As he prepared his live insect presentation at Richard Nixon County Park, Ryan Bridge, aka "The Bugman," reached into his container.

"This is Kevin," he said, pulling out a black scorpion with imposing claws.

The crowd of about 60 youngsters shrieked in fright.

But although Asian Forest Scorpions are some of the largest of their kind, they're totally harmless, explained Bridge, an insect enthusiast from Mount Wolf who regularly does presentations on bugs for libraries, churches and other groups.

Some kids found themselves petting Kevin after the show.

All about bugs: Bridge's presentation was part of Scout Spring Fun Day at Nixon Park in Springfield Township.

The program, in its third year, invites Daisies, Brownies, Cub Scouts and their siblings in kindergarten through third grade to explore the world of insects, said park naturalist Kelsey Frey.

Kids dug for insects, played games, made crafts and went on a nature scavenger hunt during the event, which was held Saturday and Sunday.

About 60 kids attended each day, Frey said.

"It's filled up at 60," she said. "We had to turn people away."

Last year, the event focused on birds, and insects were chosen as this year's topic because they're extremely important to humans, Frey said. They're an integral part of the food chain, and they make products that humans can use, such as silk and beeswax, she said.


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Getting dirty: Although the group was a bit hesitant to get dirty and put their hands in the mud, several Scouts said the search for bugs was their favorite part of the day.

"I liked finding the bugs," said Emma Klimchock, 9, a student at York Academy Regional Charter School and second-year Brownie.

She found a grub, as well as "lots of different babies," or insect larvae.

And Ava Beamesderfer, 8, a student at Roundtown Elementary School, said she learned a lot of things, like some scorpions aren't harmful.

The second-year Brownie also liked using a magnifying glass to dig for bugs, which she thinks are "cool, but gross."

For Sabrina Trayer, 9, of North Hills Elementary School, the hunt for bugs was exciting: She found eggs, two larvae and a caterpillar.

"Bugs are creepy and crawly and awesome," the first-year Brownie said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.