Sunday, January 27, 2013

Texas Brigades Summer Camps

Registration for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Texas Brigades summer camps program has begun. 

    This year’s slate of seven camps includes a new one that departs from the traditional wildlife-only topics, according to coordinators. 

    “Our newest addition is the Ranch Brigade,” said Dr. Dale Rollins, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo and founder of the Texas Brigades. “We’re excited to offer it as part of our ongoing youth educational series as its message of conservation ranching fits our mission very well.

    “This is our 21st year of turning out young leaders through the Texas Brigades program and it’s heartwarming to watch them mature and assume professional leadership roles. And while our camps feature quail, deer, bass, ducks and now livestock, our real goal is to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and mettle to really make a difference in wildlife conservation and proper land management throughout their lives.”
    Youth are taught leadership skills, natural resources conservation and proper ranch management at the camps scattered across the state, according to Rollins. Each camp is limited to 20-30 students from ages 13 through 17.

    “The camps are designed to develop life skills such as critical thinking and team-building through fun and interesting activities that focus on a particular species of wildlife and now livestock,” Rollins said.
The camp dates and locations are:

– Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, June 15-19, Centennial Lodge, Coleman.

– South Texas Buckskin Brigade, June 16-20, Southern Star Ranch, Uvalde. 

– South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, June 23-27, 74 Ranch, Campbellton.

– Bass Brigade, July 8-12, Warren Ranch, Santa Anna. 

–  North Texas Buckskin Brigade, July 14-18, El Escondrijo Ranch, San Angelo. 

– Waterfowl Brigade, July 21-25, BigWoods on the Trinity, Tennessee Colony. 

– Ranch Brigade, July 31-Aug. 4, Camp Buckner, Burnet. 

    The camps are a partnership effort of AgriLife Extension, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, several universities, conservation groups, local soil and water conservation districts, private businesses, and individuals with an interest in wildlife and youth leadership development. 

Tuition is $400 per cadet per camp, but Rollins said sponsors are available to provide financial aid when needed. 

    “And I want to remind those familiar with the Brigades that we’re always looking for highly motivated adults from 20 to 60 years of age who are willing to serve as ‘covey,’ 'school,' ‘herd,’ and now ‘ranch’ leaders,” Rollins said. “They’ll get a full helping of appreciation and optimism about today’s youth and the powerful impact they can have on conservation.”

    Applications may be completed online or downloaded at . For more information, contact Holdsworth at hholdsworth@texas-wildlife.orgor Kassi Scheffer at or you may call 855-TXBRIGS (855-892-7447). 

    This year’s registration deadline is March 15.

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