Rocktail Camp - May 2016

May 26, 2016 Rocktail Camp
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Wildlife
Caring Scorpion Mother On a late afternoon Scorpion Walk we found a beautiful female turf-burrowing scorpion Cheloctonus jonesii with her young offspring. The young do not feed much at this stage, but absorb nutrients from the mother’s body. They stay within the protective custody of their mother until they moult for the first time. This period can last up to 14 days, depending on the species.

The mother is fierce in the defence of her young and the mother-child bond is maintained by scent. If a young scorpion falls off its mother’s back, she will gently pick it up and put it back again.

When the babies are this small, they are vulnerable to predation by geckos, skinks, spiders and birds etc. because of their small size, conspicuous colouration and soft exoskeletons. After their first moult, the young will begin to venture away from the mother for the first time. Because the mothers invest a lot of time and effort in their young, their survival rate is very high.

Camp News
Staff Training
During the month of May, we hosted Russel Dunkley from Lobster Ink in Cape Town. He spent three days training our staff and getting them comfortable with all the inspiring courses available on the Wilderness training programme.

Our staff completed training in various course such as “The Wilderness Way,” communication, presentation and etiquette, housekeeping, introduction to bar service, procedures and documentation, amongst others.

These courses identify any gaps that may need to be filled and evaluate the levels staff are at, encouraging them to learn more skills which they can put to good use during their time at Rocktail.

The staff then wrote tests on their courses, achieving an average of 93%. We are excited to maintain everyone’s enthusiasm for this training going forward.

Volunteer Programme
We started our second group of volunteers from Gugulesizwe village on their four-month training programme. After the first group’s success we now have a new group of local young people interested in learning and improving themselves, and in so doing, building confidence and the necessary skills to stand them in good stead for future employment.

We consider this programme a win-win for both Rocktail as well as the volunteers as they are actually paid for their efforts in camp, which means a lot to them. With this money, they can start building and planning a future and contribute to their families and local communities in a positive way.

But much more importantly, they are given a sense of self-esteem and self-worth, a sense of pride to become someone other villagers will look up to and respect. They are also taken off the village streets, and away from the opportunity for criminal activity, and are given a sense of belonging to something bigger and more important.

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