My name is Peter Cole, I am Janelle’s favorite son! I was recently graced with the opportunity to attend one of the Brigade camps, specifically Bobwhite Brigade. This camp focused on quail conservation, but taught public speaking, leadership, and team building skills. Public speaking was taught through mock tv interviews and a mock stock holder’s meeting on quail decline, with Texas representative Drew Darby. Leadership and Team Building were taught through a variety of games we played throughout the camp.
The Brigade Camps are part of a six camp program that promotes wildlife conservation. The camp themes are: Bobwhite, Bass, Waterfowl, Buckskin, Ranch and Coastal. The Bobwhite brigade was extremely interesting and very knowledgable.
One of my favorite things at camp was the plant collection and identification contest. Each day we had a plant of the day, and one of the instructors two or three plants to us and taught us about them. We learned how each plant was important to quail in food, cover and nesting. Then we were quizzed to find out what we remembered from past days. Near the end of the camp we spent some time going out to see how many different quail plants we were able to identify and I did very well.
Another part I enjoyed was the dummy nest evaluation. Mock quail nests were set up and chicken eggs were put in them to evaluate predator impact in the area. My group found a real quail nest during this activity. Many nests were placed in a trail, and on the way back we evaluated the habitat.
I thoroughly enjoyed this camp and encourage you to tell the youth you know about it. The camp is open to youth who are 13-18. Applications are turned in between Jan and March 1st – and the website is www.texasbrigades.org. You can check out the website for more information about each camp and the dates for next year.