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OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — Dozens of children from across the country, and the globe are in Oktibbeha County this week to learn more about insects and plants.

They’re here for the world’s oldest bug and plant camp, hosted by Mississippi State University.

Many people run away at the sight of bugs, but these kids go looking for them.

“We just got done doing a hike through the woods, and we’ve just been collecting bugs. We’ve done night collecting,” said camper Hannah Baron.

They may come from all over the world, but they all share the same love for insects.

Many are returning campers.

“It’s always very refreshing, always a privilege to be able to come back and share some of what we learned, and collaborate on what we have seen throughout the year since we saw each other last, and hopefully come up with something we didn’t know before,” said camper Brady Dunaway.

“We get to learn about different classes of insects,” said camper Weslei Campana. “Also, after that, we can collect them in specimen jars, or keep them alive or in demonstration.”

Campana came here all the way from Panama for the camp. He says he wants to be an entomologist when he grows up.

“Hope to be a famous one too,” Campana said.

Camp workers say there’s a lot to learn about insects.

They hope more kids like Weslei will have a future in entomology.

“They’re major disease vectors, and we need students to get interested in those kinds of things early in their life, so if they choose to go into entomology, they’ve got a head start on solving some of these problems,” said Dr. John Guyton, MSU extension entomology specialist.

And this bug camp is just the motivation they need.

This year’s camp will wrap up on Thursday.

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