A Newfound Confidence in Khao Sok Guide Trainees
With only a few days to go until the final examination, time is running out. This month has seen the trainees take on more of a leadership role, leading the walks themselves instead of relying on the training team to prompt them as to what to say. Thankfully the unseasonably dry weather has been kind to us, giving them plenty of practice for the time when they will take their own groups of guests out into the park.
The group of trainees based at the park headquarters are dedicated to the cause, and they continued to up their game as the month progressed. It is not easy to suddenly be put into the role of group leader, where all eyes are suddenly on you, and you have to guide the group in a foreign language. But after some initial hesitations and understandable nervousness, all the group took to the role well, and some started to excel not long after their initial ‘baptism’. Even those members of the group that had been more shy and retiring suddenly discovered a newfound confidence in themselves, and it was a delight to see them and the more confident members all demonstrate genuine ability and potential to one day be great nature guides.
Most of the guiding practice was conducted along the main walking trail near the headquarters. But to ensure they get practice at all of the various activities that they will need to be able to lead, another overnight trip to the lake was included, as well as a nights camping in the park. This night allowed the trainees to learn the relevant skills and safety issues of setting up a jungle camp in a very wild environment.
As the end of the month neared, a couple of revision days were included so as to give everyone the chance to go over much of what has been learnt in the 2 months. These days will hopefully prove to be vital preparation for the big day (final exam), and it was interesting to note a palpable nervousness about everyone as the realization hit home of what is to come next month.
Photos by Nick Grady-Grot