Camp Promise Spotlight Series: Meet Our Campers!

We are back with our Camp Promise Spotlight Series! We want to highlight the cool, fun, amazing things our campers are doing when they aren’t at Camp Promise.

This month, we are talking with Bradon! Some of you may know Bradon – he has hosted information sessions for Camp Promise about his knowledge of and study of insects. He has accomplished an amazing amount at a young age – he teaches classes about insects (check him out @lil.dudes.insect.academy), he hosts his own podcast, and he’s working on a website and future content. AND he’s 15 years old! Amazing, right?

Read on to hear more about Bradon and his many interests and accomplishments!

How long/how many times have you attended Camp Promise?
I attended Camp Promise West in 2018 and really enjoyed it, I wasn’t able to go in 2019 because my School year started that week.

What is that you are proud of and wish to share?
I am very proud of the opportunities I have been blessed with and able to do, regardless of my physical limitations. Some of these cool things were my Make-A-Wish trip to Panama in 2015; a mission trip to Mexico in 2019; attending entomology conferences all over the country; teaching in-person and online bug classes to students of all ages; and talking with a ton of cool people about my passion in entomology.

What got you interested/started initially?
I originally got interested in the natural world but particularly in insects when I was about three years old. I would bring them into the house and show my mom and eventually I learned about pinning and preserving the specimens I found. I then had the amazing opportunity for a Wish with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and nine-year-old me wished to go on an insect safari. I came home from my week long trip in Panama and started teaching bug classes about all my knowledge of Insects that I had gained over the years. Now I really enjoy teaching about bugs, taking pictures of bugs, and talking with people about, you guessed it, Bugs!

What are some specific details about your project/hobby that people should know?
Entomology is the study of insects. What defines an insect? Well any animal that is in the class of “Insecta” is considered an Insect. A spider Is not an insect, a worm is not an insect, and slugs and snails are not insects. If you have any questions for me about any of those creepy crawlies, Please don’t ask me because those are not insects and I don’t know very much about them. Entomology is my main hobby that I am interested in but I actually have many hobbies. I love board games, building models, photography/videography, cooking for my family, and watching movies.

Have you been able to work these skills into your camp experience?
Definitely. Camp Promise is very flexible with really any interests a camper might have. The volunteers highly value their campers individual Interests and are very accommodating. They allowed me to boogie away sometimes (with a counselor) and search for whatever little creatures might have been running around. At Camp Promise-West they have a Pontoon boat and we saw a ton of cool wildlife, as well.

What has been your favorite project?
My favorite project that I have worked on has been expanding and growing my collections of both knowledge of insects, and preserved specimens. And teaching of course 🙂

How can others learn more about your work and support your efforts?
You can all check my work out on Instagram and Facebook, @lil.dudes.insect.academy. I also host a podcast all about Entomology where I talk bugs with all kinds of Entomologists from all over the world.

And for just my work in general, here is a landing page (probably the best place to find me) https://linktr.ee/LilDudes

Thank you, Bradon! Definitely check out his work!

Do you have an endeavor that you would like to share with us for our next spotlight? Let us know! Can not wait to hear more from our community on things you are involved in outside of camp, so we can all cheer you on.