Summer camps are an established tradition in many families, especially if a youngster’s taste has moved from just swimming and having fun into a genuine interest. Early experience provides a chance for students to assess their aptitude and excitement about a particular activity, which may lead to a career path in the years ahead. The Texas Brigades offer specialized camps for students in wildlife-related categories; any outdoor-minded young-un’ will be challenged by one or all of them. Here are the details:

The Texas Brigades program is looking for a few good leaders.  Actually, they are looking for 170 leaders. The Texas Brigades’ mission is to educate and empower youths with the leadership skills and knowledge in wildlife, fisheries, and land stewardship to become conservation ambassadors for a sustained natural resource legacy. This will be the 22nd year of the Brigades. The application deadline is March 15, 2014.

DSC_0196Participants are selected through a competitive application process. Helen Holdsworth, Executive Director, says they are looking for youth ages 13-17 years of age. No experience is necessary, but applicants should have a strong interest in learning about wildlife, natural resources, livestock, and/or the environment.  “We are looking for those with an interest in learning and then sharing what they have learned with their communities,” reports Holdsworth.  The 4 1/2-day camps are held on private ranches across the state.

“These landowners open their gates to us for five days, allowing us to utilize the land as a living laboratory. Natural resource professionals give of their time to mentor the youth. This is a valuable networking opportunity,” she said.  The cost of the camp is $400 but scholarships and financial assistance are available.  “We do not want the fee to be a barrier to anyone. We have donors who are willing to support the youths’ educational experience,” says Holdsworth.

For more information, call 855-TXBRIGS or 210-556-1391 or e-mail

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.