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This page is an old version for 2021 

To visit 2022's page, click here:

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.   


Covid-19 Update: 

We will follow all CDC guidelines when hosting our in-person camp as well as the guidelines established by the Museum of Northern Arizona and Willow Bend Environmental Center.

Paige Chesshire and Lily Davis will be leading the camps this summer and both are experienced in teaching in-person under Covid-19 compliance. Lilly is a 4th grade teacher in Prescott. She has extensive experience with in-person teaching throughout the 2020-2021 academic year during covid times. Lily is an expert at helping young children practice social distancing and carry out indoor mask use.



We are so excited to have in-person camps this summer and have such an exciting variety of activities planned for your young entomologist(s). In order to promote the health and safety of all campers, we have a few important points to address regarding COVID-19. 


All campers are responsible for bringing their own snacks and water bottles, and there will be no food sharing (unless between siblings). Each child will receive their own box of pinning/collecting supplies and their own pollinator net to use for the entire length of the camp. 


We strive to keep our camps at the “lowest risk” level based on CDC recommendations relevant to elementary school students in classrooms. We will take temperatures upon arrival and all campers will maintain a 3-foot distance from each other whenever possible and wear a mask covering when indoors. At the Museum of Northern Arizona, we will be conducting our camps in two cabins, each with a group of 10-11 campers and 2-3 counselors. All adult counselors are vaccinated. The two-cabin situation is what makes it possible for campers to remain 3 feet apart when seated and working on activities. These two groups will be further divided into cohorts of 4-5 campers, which is a concept encouraged by the CDC. We will encourage frequent hand-sanitizing during our inside activities. 


We will spend a large portion of each day outside and for this, campers can remove their masks if parents feel comfortable. Campers will only be within 3 feet of the fully vaccinated counselors and no other children – counselors will consistently remind children to back away from each other to prevent over-crowding. If you would like your child to wear a mask outside, please make this clear to them in advance, and tell one of the camp leaders so that we can help enforce this behavior for your child specifically. 


If a camper tests positive with a known case of Covid-19, we will notify every person who has been identified as a “close contact” with the positive individual. If an immediate family member tests positive for COVID-19, the camper will need to promptly get tested. The Arizona Public School System defines “close contact” as anybody within 6 feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. By nature, this would then apply to all campers who share a cabin with the positive individual. 


In this event, all individuals who share cabin space with a camper who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate until they can provide a negative test result. We will provide info on where to get tested, and camp will remain open for campers who test negative. This is in accordance with CDC recommendations for summer camps. Please see this link for more information: 

Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide reimbursement if your child must isolate for any portion of the camp, however it is possible we can develop an opportunity for virtual attendance for many activities. If you do not agree to this rule, we can reimburse you now free of charge and remove your camper from the roster. Please just let us know! 

Please keep in mind that we cannot provide any guarantee of complete safety from Covid 19. 

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Insect Collecting along the Rio de Flag trail

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Bug Camps 2021

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.

Week 1: June 28th - July 2nd (hosted at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA))

Week 2: July 19th - July 23rd (hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center)

If creepy crawlers fascinate your child, then the summer bug camp is an ideal summer activity. We will host two separate 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 28, through Friday, July 2, and the second camp will take place Monday, July 19, through Friday, July 23 (Unfortunately both camps are now fully booked! Can request to be put on a wait list, however --- there are at least 12 people on each waitlist for each week. But please still feel free to email Both camps run from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The first camp will be held at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) and the second camp will be held at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, both in 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 2021 Summer Bug Camps is $250 per child. Willow Bend sponsors and MNA members will 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 currently still seeking foundation support for scholarships, but we do hope 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

Please see the Registration Page to proceed with registering campers for summer 2021. 































​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

Junior Counselors


Carrie Cobb will be a junior counselor “in training” for both camps. She will be a 7th grader at FALA Flagstaff and has participated in bug camps every year.

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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! 


Paige Chesshire, a graduate student who is researching plant-insect interactions along an elevation gradient, will be the 2021 camp leader. Paige is passionate about bugs and enjoys sharing their fascinating world with campers.

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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 camp co-leader.

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

Ally Beeler, a NAU Environmental Science undergraduate student,  is a natural ambassador for insect biodiversity and loves teaching kids. She is currently working on an iDigBees project!

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Lindsie McCabe received her PhD from NAU and is now working at the USDA bee lab in Logan, Utah. She was a main founder of Flagstaff's bug camp before moving out of state. Her research involves understanding the effects of climate change on native bees.

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