Challenge to Excellence

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Challenge to Excellence
Challenge to Excellence

Challenge to Excellence 2024

June  9 - 14, 2024, Challenge to Excellence (7th-8th grades)

June 23 - 28, 2024, Challenge to Excellence (9th-12th grades)

Now in its 41st year, Challenge to Excellence is one of the most respected and long-standing summer residential programs for academically-talented students in the Midwest. The program’s major goal is to provide students with opportunities to “stretch themselves” in learning experiences that promote higher level thinking skills and creativity in a variety of academic subjects, such as math, art, psychology, drama, biology and many others. Camp staff are creative teachers and counselors who are dedicated to providing safe, fun learning experiences for campers.

Many of our former campers have matriculated at our finest universities and are now teachers, doctors, engineers, journalists, computer scientists and pharmacists. One of our former Challenge to Excellence students received a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. 

Camp Activities

Structured, supervised activities including activities from the STEM Education Research Center, College of Education and Human Services, College of Engineering, Theatre and art will be provided to all campers throughout their stay, as well as recreation and social engagement opportunities. Campers have the option to register for daytime attendence (commuter) or staying overnight (residential). 

Camp Details 

Program Date:

June 9 - 4, 2024, Challenge to Excellence (7th-8th grades)
June 23 - 28, 2024, Challenge to Excellence (9th-12th grades)

  • Commuter: $450
  • Residential:  $585

(Payment may be split into two payments, please call and register by phone if setting up installment pays)

What's Included?

  • Meals from Monday to Friday
  • Educational supplies and materials
  • Limited accident medical insurance
  • Camp T-shirt
  • Recreational activities

Program Check-in: SIU Campus, East Campus, 4pm on Sunday - the first day of each camp.

Program Times: Varies each day but generally 8am – 6pm

Program Location: SIU Carbondale Campus

Program Requirement: The Camp Release Form is required for camp participation and must be received in our office prior to camp beginning. 

For questions about the camp, please contact Dr. Jose Martinez, Camp Director at
or call 618/453-2958.

For assistance with registration, please contact Rebecca Dycus at 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations before May 31, 2024 will be refunded, less $35.