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  • Writer's pictureBushwise Student

Late Nights And Early Mornings

This blog was written by Zac Newman, a Bushwise Professional Field Guide student. Each student takes a turn as camp manager, and writing a blog is part of the experience.

Read time: 3 mins

Turns out I can be a morning person

Monday morning I woke up early to open the kitchen for the students completing their mock drives that morning. Due to the earlier game drive times this week, the morning jobs were done earlier than usual.

By now most people know around camp that I can be a bit grumpy in the morning. However, due to this earlier-than-usual wake-up (4:00), I found myself becoming a bit of an “early bird gets the worm type of” guy. Setting up breakfast items like tea and coffee, whilst filling the urns forced a wake up making the morning drive much more enjoyable. 

Botany walks

Throughout the week, we had been revising for the botany exam which was on Friday. Because of the panic, some students had gotten themselves into (myself included), several students led botany walks around the campus which were organised with my co-camp manager because of his knowledge of the trees and plant life all around. This greatly helped most students pass the exam on Friday. 

And if you are thinking “Zac did everyone go thirsty during this practical assessment?”, I would say no. I was up on the day at the crack of dawn making hot boxes for the group… and despite them not being used, it was a success.

Discovering quirks of the industry

When managing the camp, there are several responsibilities that you have. There is the obvious job of opening and closing the kitchen as well as ensuring it stays clean. Then there are other things to consider like having a strong leadership attitude when there are problems within the group and making sure they are resolved as smoothly as possible. This includes problems being brought up to you or discovering them yourself. 

Toward the end of the week, I was given responsibility for the camp radio, which luckily I did not have to use as there were no medical emergencies, snakes, or other issues. Although I did look important carrying it, the only noise that was ever heard from it was the occasional low battery beep in the late evening. 

As the end of the week came to a close, all students had a bird exam to write early on a Saturday morning meaning that the kitchen had to be open late the night before. Late nights and early mornings, as I found out that day, are something that will be a big part of the industry and not the most pleasant. However, making that small sacrifice is majorly worth it and not an opportunity to pass up because of a bit of sleep deprivation. And anyway who needs sleep… not me. 

My week as camp manager was enjoyable and a great learning opportunity. It will hopefully majorly benefit me going forward in this line of work – which we have learned this week can be very tiring but worth it. 

Out here we’re constantly discovering new things about the birds, plants, and animals that call the African savanna their home. Join us where the wild becomes home.



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