CARBONDALE – Brian Croft, a double alumnus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was recently selected as the new director of SIU’s Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center.
Croft previously served there as assistant director of outdoor education and recreation since October 2019.
“Brian is passionate about experiential education and inclusive outdoor recreation,” Jeffery T. Burgin Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs said. “He is a seasoned instructor, camp leader and outdoor experience professional with more than a decade of outdoor programming experience and a deep knowledge of developing outdoor programs. I’m confident that under his leadership, Touch of Nature will grow its mission of enhancing the lives of the countless diverse people who visit for the numerous wonderful programs and experiences provided there. I look forward to working with Brian and the rest of the Touch of Nature staff to grow the premier outdoor experience space.”
Croft also served as assistant director of recreation, coordinator of outdoor programs and associate instructor at Indiana University Bloomington between 2014 and 2019, and before that time was camping services director and program director at Camp Ondessonk at Ozark, Illinois.
In addition, Croft has taught a variety of outdoor recreation, tourism, adventure, leadership and education-focused courses at SIU and IU as well as at Wisconsin and Michigan as a guest lecturer.
“It hasn’t quite hit yet that I just got my dream job. Touch of Nature has such an incredible history on a national level, and to play a role in its future development is really an opportunity I could only dream of,” Croft said. “I really believe that our role at the center is to honor our past and our legacy as a leader in outdoor and experiential education while keeping our eyes focused on the future.”
He assumed his new role at Touch of Nature on Sept. 1.