SAN ANGELO – The March 15 registration deadline for the Texas Brigades wildlife leadership youth camps conducted in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is fast approaching, said Dr. Dale Rollins, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist and the camps’ founder.
“This summer marks 25 years that the camps have been honing young leaders through the Texas Brigades curriculum,” said Rollins, who is based in San Angelo. “That’s the whole goal of the camps, to empower young people with the confidence and skills needed to assume professional leadership roles in the future.
“While our camps feature quail, deer, bass, redfish, ducks and livestock, the aim is to equip young people with the resources and determination needed to really make a difference in wildlife conservation and proper land stewardship throughout their lives.”
Rollins said all the camps held at various locations across the state share the focus of teaching youth leadership skills, natural resources conservation and proper land management. Each camp is limited to 20-30 students ages 13-17.
“The camps are designed to develop such life skills as critical thinking and team building through fun and interesting activities surrounding the particular camp’s species of wildlife, fish or livestock,” Rollins said.
Rollins said the “Coastal Brigade” is the latest camp offering. It will feature conservation issues associated with the Texas Gulf Coast.
The camp dates and locations are:
– Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, Centennial Lodge, Coleman, June 10-14.
– South Texas Buckskin Brigade, Welder Wildlife Refuge, Sinton, June 11-15.
– South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, Buck Horn Creek Ranch, McCoy, June 23-27.
– Bass Brigade, Warren Ranch, Santa Anna, July 5-9.
– Waterfowl Brigade, The BigWoods on the Trinity, Tennessee Colony, July 16-20.
– Ranch Brigade, Warren Ranch, July 17-21.
– North Texas Buckskin Brigade, Warren Ranch, July 23-27.
– Coastal Brigade, Sea Star Base, Galveston, July 25-29.
The camps are all partnership efforts of AgriLife Extension, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, along with 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 $500 per cadet per camp, and sponsors throughout Texas are available to provide financial aid when requested, Rollins said.
Natalie Bartek, Texas Brigades’ executive director at San Antonio, said camp organizers are looking for adult leaders to help at all the camps. Adults interested in working with the Texas Brigades program should be highly motivated, preferably over 21 years old and willing to serve as “covey,” “school,” “herd,” or “flock” leaders; no prior wildlife or fisheries knowledge is required to assist in these capacities.