This past week was Tracking week, and what a week it was. On Monday, Colin Patrick (our trainer for the week) arrived and, after a quick discussion about the structure of the week, it was straight to Makalali to start looking at some tracks. Each day we had a morning and an afternoon tracking session. We also had a few lectures about tracking, the foot structures of the different animals and some techniques and tips too.
On Friday we began our assessment. We had about 50 questions – a variety of level 1, 2 and 3 (degrees of difficulty) on a variety of substrates. A level 1 question is worth 1 point but if you get it wrong you lose 3 points, a level 2 question is worth 2 points and if you get it wrong you lose 2 points, a level 3 question is worth 3 points but if you get it wrong you only lose 1 point. It balances out quite nicely in the end and gives you a good idea of your current level. The assessment carried on for most of Saturday too.We finished the last set of questions and let Colin work out how we had done.
For a Level 1 tracker, you need 70 – 79%, Level 2 is 80 – 89%, Level 3 is 90 – 99% and for a Level 4 you need 100%!
Everybody got a Level, which was awesome, and a few people even got a Level 3, which is so good.
Jess came top of the class with 94%!
Colin congratulated us and then we returned to camp. It’s been a long, hard and stressful week, but so interesting, thought provoking and definitely worth it. We’ve all learnt so much, and I for one am amazed at how much progress I made in such a short space of time. Colin is a fantastic trainer and so knowledgeable – what a fantastic experience to learn from one of the best trackers out there.
Blog by Jenni Smith, picture contributions from Jenni Smith, Jess Talbot & Katie Munro