Insects and amphibians were the focus this week at primitive pursuits.

It is week six here at Primitive Pursuits and we are bugging out and jumping like frogs. This week the camp looked at our tiny insect and amphibian friends. There were many bug and amphibian activities in the forest this week. Also, lots of tiny creatures were discovered in our journeys across 4H acres. 

Making habitats for insects and small frogs is a favorite activity of Growing Wild and Forest Village. Campers start with a large bin and put in all the ingredients they think bugs and amphibians will need for a short stay. The campers then go out and find worms and slugs and frogs and snails. These little friends spend some time with the campers in their terrariums while they study their behavior and learn about their life cycle and eating habits.

The wood ducks played insect and amphibian bingo this week. The board had a number of species known to live in the 4H woods. The camp then found some of these species to get bingo on the big board and unlock their special treat on Friday which consisted of the water marmot egg. Mmmmmm! that fleshy red summer fruit! 

Mallards also had a long list of bugs and amphibians they were looking for in the woods this week. Species such as the black salamander and the stone fly were on this list and the camp managed to find all of the species from a list of twenty. This then unlocked their special ice cream treat for Friday and instructor Blue led them through making ice cream in a bag with coconut milk and coco powder. 


Growing Wild campers splash around in the creek at 4H acres. Photo: Lydia Brandt

A blue tailed damsel fly chills by the creeks at Trilium Camp. Photo: Ben Bookout

Growing wild continued with their bug theme with a mystery and a fashion show. Instructor Liz led the group in guessing what insect she had brought in. She gave them some clues like it is furry and very small and it is important to pollination. With their clues, some students guessed bumblebee, hummingbird and crumble cake. Liz then revealed she had collected some specimens of bumblebee and the students showed their excitement in this latest mystery activity being solved. They then headed down to Trilium camp where the paparazzi waited. The bug fashion show was about to begin. Instructor Megan brought out a box of costumes and students chose their favorite bug to dress as. There were beatles and a praying mantis, a group of butterflies flew around the camp stretching their beautiful wings. The paparazzi were overwhelmed with the number of beautiful bugs and couldn’t take enough pictures. 

After the fashion show growing wild got to play on the new balance beams the forest engineers installed for them. Instructor Jesse led the engineers on a build of some balancing logs for Growing Wild. Campers got to learn teamwork and hatchet skills. They assembled the logs in a small clearing at Trilium camp and it was a big hit. 

Speaking of hits, Rey led the Nature Mystics through the process of making paper for their journals. Campers also got to learn soap and ink dips for the inside cover of their journals. Rey took the group down to the stream where they mixed soap and ink in a small puddle. Then they dipped paper in these pools to create some extraordinary art. See the photos in the gallery below.  

Bug and Amphibian week wrapped up with a heightened knowledge of our little friends all around the camp. 


Campers from Luna Rising enjoy a fire on their overnight at 4H Acres. Photo Lydia Brandt

A lepord slug makes its way across a log in the front hemlocks at 4H Acres. Photo: Ben Bookout