All About Bugs Camp

August 01, 2021

Several Norton children learned “All About Bugs” in a summer day camp by that name at Clear Creek Park and Outdoor Classroom this week.

  Coordinated by Carol Doss of Upper Tennessee River Roundtable in partnership with Becca Iozzi of Norton Parks and Recreation Department, the camp provided hands-on exploration of crawling and flying insects.

Campers paired up for an insect hunt among the gardens on Tuesday followed by a plant walk with Beth Walker of All Indoor Farm Store on Kentucky Avenue. Walker connected the bug theme with the plants as she identified beetles in the park and outdoor classroom. Walker also pointed out different species of trees, distinguishing between native and non-native, which are known as invasive species. Walker talked about the Eastern Hemlock which is being attacked in this region by the hemlock woolly adelgid that extracts the sap, killing the trees.

One camp activity featured the hidden habitat of macroinvertebrates (stream bugs) in Clear Creek. Campers were thrilled to find tiny crayfish and minnows and a variety of stream bugs. The numbers and types of macros found in a stream are indicators of the health of the water. The Roundtable offers training for citizens to learn how to become stream monitors. Citizens can “adopt” a stream through the Roundtable’s Adopt-A-Stream program that includes monitoring and litter cleanups. For more information on this program, contact the Roundtable at

Campers created trash treasures bug crafts this week by reusing old file folders for bug journals. Another reuse craft featured painted yellow paper plates turned into bees. A former Roundtable volunteer donated the plates leftover from another activity years ago. Campers also decorated old bottle caps for fridge magnets. Another craft transformed foam into lady bugs.

This camp is an annual free event as part of Norton’s summer camp series.