Check out our camp in action!
Insect Collecting along the Rio de Flag trail
Our camps for 2024
Registration for 2024 camps opened January 15, 2024 and they were filled on January, 25th . You can still get on a waitlist (below)
The Junior Entomology Academy promotes the education of entomology for kids ages 6 – 10 years-old. 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 events 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 students from middle school through graduate students across the country.
If creepy crawlers fascinate your child, then the summer bug camp is an ideal summer activity. 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.
We will plan three in-person bug camps in summer 2024. The first camp will be hosted at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) and the second two camps will be hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center. All sessions will be capped at 24 campers. All camps cover the same material and engage in the same activities. Since a lot of time is spent outside the only difference between camps will be weather, so lightning is more prevalent later in the summer.
Note that each week has the same set of activities, material, and "bug collection" routines - campers typically just attend one week per summer, as there is little variation between sessions. For the 2024 camps a teacher at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy will be filming a documentary about the camps during the two Willow Bend Camps. If you have concerns about your camper(s) being in the documentary, please let us know.
Camp 1: June 24th - June 28th (hosted at Museum of Northern AZ (MNA) FULL, YOU CAN JOIN A WAITLIST
Camp 2: July 8th - July 12th (hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center) FULL, YOU CAN JOIN A WAITLIST
Camp 3: July 15th - July 19th (hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center) FULL, YOU CAN JOIN A WAITLIST
Please contact Neil Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this short waitlist form if you would like to be added to the waitlist. Provide name(s) and age(s) of camper(s) and which session(s) you want them to be added to.
Lily Davis and Jackie Garver will be leading the camps next summer and both are experienced in teaching in-person under Covid-19 compliance. Lily and Jackie are elementary school teachers in Chicago and Flagstaff, respectively. Both women have extensive experience with in-person teaching throughout the academic year during Covid times, and are experts at helping young children practice social distancing and carry out indoor mask use. We also have nine amazing young Junior Counselors (ages 12-16). Campers will be organized into groups of 4-5 and each group will have 1-2 counselors that help them on projects.
Fees & Scholarships
The fee for each of the 2023 Summer Bug Camps is $375 per child. Willow Bend sponsors and MNA members will receive a $25 discount per child when they register before June 1 for the June camps and before July 1 for the July camp.
We may have support for 1-2 scholarships for summer 2024 for families that fall under Flagstaff mean annual income. Please email Neil at email@example.com if you would like a scholarship application. The deadline for this application is May 1st, 2024, and we can only offer one scholarship per family. We have reserved scholarship spots for any of the camps, so please let us know which camp week would work best for your family.
Registration & Camp Information THE CAMP IS FULL - you can add your name to the waitlist:
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions
Camp runs Monday - Friday
Hours are 9:00am - 4:00pm, EXCEPT on Friday, it ends at 3:00pm-ish!
This is because we have a "bug feast" and "entomology awards" that all parents are encouraged to attend (on that Friday, starting around 2pm-ish)
Therefore camp tends to finish up around 3pm that day (not 4pm).
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.
This is the perfect opportunity for your child to 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.
Lily Davis is a veteran Bug Camp counselor. She is ateacher in Prescott 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 2022 camp co-leader.
Jackie Garver is a local Flagstaff school teacher who started helping with Bug Camp when she was a student. Jackie will be the 2023 camp co-leader.
Neil Cobb is an entomologist/ecologist with a research focus on arthropod biodiversity. He is the Director of the Junior Entomology Academy. He coordinates registrations and runs several of the camp activities. During the rest of the year he runs SCAN, an arthropod data portal that provides biogeographic data on arthropods. He is also the lead Principal Investigator for the iDigBees project. The main goal for iDigBees is to describe the distribution of all 20,000 bee species in the world.
Carrie Cobb will be a junior counselor for all camps. She will be a 9th grader at Flagstaff High and has participated in bug camps every year since she was 6 years old. She has been a junior counselor for the last 4 years. Her passions include dance, biking, and a love for insects. She has numerous experiences with kids and is very excited to be able to have this opportunity!
Sophie Emery: Hi, I’m Sophie, I am 13 years old and I am going into 8th grade this fall. I am from Chandler, AZ and I have loved bugs and reptiles for as long as I can remember! I am on student council and I also run cross country and track on my school teams as well as being a part of many school clubs. I can’t wait to help campers learn about the amazing world of insects!
Jocelyn Katzman: I’m Jocelyn and I will be an 8th grader at BASIS Flagstaff. My favorite subject is biology and favorite invertebrate is the blue death feigning beetle. I do gymnastics and math tutoring and love raising insects, reptiles and plants. I was a camper for two years and am excited to help campers have the best experience this summer.
Sam Benefield will be a Junior counselor for his third bug camp as a junior counselor. He is 15 and his hobbies include dance, aerial arts, and is an insect and animal lover. .
Oscar Martinez: Hi, I’m Oscar. I am 14 years old and will be an 9th grader at Flagstaff Montessori next year. I like math and science in school. I am a scooter rider and I make scooter tutorials and edits for my YouTube Channel, Flag Scoot.
Leila Visockis: Hi, my names Leila and I will be in 9th grade next year at NPA. My favorite subjects are Guitar and Science. I participate in girls soccer and dance. I enjoy baking and using my voice for what I believe in.
Makena Foster : I attend Northland Preparatory Academy (NPA), I will be in 9th grade. I have attended BugCamp as a camper and now I am looking forward to being a Junior Counselor. I really like the lepidoptera group (moths and butterflies) and I like skiing, surfing, biking and adventuring.
Alana Westra: I’m 14 and I will be a 9th grader at Flag High this fall. My favorite school subjects are math and social studies. I take dance, singing, and theater classes and I’m excited to be a junior counselor.
Noor Najmi: I love animals of all kinds including insects. Stick bugs are my favorite insect. I like how they are like real life stick figures. I also like pokemon including the bug type pokemon!
Quinn Martinez: Hi, I’m Quinn and I will be a high school senior this fall. My favorite school subjects are math and science. I run cross country and track. I also enjoy skateboarding and can land a tre-flip.
Kaius Alexander: I am 14 and interested in informatics, gaming, social networks, and life in general. I am looking forward to being the tech coordinator for the iNaturalist module at the camps. I will be working with Carrie Cobb and the other counselors to make sure campers have fun in uploading lots of great images to iNaturalist.
Interested in becoming a junior counselor? We are now seeking enthusiastic students, 13 years and older, 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 (JCs) are expected to act as mentors to the students in the program. Advanced JCs are expected to give lectures and lead in camp activities. Junior Counselor "Trainees" ages 11-12 pay for camps until they can be full JCs. For any questions about the process contact Neil Cobb (email@example.com).
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.
Arthropods are Bugs!
What is an Arachnid: Interactive Lecture
What is an Insect: Interactive Lecture
Celebrate Bug Biodiversity
Bug Sampling using pitfall traps, malaise traps & pollinator traps
Specialty Collecting Methods: Blue-Vanes, Slingshot tree traps…….
How many bug species can you report to iNaturalist?
Making an insect collection: Pinning, spreading, labeling, arranging
Insect Behavior: Raising Your Pet Bug
Pollinator Ecology: Interactive Lecture
Bug Jeopardy: Body parts to Ecology
Build a Bug Insect Morphology
Bug Camp Notebook: Learn to write what you learn
Food Web Tag: Predator catches Prey
Make your own bee nest block
Toy Bugs: Take a break and explore the plastic bugs bin
Stump the Entomologists: Ask them a question they cannot answer
Life Cycle: Interactive Lecture
Aquatic insects interactive lecture
The Felt Bug Insect Anatomy Physiology: Interactive Lecture
Bug Cuisine featuring mealworm pesto pasta