Covid-19 Update: 

We have created an online alternative with activities to teach children how to collect and identify insects in their own backyard.


We will offer an extensive combination of Zoom sessions, YouTube videos, online content and kits. 

Please contact Paige Chesshire ( or Neil Cobb at 928-607-4075 (or for further information. We will gladly provide details on how this camp will be carried out. 


 The Junior Entomology Academy started as a summer Bug Camp which is currently developing into both in-person and online entomology education resources for elementary age students. Through this program, children delve into the wonders of entomology and learn about insects, entomological collecting techniques, proper curation, insect anatomy, life cycles, insect husbandry, and interesting facts about insects and other arthropods. The week concludes with entomophagy, a bug feast, where kids and parents are invited to try gourmet insect cuisine. We pride ourselves in entomology education for kids taught by real-life entomologists.   

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Lindsie, Paige, and Lily at Red Rock State Park doing a Bug Show


Bug Camps 2020

The Junior Entomology Academy promotes the education of entomology for kids ages 6 – 10 years-old (see below for exceptions). Our mission is to inspire a love of bugs in the next generation of entomologists, to assist in their education, and provide resources for improving their knowledge. We do this through our annual Bug Camp event and our traveling arthropod show. Our goal is to educate passionate young entomologists on all aspects of entomology, from keeping a collection, insect husbandry, insect classification, insect ecology, and eating insects as a food source.  The summer bug camps will now be run through our new nonprofit Biodiversity Outreach Network (BON). The personnel have not changed and this will allow us to expand all of our biodiversity outreach efforts. We will continue our camps at Willow Bend in Flagstaff, Arizona and continue to promote workforce development through hiring promising undergraduate students at Northern Arizona University and other universities across the country.

June 22nd - 26th & July 20th - 24th.  If creepy crawlers fascinate your child, then the summer bug camp is an ideal summer activity. We will host two week-long summer camps for children ages 6 to 10. If your child falls outside of this age range please contact us, we do make exceptions for children who really love working with bugs. Campers will learn about insect natural history and biodiversity through a series of fun project and activities. Campers collect insects and create their own insect collection, build their own bug, and we finish the week with by preparing and sharing insect cuisine with invited family members and friends.

The first camp will take place Monday, June 22, through Friday, June 26, and the second camp will take place Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24. Both camps run from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and will be held at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition to the “Summer Bug Camps” we also offer the “Traveling Arthropod Show” for school and public groups during the year.

Fees & Scholarships

The fee for each of the 2020 Summer Bug Camps is $155 per child. Willow Bend sponsors receive a $15 discount per child when they register before June 1 for the June camp and July 1 for the July camp.


We are seeking foundation support for scholarships, but currently we are able to offer financial support for families that fall under Flagstaff mean annual income. We will post application material if we are able to offer scholarships.


Registration & Camp Information

We will be using a new registration system that should be implemented by January, 2020. If you would like more information about summer bug camp, please contact Neil Cobb at or 928-607-4075.

































​Interested in becoming a junior counselor? We are now seeking enthusiastic high school and undergraduate students to join our bug camp team. Junior Counselors are responsible for assisting the camp staff, including helping campers with activities, clean-up, and general supervision of the students. Junior Counselors are expected to act as mentors to the students in the program. For any questions about the process contact Neil Cobb.                                                      

Camp activities

These are just some of the featured activities offered throughout the week.  Every day we spend time taking campers on hikes collecting bugs and they make their own collections.

Day 1: Interact with live bugs from the insect zoo. Campers are taught how to care for insect pets.

Day 2: Build your own bug! Campers construct their own bug using real insect parts.

Day 3: Take pictures of bugs and make an insect maze. Campers learn not only how to photograph a bug, but also about insect behavior. (Nightlighting for nocturnal insects from sunset to ~9PM.  Bring the family!)

Day 4: Go on an insect scavenger hunt! Campers learn about insect diversity and conservation while they search for bugs.

Day 5: Make insect cuisine! Campers learn about the importance of insects as a source of food for many species, including humans. Parents are invited to an insect banquet and open house.

All of the supplies for camp activities are provided, and children keep their own insect collections. We provide about 25 different activities, below are the activities we offer every year.  Most activities we do once during the camp and others, like "general collecting" we do every day.


List of Activities: 

What is an Insect: Interactive Lecture

What is an Arachnid: Interactive Lecture

General Collecting

Bug Sampling using pitfall traps, malaise traps & pollinator traps

Pollinator Ecology: Interactive Lecture

Making an insect collection: Pinning, spreading, labeling, arranging

Raising Your Pet Bug

Bug Jeopardy

Build a Bug Insect Morphology

Food Web Tag

iNaturalist: Insect Citizen Science

Night lighting

Stump the Entomologist

Life Cycle: Interactive Lecture

Scavenger Hunt

The Felt Bug Insect Anatomy Physiology: Interactive Lecture

Bug Cuisine featuring mealworm pesto pasta

Paige Chesshire, a graduate student who is researching plant-insect interactions along an elevation gradient, will be the 2020 camp leader. Paige is passionate about bugs and enjoys sharing their fascinating world with campers.

Lily Davis is a veteran Bug Camp counselor. She is an education major who helps with all of our outreach activities and is formatting our summer bug camp activities for use in classes and after-school activities. Lily will be the 2020 assistant camp leader.

Neil Cobb is an entomologist/ecologist with a research focus on arthropod biodiversity. He will coordinate registrations and run several of the camp activities.

Lindsie McCabe received her PhD from NAU and is now working at the USDA bee lab in Logan, Utah. She may help out in person and will continue to be involved in curriculum development. Her research involves understanding the effects of climate change on native bees.

Sadie Matteucci, a NAU Environmental Science undergraduate student,  is a natural ambassador for insect biodiversity and loves teaching kids. She is currently finishing an independent research project on insect pollinators!

Carrie Cobb will be a junior counselor “in training” for both camps. She will be a 6th grader at BASIS Flagstaff and has participated in bug camps every year.

Jackie Garver was an aspiring entomologist as she grew up, even starting a bug club in fifth grade to teach her classmates to catch and observe insects. She is in NAU’s College of Education, working toward a dual certification in Elementary Education and Special Education. She hopes to inspire curiosity and a lifelong love of learning in her future students. 

Other museum staff and curators will assist Paige. Lily and Lindsie with camp activities to ensure that a minimum of two adults accompany campers. All of the faculty and staff working with campers have undergone a background check by the university.

Sadie Burrup has been an aspiring entomologist since the age of 3, and loves to share her passion of the bugs that make up the world's ecosystems. She is dedicated to promoting the importance of insect biodiversity and emphasizes that insects are not scary! 

Junior Counselor

© 2019 BON-EARTH: The Biodiversity Outreach Network