Our camps for 2022 

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 are planning three in-person bug camps in summer 2022 pending Arizona Covid-19 guidelines. The first camp will be smaller (capped at 12 campers) and will be hosted at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA). The second two camps will be larger (max 22 campers) and are hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center. 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. 


Camp 1: June 13th - June 17th (hosted at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA)

Camp  2: June 20th - June 24th (hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center)

Camp 3: July 18th - July 22nd (hosted at Willow Bend Environmental Center)

Please contact Paige Chesshire (prc43@nau.edu) or Neil Cobb at 928-607-4075 (or neilscobb@gmail.com) for further information. 

Lily Davis and Jackie Garver will be leading the camps this summer and both are experienced in teaching in-person under Covid-19 compliance. Lily and Jackie are elementary school teachers in Prescott and Flagstaff, respectively. Both women have extensive experience with in-person teaching throughout the 2020-2021 academic year during Covid times, and are experts at helping young children practice social distancing and carry out indoor mask use.

Fees & Scholarships

The fee for each of the 2022 Summer Bug Camps is $300 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 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 Camp Registration 2022 page to proceed with registering campers for summer 2022 or click here https://www.bon-earth.org/registration-2



We are so excited to have in-person camps again next summer and have such an exciting variety of activities planned for your young entomologist(s). 


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.   


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Insect Collecting along the Rio de Flag trail


Paige Chesshire, a PhD student who is researching plant-pollinator interactions along environmental gradients and bee species distributions throughout the US, will be the 2022 camp supervisor/manager. Paige is passionate about bugs and enjoys sharing their fascinating world with campers. Paige is the Camp Director and will also help Lily and Jackie run the day-to-day activities, albeit on a flexible schedule, as she is welcoming her first child in May 2022.

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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 2022 camp co-leader.

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

Junior Counselors


Carrie Cobb will be a junior counselor for both camps. She will be a 8th grader at FALA and has participated in bug camps every year since she was 6 years old.

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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! 

Sam Leone will be a junior counselor (in training) for both camps. He will be in 8th grade at FALA, flagstaff and this is his second year participating. Sam loves kids and is looking forward to helping them! 

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