Little Grassy Camp is located south of Carbondale, IL, on 190 acres of hills and trees, adjacent to the 1,000-acre Little Grassy Lake. The property nestles up against the Shawnee National Forest and is bound by a covenant with the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge to exercise careful stewardship of the wildlife, vegetation, and land forms.
Once inhabited by Native American tribes, the Little Grassy area is of archaeological interest to historians and those who wish to protect the sacredness of Indian ancestors, who were forcibly removed from the land in 1830 when the U.S. Congress passed a bill permitting the removal of all Native Indians living east of the Mississippi River.
With its bluffs and imposing rock formations, Little Grassy provides opportunities for rock-climbing and rappelling, caving and hiking, as well as swimming and other traditional camp and retreat activities.
Little Grassy is a United Methodist Church Camp and Retreat Center that had its beginnings as a wilderness camp in the late 1940's when some land set aside by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service became available. One of the conditions on grounds designated as Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge contains many different wildlife including deer, geese, ducks, owls, wild turkeys, and many other bird species.
The core of Little Grassy Camp, built on a ridge overlooking the lake, includes a hotel-style lodge, a dining hall with a meeting room furnished with cozy furniture and fireplace. There are other retreat lodges and cabins most of which are climate-controlled.
The camp supports summer programs for spiritual formation in the Christian tradition, which are open to all. Confirmation programs and other specialized retreats occur throughout the year.