The ‘PERKS’ of being a Field Guide!
Yes, we get to live our dreams………which for most doing this rewarding job is to be surrounded by nature in all its beauty. From the animals, the lifestyle and the new people we get to meet. You get the opportunity to give guests an abundance of amazing memories and experiences they will never forget. As a Field Guide you will get to travel, live and work in some of the most breath taking wild life reserves in Africa and generally live a happy, contented life!
However, let us explore the acronym PERKS.
P – Professionalism
E – Enthusiasm
R – Respect
K – Knowledge
S – Skills
Quote/unquote Mark Frazer (Nostrophobic Adventures)
From a core values viewpoint, these should be without fail, in the fore front of your mind at all times to ensure that you remain at the top of your game and a much sought after Field Guide throughout your guiding career! Quite simply put, these are your foundation and building blocks.
Without belabouring the point however, we at Bushwise Field Guides strive throughout the course to instil these foundations on an ongoing basis, and thus would simply like to share from the Bushwise team some of the SKILLS that we have gained over the past few workshops we as Trainers have attended, in order to strengthen you as future field guides in becoming the PROFESSIONALS you already are. After all your ENTHUSIASM, RESPECT for the environment, and KNOWLEDGE is abundantly evident and thus the acronym PERKS is validated.
Before I continue though, it is important to remind yourselves that you are a narrator, a story teller if you wish….. after all, how many of you have sat around a campfire, mesmerized by the stories of the older generation of ‘game rangers’ recounting their experiences and adventures in the African bush and not been left with a longing to be able to do the same and experience those same adventures?
The key here of course, is to remember to tell a story, in doing so, you are engaging your guests all the time through the means of your body language, maintaining eye contact (without sunglasses on remember), maintaining your presence by using the sound of your voice, creating energy with hand and body movements, using a little light humour and above all……., enjoy what you are doing since that is part and parcel of the ENTHUSIASM aspect of a successful and competent Field Guide!
In closing, this week sees the end of a long, somewhat physically tiring second semester which included the 4×4 training course, Cyber tracker ‘Track & Sign’ course, trips into the Kruger National Park, some Firearm practice as well as the ongoing solo game drives done by students. Thus I am sure it is a most welcome break for the students to enjoy a little Rest and Relaxation!
Have fun Guys and Girls, and whatever your plans are, keep safe and we look forward to seeing you in the Third semester.
Trevor and the Bushwise team