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2014-08-07

Bobwhite Brigade a learning experience

By Madeleine Emmons Special to The Courier

Pictured: Courtesy photo

Madeleine Emmons with two-week-old quail she studied at a wildlife leadership camp this summer.

The South Texas Bobwhite Brigade in Texas, which I recently attended, can't be called just a wildlife camp because we did many thrilling activities. The camp really focused on teaching leadership and teamwork skills.
We did group activities that taught us about the bobwhite quail. As an example, we learned about how and where they lived and what they need to survive. One of my favorite activities was dissecting the quail. I found it interesting that they eat small pebbles and sand to help them digest the grass seeds that they eat.
My favorite activity we did early in the morning as we observed the sunrise and natural life around us. During the observation we took notes about our thoughts and feelings. I really enjoyed this experience because everything was calm and the scenery was peaceful.
Here is my journal entry for a day:
"If you've ever gotten up before the sun you have probably heard the morning animals harmonizing. The cardinals make a perfect tune that sounds so nice when the frogs join along. The deer will run through the brush to wake the trees so they can dance to the morning song. Once the trees are awake you can hear them swaying and dancing to the early-morning song.
All the birds will soon chime in and grasshoppers will jump, startled by the dancing grass who joined in long ago. This morning song does have a purpose; it's to wake up the sun. It works every time! The horizon will slowly start to glow, like a flashlight being shined from far away. But it is not... It's the sun! "She rises when she hears the morning song, delighted to see the trees and grasses dancing. If you have not ever gotten up before the sun, this is something you should do. Maybe you could dance along to the morning song."
I hope this inspires others to attend any of the Texas Brigade camps. It is a great learning experience and I think many people will enjoy what it has to offer. The skills of teamwork and leadership will help me navigate through my next years of school, but also later in life. I also met friends that I will stay in touch with.
Please go to the website www.texasbrigades.org or call the Texas Brigades office at 877-TXBRIGS (892-7447) to learn more about the South Texas Bobwhite Brigade, or any of the other camps they offer each year.
Madeleine Emmons, from Medina, was chosen to participate in the Texas Brigades program this summer based on her academic records, interest in wildlife and natural resources, and leadership activities.