Lindsie McCabe and Ella Stephens are the experienced leaders of the summer bug camp offered by the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research at NAU. This year they offered camps in June and in July and both filled with eager young entomologists.
The camp is for ages 6 to 12, and the students bond immediately over their love of nature and their fascination with insects! On the first day, the campers interact with live bugs from the insect zoo, learn how to care for insect pets, and begin collecting their own insects. The second day they learn more about insects by constructing their own bug using real insect parts. The third day focuses on insect behavior and photography, and students make an insect maze. The campers learn more about insect diversity and conservation on an insect scavenger hunt the fourth day. And the fifth day culminates in learning about the importance of insects as a source of food for other species, including humans. Parents are invited to an insect banquet and open house.
Lindsie hopes to convey that bugs are not icky. She was always into bugs as a kid, attending bug camps herself, and she enjoys giving back by leading the camps at NAU. Lindsie said she relates to E.O.Wilson's quote: "Every kid has a bug period. I never grew out of mine." Lindsie received her Master's at NAU and is now beginning a PhD program studying insect ecology.
For teachers or group leaders: If you are interested in having Lindsie share her expertise with your class, you can schedule a visit from the Traveling Arthropod Show. The one-hour program features a wide range of live and preserved specimens. Presentations focus on the biology, ecology, and natural history of various native and nonnative arthropod species. Your class or group may also want to enjoy the show at the Colorado Plateau Museum of Arthropod Biodiversity on NAU’s campus. The museum houses a wider variety of arthropods than can be easily transported.
If the show is conducted in Flagstaff, a fee of $60 is requested to cover expenses. More information is available at the website including how to schedule a show!