Texas outdoor youth camp applications open

The Texas Brigades is a wildlife- and natural resources-focused leadership development program for high school students ages 13-17.

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A group of councilors and campers from the Waterfowl Brigade camp.

Photo © Courtesy of Waterfowl Brigades

Apply now for Texas outdoor camps

HOUSTON, Texas – Jan. 13, 2017 – High schoolers across the Lone Star State can learn about the great outdoors in a variety of camps focused on different wildlife species and habitats.

The Texas Brigades is a wildlife- and natural resources-focused leadership development program for high school students ages 13-17. There are eight different camps with six themes: Bobwhite Brigade, Buckskin Brigade, Bass Brigade, Waterfowl Brigade, Ranch Brigade and Coastal Brigade. During each 5-day camp, participants are introduced to habitat management, hone their communication skills and develop a land ethic.

“If you are interested in biology, conservation, leadership, or just appreciate the outdoors, you should consider applying to one of our camps,” said Jared Laing, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologist.

The camps are held on private ranches and at natural resource education and research locations in different areas of the state. In addition to learning animal anatomy and behavior, botany, nutrition, habitat management, population dynamics and more, campers learn valuable leadership skills. Camp tuition allows Texas Brigades to provide a unique experience for each individual. Financial assistance may be available to assist in covering the $500 tuition.

The Waterfowl Brigade program exposes participants to a week of intensive waterfowl and wetland conservation education, much of which is hands-on. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff provide most of the instruction with assistance from a variety of volunteers and organizations, including Ducks Unlimited.

Waterfowl Brigade participants will study aquatic vegetation, the importance of wetland ecosystems, waterfowl biology, land and water stewardship, natural resource management and how to identify waterfowl. Becoming an effective conservation advocate is also accomplished with lessons on life skills, such as working as a team, improved public speaking and communication and leadership. There are activities involving photography, journaling and painting. Hunting skills, safety and ethics are also covered.

The Waterfowl Brigade camp will be held July 16-20 in the wetlands and flooded timber of the Big Woods on the Trinity. Applications are available online http://www.texasbrigades.org/Applications/2017-Applications.html and open until March 15 for interested campers and adult leaders.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.