar Eclipse Weekend

April 6-9, 2024



Touch of Nature hosts experiential education programs, ranging from outdoor education and youth focused workshops to inclusive recreation programs. These programs utilize the many natural resources located here in beautiful Southern Illinois.

Camps - Camp Little Giant

Camps and Retreats

Touch of Nature offers a variety of exciting, educational, and adventurous summer camps, including outdoor adventure camps and Camp Little Giant, offering a great way to mix education, fun and an appreciation of nature.

TON Trails

Veteran Adventures

TON Trails includes 12 miles of multi-use trails for bikers, hikers, and runners. Click here for trail information or check our Facebook page for trail open/close status and updates.

Base Camp


Base Camp offers a variety of equipment available to rent for your next outdoor adventure, regardless of whether it's for a day or several weeks.

Rentals open to SIU students, faculty, staff, and the community. 

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Touch of Nature offers Leave No Trace trainings, including Master Educator courses, Trainer courses, and awareness workshops, teaching ethical outdoor conservation. 

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Keep up to date with everything going on at Touch of Nature. Get in Touch with us here

Let Us Host Your Next Event!

We offer several hospitality services, including outdoor spaces, indoor facilities, lodging, dining, and custom activities for your next event, meeting, and conference. Please note that Touch of Nature no longer provides wedding services.

Fill out our program inquiry form