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Texas Brigades ready dates for coming season


The sign up for Texas AgriLife Extension Service's Texas Brigades has begun for the upcoming summer camp season.

"The camps stress leadership development and conservation of our natural resources," said Dr. Dale Rollins, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo and camp originator.

"The camps develop life skills such as critical thinking and team-building through fun and interesting activities that focus on a particular game species at each camp," he said. "Each camp usually has 30 youths ages 13 through 17."

This year's camps will be:

--10th Battalion South Texas Buckskin Brigade, Carrizo Springs, June 14 to 18.

--17th Battalion Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, Coleman, June 20 to 24.

--12th Battalion South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, Pleasanton, June 28 to July 2.

--4th Battalion Bass Brigade, Mexia, July 13 to 17.

--7th Battalion North Texas Buckskin Brigade, Albany, July 19 to 23.

--11th Battalion East Texas Feathered Forces, Nacogdoches, July 26 to 30.

"Parents are very positive about the program," said Helen Holdsworth, San Antonio-based Texas Brigades executive director. "After the camps, they report positive differences in their child's work ethic, schoolwork, communication skills and attitude toward conservation," Holdsworth said. "Participating youth consistently rate the camps as being the best they have ever attended."

Rollins said the camps are ideal for youth interested in careers in wildlife sciences.

"The camps provide aspiring conservationists with a taste of their chosen profession, and introduces them to a network of professionals who serve as valuable contacts for them in the future," he said.

The camps are co-sponsored by the Texas Wildlife Association, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, Quail Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, local soil and water conservation districts, private businesses and landowners. Tuition is $300 per cadet per camp, but sponsors are available to provide financial aid when needed, Rollins said.

"We're also on the lookout for highly motivated adults from 20 to 60 years of age who are willing to serve as 'covey' or 'herd' leaders," Rollins said. "They'll get a one-of-a-kind intensive workshop in the game species they choose. But better yet, they'll get a big dose of appreciation and optimism about today's youth and what a powerful impact they can have on conservation."

Applications are due by April 1. Applications and more information are available at www.texasbrigades.com or by contacting Holdsworth at 1-800-TEX-WILD or h_holdsworth@texas-wildlife.org.

Date: 1/30/09

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