BUG CAMP 2014. TOMKI CENTER, WILLITS, CA. July 30 thru August 3, 2014. A group of 8 braved Bug Camp at a wilderness camp east of Willits, CA last week. What were they there for? "We bring young people to camp. They observe, collect, record and photograph just like the adults," says Dunbar. The Tomki Center was host to this band of bug enthusiasts. The center's 100 acres includes woodland and pine forest habitat along Tomki Creek in the Eel River Watershed.
Anthony Cody, center director, is a retired Oakland science teacher with a not-so-retired passion for the environment and education. Cody was on hand to teach about Tomki's vision and for logistical support to the campers. Two campers took in all of the action. Prakrit from Los Gatos and Ziel from Oakland collected some 300 insects and pinned them. Having a collection with scientific value to take home is a goal of the camp. The Tomki Center also is having its collection refreshed and expanded. Bug Campers include adults, not just kids.
Clay Anderson of Outdoor Afro and Karen Egerman-Schultz of the Santa Barbara County Vector Control District brought a lot of value to the Bug Camp by sharing their knowledge of nature and science. "The future of California and the world requires that young people be trained up as environmental stewards," says Dunbar.
"These campers will use the skills they learned here to continue scientific observations and collecting where they live. The passion for environmental stewardship that bug campers take back home helps to make a better world."