Texas Brigades’ mission is to educate and empower youths with leadership skills and knowledge in wildlife, fisheries, and land stewardship to become conservation ambassadors for a sustained natural resource legacy.
Texas Brigades provides a combination of educational programs, including eight summer camps: Bobwhite Brigade (quail), Buckskin Brigade (deer), Bass Brigade, Waterfowl Brigade (ducks and geese), Ranch Brigade (cattle), and Coastal Brigade (marine life). Other Texas Brigades programs include Wildlife Intensive Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) and Texas Brigades Experiences. An understanding of the importance of this organization is represented by its cooperating partners, including Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Wildlife Association Foundation, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Texas Brigades is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. https://www.texasbrigades.org/
Dr. Dale Rollins, Extension Wildlife Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, came up with the idea for Texas Brigades as a way to expand Extension’s educational efforts by developing wildlife ambassadors. His idea came to life in 1993 with the formation of Bobwhite Brigade (known today as Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade).
As the saying goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” To that end, Bobwhite Brigade has been cloned in five other states through collaborations with Quail Unlimited. Buckskin Brigade was used as the base model for Pennsylvania Bucktails. The Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society models its own summer camp (initiated in 1996) after Texas Brigades.
In Texas, Bobwhite Brigade expanded from its original camp in the Rolling Plains to East Texas Feathered Forces, formed in 1996, and finally to South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, formed in 1998.
South Texas Buckskin Brigade, an offshoot of Bobwhite Brigade, fledged in 2000; North Texas Buckskin Brigade held its first Battalion in 2002. Bass Brigade (2004), Waterfowl Brigade (2012), and Coastal Brigade (2016) added focus on aquatic, waterfowl, & marine species and management. Ranch Brigade, which launched its first Battalion in 2013, focuses on sustainable beef production from conception to consumer.
Each camp is 4 ½ days of intense, interactive, fun learning from top wildlife and natural resource professionals in Texas. Subjects covered include everything from biology, habitat management, watersheds, population dynamics, ecology, and botany, to photography, journalism, firearm safety, fishing, communication, critical thinking, team building, and leadership.
Applications for the camp are now open and can be at https://www.texasbrigades.org/applications. Application period is November 1, 2019 – March 15, 2020. If you think that you may be interested in any of the camps or may have questions about any of them, please feel free to give me a call and I will be glad to visit with you about any of them. These camps are a great opportunity to meet new people, learn more about the land and wildlife we have here in Texas and how to help preserve it for future generations.
Jacklyn Jones – Doyle
Ag & Natural Resources Extension Agent
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
200 Taylor St. Suite 500
Fort Worth, Tx 76196