Camp manager blogs are written by our current students who each get a chance to lead and manage a group (of their fellow students) for a period of one week.
On Wednesday the 17th of March, Erin Anderson handed over the responsibility of Camp Manager to myself, Brendan Davis. This came with a complimentary walkie-talkie, a Covid thermometer and the opportunity to host the entire group on the upcoming Friday night. Camp Manager is an important leadership role that allows students to get a taste of what it is like to be in a management position within a lodge environment.
We started the day bright and early, continuing the practical drive trend that was to carry on throughout our third semester. These drives are great opportunities for students to gain the necessary practice for our FGASA assessments, as well as enjoy being out in the bush while learning about the surrounding environment on a daily basis.
On Thursday, we had a special visit from Sophie, the co-founder of Bushwise, as well as the Bushwise management team, Sharin and Trevor. The purpose of their visit was not only to get their weekly dose of the beautiful Balule Nature Reserve, but also to provide students with important feedback on our progress in the course and areas in which we can improve.
Friday flew by and before we knew it, the weekend had arrived. Chris, a Bushwise alumni who is currently on placement, took our skilled chef Sibu and his wife Thembeka on a complimentary game drive. Our trainers Jack and Lindi organized bush walks for the students on both Saturday and Sunday. Trailing of Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe and Zebra took place with one amazing encounter of White Rhino being the highlight, leaving a few students elated and energised by their first big game encounter on foot.
Monday morning came with an air of importance as we wrote our Mammals and Ethology tests, two large sections that are very relevant to our future careers. Everyone did considerably well, and the finish line was now a few steps closer, with only 2 modules left until we have completed our theory section of the course.
Tuesday’s afternoon drive was by far the most eventful with a brilliant Lion sighting. We used our newly learned skills of Track & Sign from Colin Patrick to piece together the puzzles of the bush and find 9 young lions in the Mohlabetsi Riverbed, very close to Greenfire Main Camp. This served as a promising start to the rest of the semester, and a great ending to my week as camp manager.