Wade Ledbetter participated in the Texas Brigades summer leadership camps in June and July. He was among one hundred and thirty-eight high school students that took part in this award-winning leadership development program. The Texas Brigades’ mission is to empower high school youth with the necessary skills and knowledge in wildlife and fisheries, habitat conservation, land and water stewardship, team building, communication, and leadership to become ambassadors for conservation in order to ensure a sustained wildlife and fisheries legacy for future generations.
There are five Brigade camps each summer; two Buckskin Brigades, two Bobwhite Brigades, and the Bass Brigade.
Participants must be between 13 and 17 years of age, and submit a complete application for consideration. Dates for 2012 will be available later this fall.
Participants are available to give presentations to schools and civic groups.
For more information go to, www.texas brigades.org, or contact Helen Holdsworth, Executive Director, at 855-TXBRIGS or 210-556-1391, or via email at email@example.com.
(Editor's Note: The following article was written by Wade Ledbetter regarding his experience at the Texas Brigades Leadership Camp.)
I discovered Texas Brigades through my sister, Shelby, when she went to the South Texas Bobwhite Brigades in 2005. Ever since I heard her stories about Brigades, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it, and all those years of waiting were worth it when I finally drove through the gate at the 74 ranch.
At the Bobwhite Brigades, we learned everything imaginable about quail; their habitat, what a land owner can do to improve conditions for quail, how they live day to day and how to manage your land to provide an ideal habitat for them. We also did necropsies on quail to learn about their anatomy, and while in the field, we were often taught from the quail’s perspective. Besides the classroom and field work for quail, there is also a strong emphasis on building leadership and teamwork skills, in the form of marching and cadence singing, daily room inspections, and fun teamwork exercises. One of my favorites was leading around a blindfolded teammate to accomplish certain tasks, without either talking to or touching the person.
The part of Brigades I enjoyed most was getting to meet other kids with similar interests as me, and I still am good friends with almost everyone that I met there.
I had a lot of fun and cannot wait to go to another one of the Brigades next summer. I would recommend Texas Brigades to anyone who is interested in the outdoors, or just wants to challenge yourself and meet new friends.