The Texas Brigades is currently accepting applications for its summer 2010 camps; both youth and adult are due April 1, 2010.
Youth are taught leadership skills and natural resources conservation at the camps, each of which are limited to 20-30 students from ages 13 through 17, said Dr. Dale Rollins, AgriLife Extension Wildlife Specialist at San Angelo and the concepts originator.
"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 game species," Rollins said.
"As I reflect on my career, the dividends I’ve witnessed from the Brigades camps are not only professionally rewarding, but they also stoke my fires daily to push for conservation education," he said. "And I believe those same sentiments apply to each and every one of the 100 or so volunteers who assist with the various camps.
"A lot of high school students aspire to find a career in wildlife management, but the field has always been highly competitive. Participation in the Brigade camps offers them a chance to get not only a taste for such careers, but also to develop a network of contacts who can help them achieve their career goals. The Brigades network is one big family."
Camp dates and locations:
- 11th Battalion South Texas Buckskin Brigade - Carrizo Springs, June 13-17.
- 18th Battalion Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade - Coleman, June 19-23.
- 13th Battalion South Texas Bobwhite Brigade - Campbellton, June 27-July 1.
- 5th Battalion Bass Brigade - Santa Anna, July 12-16.
- 9th Battalion North Texas Buckskin Brigade - Albany, July 18-22.
Parents love the program, said Helen Holdsworth, San Antonio-based Texas Brigades Executive Director.
"We receive many positive reports back from cadets and parents about the Brigades. One father sent a letter recently thanking us for having such an influence on his daughter," Holdsworth said.
A young man, who attended both the Bobwhite and Buckskin Brigades, is attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in political science, Holdsworth said.
"He received a 4.0 last semester and credits many of the lessons he learned at camp in helping him be successful in college.
The camps are a partnership effort of the Texas Wildlife Association, the 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 $300 per cadet per camp, but sponsors are available to provide financial aid when needed, Rollins said.
"We’re also always looking for highly motivated adults from 20 to 60 years of age who are willing to serve as ‘covey’ ‘school’ or ‘herd’ leaders," Rollins said. "They’ll get a one-of-a-kind intensive workshop in the game species they choose. But even better, they’ll get a full helping of appreciation and optimism about today’s youth and what a powerful impact they can have on conservation."
Applications may be completed online or downloaded at http://www.texasbrigades.org . All applications must be postmarked April 1, 2010. For more information, contact Holdsworth email@example.com or Kassi Scheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org at 800-TEX-WILD or 210-826-2904.