In a single-file line, the kids trekked through the woods with plastic bug boxes around their necks and magnifying glasses in hand as they explored their surroundings.

"Look for our ants and our mushrooms," instructor Stacy McCormick said as they walked. "We're just looking. We're just exploring what we can see."

Periodically, she pointed out plants, trees, spiders and more.

"This is actually bull nettle," Ms. McCormick said as she showed them the green leafy plant that can cause skin irritation. "Don't get near it."

Toward the end of the trek, she had the students looking at a spider hanging from the underside of a leaf.

"It's pretty amazing, huh?" she said.

The exploration took place last week during All Saints Episcopal School's Bug Camp for Nature Lovers.

Throughout the week, Ms. McCormick taught the students about spiders, snakes, isopods, worms and other plants and animals. They conducted experiments and worked on crafts related to the topic at hand, she said.

"I try to teach them just a basic … understanding that not all bugs are to be smashed," said Ms. McCormick, who started the camp eight years ago. "I just have a real appreciation of nature and (that's what I'm trying to do is) to create an appreciation of nature in a … child."

For the trek, the students visited the campus' Environmental Education Center. A short walk from the campus, it feels much more removed with its ample woods and wetlands.

During the time exploring it, students periodically proclaimed the finds, which included dragonflies, spiders, ladybugs and ants.

By the time they returned to the campus, most of them had collected some type of bug or plant in their containers along with a few bird feathers.

Ms. McCormick said she just wants the children to be aware of nature and the good that is in it.

"Some of (them) have a fear of bugs at this point," she said. "What I want to do is bring an understanding of the bugs that they are good and how they help us."

All Saints will have three more camps for various age groups next week. Visit all-saints.org for more information.  

 
 

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