The first couple of months of my six month practical, I was labeled the ‘kid’s/family ranger’. I enjoy children and have great patience with the younger generation. I took game drives with families wanting separate game viewers from the other guests. Aside from the two normal, four hour game drives per day, I took a kid’s drive. This was specifically for all the children who were staying at the lodge.
We would go out for several hours in the mid-day, tracking, looking for insects, or even frogging. We would sometimes spend the day at the conservation centre with all of the animals in my care. I would teach the children about each of the different creatures we had. This was a great way to let the adults relax and also give the kids a memorable time.
Many of these drives were not just memorable for the kids but for me as well. I’ve guided an infant and her numerous brothers and sisters with a caretaker, and even a biologist couple’s seven year old son. He knew almost as much I did! I had to think a bit outside the box to stay on top of him.
I hope to utilize what I learned in that time to help at my own reserve. The best way to spread conservation ideas is to educate children.