Two McCulloch County youth, Coleman Hemphill and Casey Kidd, recently participated in the Texas Brigades Wildlife Leadership program in Leuders, northeast of Abilene. Coleman is the son of Sheila and Mark Hemphill of Brady and Casey is the son of Jerry and Lisa Kidd, also of Brady. The Texas Brigades is a five-day wildlife leadership camp designed to engage the minds of high school-aged students. Both attended the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade on the Crooked River Ranch, owned by Roy Wilson. Coleman was a cadet and Casey was an assistant covey leader. There are five camps held around the state each summer. In addition to the Bobwhite and Buckskin Brigade, there is the Feathered Forces, which focuses on quail and turkeys. From the moment students arrive at a Brigade camp, they are learning about wildlife management, hunting skills and conservation of natural resources. The camp adheres to its hands-on motto. The first lesson is a necropsy of either deer or quail, depending on the camp’s focus. Cadets study the species and its survival needs, and then begin to learn about the habitat. Such concepts as interspersion, limited factor and Aldo Leopold’s five management tools are covered in the curriculum. Each camp closes with a day of competition in which the skills cadets have gained over the week are tested. To learn more about Texas Brigades, visit www.texasbrigades.org or call Helen Holdsworth at 800/839-9453.