Burpees for Conservation

If you have spent any time on social media over the past few weeks you will be well acquainted with the #BurpeesForConservation Challenge. A high energy challenge that has united like-minded people through, you guessed it, burpees!

The #BurpeesForConservation Challenge was the brainchild of former EcoTraining trainer and legendary trails guide, Bruce Lawson. In an interview with France 24, Bruce joked that the idea was inspired by a moment of insanity. Though, as participants in the challenge ourselves, we are tempted to agree, the true reason behind this burst of energy is far more poignant.

The Challenge is On!

The students at EcoTrainings Pridelands camp are among those who have taken to exerting themselves and pushing their physical boundaries for a cause that unites us all, conservation.

Burpees Challenge - Burpees for Conservation - Ecotraining
Photographs © Victoria Craddock

Every day for the past two weeks, around midday one brave camper starts sounding the ‘burpee time’ alarm. The reminder evokes various responses, sometimes groans, sometimes zeal, sometimes determination, and always camaraderie and commitment to the cause!

The Makeshift Gym

Being the bush camp that it is, Pridelands has no formal workout area so students have created a makeshift gym between the lecture tent and the bursting banks of Ndlovu dam. Even the term ‘makeshift gym’ is a generous one, but the beauty of the burpee is that it can be done anywhere with enough space to accommodate getting your body horizontal and bouncing into the air. By these specifications, and an extra sprinkle of dirt, Pridelands outdoes itself.

Fitness Training - Ecotraining - ELearning
Photographs © Victoria Craddock

An Unusual Cheering Squad

Another thing Pridelands offers to the burpees student is regular, albeit unpredictable, breaks. Elephants have frequented the camp of late and oftentimes their visits coincide with burpee hour. There is every likelihood they are simply seeking out a venue for a pool party, for which Ndlovu dam is perfect, but there is a small part of us that likes to think they arrive with the motive of cheering us on. Either way, their presence means that sometimes the short intervals between sets of burpees become a little extended (or a lot extended).

Bruce Lawson’s Record

While none of us is likely to threaten the record set by Bruce Lawson of 30000 burpees in 10 days, it is encouraging to be involved in an ambitious conservation campaign that aims to raise 1 million rands by completing 1 million burpees. We urge you if you haven’t joined in yet, why not start now? Your support will have conservation teams jumping for joy!

About the Author: 

Victoria Craddock a past apprentice Field Guide student of EcoTraining and freelance Blogger.

About the Author:
Picture of Victoria Craddock

Victoria Craddock

Explore more

elephant herd in Pridelands with the mountain range in the background

The Elephant is Watching You

Many people love encountering elephants on their game drive in the South African bush, regardless of whether it is on an individual or a whole herd. Besides the obvious visible behaviour, there are many smaller signs of body language. Knowing them and being able to interpret them can increase your enjoyment of any elephant sighting.

Read more

The African Wild Dog

African wild dogs are a sight to behold with their colourful coats and long, elegant legs, especially in large packs. Unfortunately, the wild dog is one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent. We find out what makes them unique and how conservation initiatives strive to protect them.

Read more

The people you meet on an EcoTraining course

Have you decided to take an EcoTraining course? Then, a wealth of information is available to take in beforehand. The course descriptions, enough pictures on social media to make you daydream for hours, packing lists, and videos on EcoTraining’s YouTube channel. You name it, it’s there! One thing you won’t be able to find out upfront, though – unless you sign up with a bunch of friends – is who will be the people joining you on the course. In this story, Wim reflects on the fantastic group on his 35-day Practical Field Guide course.

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.