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  • Writer's pictureBushwise Trainer

Crunch time on campus

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Some images in this article were taken pre-COVID-19.

BY: Darryn Murray

This blog was written by Darryn, one of our trainers. In this blog, Darryn talks about exam time for the Bushwise students. 

As the students on campus approach the end of the course, their months of learning, training and studying will be put to the test. And at this stage of their guiding careers, this may be the most important test yet. 

Bushwise students in a lecture.

The Field Guides Association of South Africa (FGASA) Apprentice Field Guide exam will be written at the end of the week, and the students are hard at work in preparation.

The trainers have been noticing something interesting about the students – there are several different groups of students that employ different methods of studying for the exam. Let’s take a look at some ways the Bushwise students are preparing.

Night owls

Bushwise students camp out in the wild at night.

These are the students that prefer to study late into the evenings (and sometimes into the early hours of the morning) when the campus is at its quietest. 

The only downside to this is that they tend to have the sleeping habits of owls, too – during the daytime!

Early birds

Bushwise students busy with their final exam.

These students sometimes wake up before the real birds in the bushveld!  

The trainers have recorded limited interactions between the night owls and the early birds. The early risers aren’t very social early in the morning – that is until they’ve had their morning cup of coffee. The students that study at night, on the other hand, don’t get much sleep, so they’re often heard exchanging greetings with a series of moans and groans!

Social butterflies

Bushwise students socialising during a game drive.

These are students that flitter between various study groups, learning as they go, and never spending too much time at one study venue. They exchange knowledge with their peers before moving along to the next study group to ask questions and exchange any newly gained knowledge.

Pack dwellers

These groups of students elect a “pack leader” to act as a teacher for the group during their study sessions. Sometimes the leader changes between modules; more often it remains the same throughout the study period.

Lone rangers

A Bushwise student writing his final exam.

These students tend to study on their own, and only join the group for meals and other group activities before retreating to their “study caves” again for hours on end.

As the days draw closer to the exam, the stress levels get greater too, and any mention of “Don’t stress; relax; take a break for a bit” from the trainer’s is unwelcomed!

Regardless of which study group the students belong to, they’re all putting in a great effort to prepare for the upcoming exam. We wish them all of the very best for the remaining days!

Which study group do you think you’d belong to? Join a course and find out.




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