The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) held a training camp this past weekend at Mother Neff State Park in Central Texas.* The TBRC holds at least one training camp per year for new members. It is a great way for new members to meet some of the existing members and to get fully up to speed on TBRC protocols and expectations.
I should first tell you a bit about the TBRC membership process. TBRC membership consists of two tiers: Associate Members and Investigators. Incoming members come into the organization under the Associate Members umbrella. Associate Members have access to the group’s general forum, receive free admission to the annual conference, and build tenure but are not required to meet any investigative or field research requirements. Associate membership allows many people from different areas of the country, and the world, to contribute to the TBRC’s cause through payment of annual dues, by providing assistance at the annual conference and by taking part in other TBRC events (including sighting investigations). Associate membership is a level suitable for those who are unable, for whatever reason, to participate in rigorous field work while also providing an opportunity for new members to “get their feet wet.” Most new members, however, desire to move up to the Investigator tier of membership. In order to be considered for a promotion to Investigator status, new members must meet a set of requirements. One of these requirements is attending and completing a training camp.
Training camps typically are held on a weekend. Associate members attend various sessions/discussions led by a tenured TBRC member. Usually, sessions are held through out the day on Saturday and until noon on Sunday. The sessions this year focused on the following:
- What we have learned the over the last two years of field study
- Differences in hype, myth, and our own direct observations as they relate to the wood ape
- What participants can, and should, expect when in the field
- Group concepts and expectations of field teams and team members, their interactions,
and conduct when in the field
- How to investigate submitted incident reports
- How to properly cast tracks
- Basic wilderness survival techniques
- Basic field medicine/first-aid
I have to say that I was quite impressed by the new crop of Associate members. An infusion of new blood with new ideas is always a good thing but these folks were exceptional. I very much look forward to getting to know each of them better and working with them in the field very soon.
If you are interested in TBRC membership please visit the www.texasbigfoot.com and click on the “membership” link in the upper right hand corner and fill out an application. We are always on the lookout for good, intelligent, and motivated people. This is an exciting time to be in the TBRC.
Trust me on that…
*Please do not email or contact me and tell me that there are no wood apes at Mother Neff State Park. The location was not chosen for actual field research possibilities but for its convenient central Texas location.