The Outdoor Classroom

In 2019, CWBR has collaborated with several organizations to focus on upliftment of local young people, research projects to improve conditions for hikers with otherwise limited ability, and environmental education. 174 young people and 34 facilitators have part-taken in the environmental camps in 2019 thus far. This is a summary of those projects.

 

Nature Camp USIKO

CWBR hosted USIKO for their Nature Camp. The group were taken on an environmental educational hike by CWBR FGASA qualified guides. They also played team building games, went on a treasure hunt and learned how to use a compass. In the evening they built a fire and told stories, played drums and shared experiences.

On the hike along the back of Matopie the group saw a nearly full dam - a very rare experience for all at that time!

Nature and Leadership Camp USIKO

With CWBR, USIKO co-facilitated a camp for young adults at the Biosphere Hub. The focus was on team building, community engagement, and outreach. The purpose was to engage as a group and train for further community outreach in the Northern Cape.

The group arrived on Friday night, reviewed the programme ahead, braaied under the stars, and got to know the main facilitator in the CWBR team.

The second day, as part of their community outreach within the biosphere, CWBR took the group to a previously visited alien clearing site and continued to clear the area of alien vegetation. A fire safety consultant from Hemisphere, spoke about the impact of alien vegetation on the water sources in the catchment area. The alien clearing done by this group prevented the fire in April 2019 from reaching a farm below the cleared area.

Later, after lunch, the group returned to the mountains and visited the Berg River Dam.

On the last day of the camp, CWBR held a gardening workshop. The group practiced team building activities by making a compost heap. They also visited the domestic animals near the Biosphere Hub. One of the boys petted a horse for the very first time! The group found the physical activity challenging and through that learned to communicate and work better as a team. 

 

Community Outreach at De Hoop Collections

Four guides at De Hoop Collections, with their guide manager, put together a weekend programme for young people from Nuwerus Napier Nasorg. It was part of the launch of a community outreach programme.

Over three days, the group enjoyed nature walks, identifying animals and plants, a trip to the rocky shores, a fynbos walk, dinner by a campfire and riding a Safari Jeep. The youth documented the camp through their own eyes using cameras donated to CWBR by Athénéé Action Humanitaire’s Photography Department. The head-CWBR guide was present to give support to De Hoop for their first youth camp. Read the article ‘De Hoop Outreach Programme’ in Latest News to find out more!

  

Outreach Camp with Every Nation Kuils River

30 volunteers from around the Western Cape, Johannesburg, Gauteng, and 1 from as far as America spent the weekend at S.O.S Wild, Viliersdorp, to bond, do team building, and get ready for their outreach programme in the Kuils River Community. The purpose of the outreach, to assist young people in realizing their potential and a future for themselves. To use their talents to improve society and make a change within their community.

Upon arrival, everyone was introduced, and the guides explained the purpose and function of a biosphere reserve.

The group was taken on a 5 km walk through mountains, which at that time were sprouting fynbos to the fullest. The group learned about indigenous vegetation and pollination of flowers. A light shower of rain passed by, but it made the hike even more enjoyable.

In the following week, after the camp, the volunteers ran a day and evening programme which reached over 300 young people, from 13 to 18 years old. Primary school children also joined also during the day. The youth will also part-take in an ongoing Life Skills programme once a month for six months.

 

Sani Pass Hike

Eight individuals from the group were sponsored to take part in a ‘Sani Endurance Challenge’, wherein amputees hike the Sani Pass. This was a unique event, with the aim of making hiking available to disabled persons. It allowed them to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and pristine areas as much as anyone else, without their disability limiting their ability to hike. 

The event enabled participants to bond with their families through the course of the hike, and experience the empowerment, motivation and endurance needed to complete such a hike.

This event also served as a research platform for a medical team who gathered data on endurance problems, pains, and injuries that might occur for an amputee on such a hike.

Weekend Camp South African Educational Project (SAEP) 

Young people who have worked hard and exceeded in the SAEP Project were rewarded with a weekend at S.O.S Wild in Villiersdorp. SAEP facilitated the educational programme. Two CWBR guides and a trainee guide from Stellenbosch, part-took in the programme on Saturday morning and shared lunch with the group afterwards.

The group was split into two. The first went on a hike with one CWBR guide, who through infectious enthusiasm, shared knowledge about plants and animals. Meanwhile, the other group was guided around the campgrounds and learned about the animals and plants present from a second CWBR guide, who has extensive knowledge on medicinal plants. It was a fun-filled weekend of shared laughter, knowledge, and bonding.

Quotes given by SAEP from the participants -

Thank you SAEP and CWBR, for the weekend camp away, we had the greatest time of our lives! " A Titise"

Thank you! it was an amazing experience and an inspiring camp. "T Bless"

I have learned to appreciate nature, learned about new plants I did not know about.I have always heard of Protea but did not know what is was.  "S Vena"

I learned about different kinds of plants and animals and their background.  I also learned a lot about plants and Western Cape fauna and flora, Bevan knew exactly what he was talking about. "S Mateso"

We had the best time of our lives! We got to know each other better! It was the best camp experience we have ever had! "L Nogqala"

Nature Camp USIKO

Nature and Leadership Camp USIKO

Community Outreach at De Hoop Collections

Outreach Camp with Every Nation Kuils River

Sani Pass Hike

Weekend Camp South African Educational Project (SAEP) 

Celine Macdonald