Itsy bitsy campers

Local children enjoy bug camp 

“Why does this have to end? I love it,” said Preston Davis, with dirt-covered hands and an earthworm in tow. 

The local boy had just taken part in Creepy Crawly Camp at the Sparkman Civic Center and was sad to see the games and activities wrap up. Throughout the week the campers took part in insect- and reptile-themed games and activities and were even able to dig for and adopt their own worms at the close of camp. 

Janie Grammer led the camp. She said it was something she had done several years ago with her children, and she wanted to bring back for her grandchildren. 

Grammer said she wanted to pick a theme that would be engaging to the children and that would allow them to exercise and have fun while learning. 

“I tried to come up with a theme that was really easy and exciting,” Grammer said. “I went on a field trip last year, and the kids were given the choice between digging in the dirt for worms or planting a seed. There was one child planting a seed, and the rest were digging for worms, so I knew if we had worms here, they would be excited.” 

Grammer first was involved with exercise classes and camps for children when her own children were young. “This is the first time in many years that we have had it. I think it went very well; the children blended very well together,” Grammer said. 

Throughout the week the campers made insect-themed crafts and had the opportunity to hold a boa constrictor and see various animals. Catherine Garner brought the boa constrictor, as well as a turtle and Pacman frog. 

“She was really good with the kids; she has been to a lot of schools and done similar things. She was really good about answering questions and taking them one at a time. It was very informative,” Grammer said. 

Grammer said the animals were the highlight of the camp. “When she appeared and brought in her little cages, they were ecstatic,” she said. “I would say from their little faces when they saw those snakes and they saw those animals, I think that was the thrill of the camp.” 

Marlee Hauser, Grammer’s granddaughter, said her favorite part of the camp was being able to hold the snake. “The snake was really nice. She was not venomous because she had a nose that’s not pointed. We got to hold it, and I never held a snake before,” Hauser said. 

Grammer said she hopes to be able to offer the camp again next summer and is considering Christmas options during the holiday break. “I just want to thank the Civic Center for allowing me to do this again and to get out here and be interactive with the kids again,” Grammer added.

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