Camps and Retreats

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Touch of Nature Campers

Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, located near the beautiful Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, offers a variety of exciting, educational and adventurous summer camps.

From Camp Little Giant to EdVenture Summer Camps to SIU Dawg Days New Student Retreat, our camps provide a great way to mix education, fun and an appreciation of the natural world around us. 

Registration for our 2024 Edventure Camps is now available. 

SIU embraces a unique tradition of access and opportunity, inclusive excellence, innovation in research and creativity, and outstanding teaching focused on nurturing student success. As a nationally ranked public research university and regional economic catalyst, we create and exchange knowledge to shape future leaders, improve our communities, and transform lives. We continue these values and mission as part of our summer camp program. does not discriminate against students in the participation of camps, including based on race, national origin, sex, gender, or other protected status.

To find out more information or register for any of our trainings or workshops, contact Touch of Nature at 618-453-1121 or email

Fill out our program inquiry form

EdVenture Camps

2024 EdVenture Camps feature five weeks of camp for ages 5-10. Each week has its own exciting theme, and each day is filled with an adventure and a learning experience, ranging from nature hikes, canoeing and kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining and much more. 

Camp Little Giant

Camp Little Giant has been offering lifetime memories and experiences since 1952 and is one of the first residential camps of its kind in the nation to offer camping opportunities for people with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Respite Camps

The Camp Little Giant tradition continues into the fall with the Traditions Respite Camp. Adults with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities will enjoy an authentic overnight camp experience.


2023 Camp BETACamp BETA, a free overnight camp for youth ages 10-16 with Type 1 diabetes,    returns to Touch of Nature September 7-8.  Camp BETA is a collaboration between, Southern Illinois Healthcare, the Diabetes Today Resource Team and Touch of Nature, Registration is now open. For full details, please visit the Camp BETA web page.


Register Now

Dawg Days Retreat

Dawg DaysThis new student retreat provides incoming Southern Illinois University freshman and transfer students the opportunity to make friends, participate in camp-related activities, and learn more about life and traditions at SIU. Activities range from team building, themed evening socials, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, learning about traditions, and more. You’ll have the chance to make lifelong connections with classmates -- the kind of friendships that will always bring you home to your alma mater.

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