I will do anything to go back to the Buckskin Brigades, that’s how much I loved it. Now why would I love a camp? Well, I love it because I learned more about deer than I ever thought I would. I learned not to be afraid of the media, and how to do spotlighting. I also did things I would never imagine doing, and made some life time friends.
I applied to the Buckskin camp because my family has some land in Mason, Texas with deer and I wanted to know more about them. When it is around eleven o’clock at night, you would think children may be asleep in bed, but here at the Buckskin Brigades you’re learning! Yes, at this camp you actually learn things during summer when we kids think; this is my time to relax and get away from learning, but this camp makes learning way different than learning about animals in science class. Buckskin Brigade takes it to an all new level about learning, they make it fun. Our motto is Tell me I forget, show me I remember, and involve me and I understand. And that is exactly what we do; we involve cadets so we can teach what we learned in a short amount of time.
On day one we learned about deer inside and out. We dissected a doe that was pregnant with twins. That part amazed me because I didn’t know does could have multiple fawns and because I am a twin. We also learned what they eat, plants, fawns, and when you kill a deer, how you cut the meat. We took notes because at the end of the day we play a game called Deer Trivia. Now at camp, it’s all about competition. Everything we do is competition. Example, you have to identify plants or during spotlighting, how many deer you saw. We also played a trust game. All of us cadets were blindfolded with bandanas and we had to hold on to each others shoulders and a rope. We went through obstacles like going over a fence or going under a tree branch. We also did cadences and marching every day, every morning and every night. Each herd had to come up with their own cadence to call out and by the end of the week, it was a competition to see whose herd was the loudest and my herd won!
On the second day we did scavenger hunts, identifying plants. Each herd had to get different plants and identify them. We had to keep the plants for day four when we scanned them to make a plant collection booklet. We also shot targets with guns. We shot two different guns during that week and shot different targets. On this day we shot at metal targets and if you shot it, it fell to the ground. While on day three, we shot a more powerful gun at a bulls-eye target. We also played a challenge game where each cadet had a rope and they were all connected and shaped like a star that was attached to a thick rubber band. You had six metal cans and you had to make a pyramid by using your ropes and grab the container to make it.
On day three we learned how to challenge the media! We acted like we were going to be on television and some of our directors were the reporters asking questions on how we liked the camp, what we were learning, and what our favorite thing we did was. We also played a game called Who Dun it? Every cadet was a game warden and we walked up on some fishers who did multiple things illegally and we had to see what they did. What my herd figured out was that they were killing birds and deer illegally and had expired hunting and driver licenses. That was my favorite thing we did. We also got to shoot and we got to do archery.
Day four was competition day. Everything we learned during that week was challenged. We did shooting, marching, trivia, rattling, scoring antlers and teeth, and so much more challenges. That was the day that we made plant collection. We also had to make a tri fold on what was our favorite thing we learned. I did mine on Ethics in Hunting.
Then day five came. I received a certificate for completing the camp and I also got my hunting license because I took an optional course during that week. In that course we did things like shoot or don’t shoot and we took a test. All of us campers were very upset by leaving because we were like family. We bonded together so much and helped each other out on things and now we had to go back home. We all got an address book of every cadet and instructor with their phone number and email address so we could still talk. I saw one of my friends from fourth grade at my camp and we bonded.
There are multiple camps and there is not just the Buckskin Brigade. There are the Bobwhite Brigade, Bass Brigade, Waterfowl Brigade, and Feather Forces. The cost is $400.You can also get scholarships and it is all volunteer work. I loved it so much that I am trying to go back next year as an Assistant Herd Leader and a cadet at Bobwhite. I hope you apply because it is an unimaginable camp to go to. You can apply online at texasbrigades.org and say that I, Stayci Seaquist, told you about it. I hope to see you next year!