My week as camp manager: first aid training and more

My week as camp manager: first aid training and more

During my week as camp manager I learnt a lot about people, the bush and how to potentially save a life on our first aid training. 

Read time: 4 min

Bushwise students in a game viewer. 

The most eye opening moment of the week was during our four days of first aid training. Spending time with our instructor, Andrew, just made me realise again how fragile we as humans are and still we wake up in the morning thinking that nothing will happen to you as if each day is a given. 

The first night after class while walking to my room I realised how much my loved ones mean to me. As soon as I entered my room I picked up my phone and gave them a call just to say how much I appreciate them.

Students practice their first aid training using a trainer as the patient.

On the final day of our training Andrew gave us a surprise assignment and called us to the road. On the next hill over we saw someone in the distance signalling us to come over and help them. As we all arrived out of breath, we saw Nico (one of our trainers) simulating a femur fracture from a traumatic accident. *Don’t worry – no one was actually harmed in this exercise!

In the beginning, we all panicked and didn’t know where to start. After a couple of breaths we started communicating and our training for the previous few days started to kick in. We strapped Nico onto the spine board and we carried him over the hills for a distance of almost two kilometres to the classroom. When we arrived everyone looked as if they had just finished a marathon. 

Bushwise students practise their first aid training with one of the students acting as a patient.

The whole team was proud of how we executed the task. We watched a video that Andrew took of us and we did a briefing to see where there was room for improvement. After the first aid training, the group and I realised the importance of good first aid training for all field guides because you can potentially save a guest’s or colleague’s life.

Another highlight of my week was when we went out to dart and relocate a male zebra. When we arrived at the farm it was easy to locate the zebra but to dart him was a different story. Once we darted the zebra we realised that we darted the wrong zebra (a female). After we safely released the female we tried to approach the male again but it wasn’t possible as they were too spooked. 

A few Bushwise students and staff on one of the first game drives of the course.

As we arrived at camp we got a call from Mahlahla saying they want to relocate two nyala females onto our campus. When they arrived we unloaded the nyalas from the Landcruiser and the vet injected the nyala’s in the ear with medication so they could wake up. 

The nyalas started to gain consciousness and peacefully ran away together. It was a busy day, but everyone enjoyed the opportunity to closely observe a zebra and two nyalas. We all agreed that it was a rare opportunity that not a lot of people will experience in their lifetime.

A male nyala looks over another nyala past the camera.

Slowly but surely my days as camp manager came to an end. It was a jam packed week that I’ll never forget.

Experience conservation in action and learn valuable first aid training on a Bushwise course. Apply now and you too could have these experiences!

BY: Jan-Harm Burger, images by Louise Pavid