Burpees for Conservation

#BurpeesForConservation is all the rage at the moment. EcoTraining students have jumped on the trend and are raising their heart-rates in an effort to raise awareness and funds 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.

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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.

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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.