QUEST CORE PLUS

A 10 month program from February to November, for young men.

This program replaces the 7 month Core Course as the flagship course for Quest Africa. We have found that the 7 month program provides a good foundation for character development and a broad base of skills development, but it does not ensure enough time for any significant degree of specialization without compromising other parts of the course.

The Core Plus program has 4 terms, the first 3 terms comprising the Quest Core course that ends in August, and then the 4th term, the Spring Term, that runs from mid-September through to the end of November. The first 3 terms involve Core Course activities based on the development of life skills in the 5 acumens – Technical, Natural, Physical, Business and Social. The 4th term is dedicated to “specialization”, whereby graduates of the Core Course are able to focus on skills development in certain selected areas.


COURSE CURRICULUMS – CORE PLUS PROGRAM

 

CORE COURSE COMPONENT - February to August

Technical Acumen

-    Vehicles and Vehicle Maintenance – mechanical and auto-electrical fundamentals

-    Welding and Workshop Tools – arc welding, gas welding, and use of various common tools

-    Building Basics – conventional building fundamentals, laying out, trenching, foundations, brick laying

-    Electrical Basics – introduction to 220V and 12 V wiring systems, practical installation, maintenance and trouble-shooting

-    Plumbing Basics – introduction to household plumbing, installation, maintenance and trouble-shooting

-    Woodwork and carpentry - practical introduction to working with wood and using the basic tools

Natural Acumen

Note that the exposure to FGASA content by non-FGASA students will be largely interest driven, but all students will be exposed to bush craft and nature guiding skills and will have the opportunity to develop these skills if their interest permits. (See more information on FGASA curriculum under the CORE PLUS Specializations below.) Similarly, wildlife and livestock management and hunting are largely interest driven but all students are exposed to these areas and are encouraged to develop an interest.

-    Basic bush craft and some exposure to the various field guiding components covered in the FGASA course

-    Introduction to Wildlife Management and Game Farm Management

-    Introduction to Livestock Management and Grazing Management

-    Hunting – weapons training, hunting ethics, marksmanship, bush craft, trophy selection, skinning, meat preparation, biltong and venison cooking.

-    Spear-Fishing and Line Fishing

-    Camping and Hiking 

-    Practical Vegetable Production – laying out, soil preparation, composting, planting, weed and pest control, mulching

-    Farming Principles – timing, standards, no wastage, energy and passion

Physical Acumen

-    Physical Fitness and Health – understanding fitness development, managing stress and adaptation to build fitness and strength

-    Training Disciplines – trail running, trekking, kayaking, gym circuit training, calisthenics and assault course

-    Orienteering Challenges and Extended Multi-Discipline Epics

-    Other Adventure Sports – kayaking, rock climbing, diving, horse riding and mountain biking

Business Acumen

-    Entrepreneurship and Business Plans

-    Basic spreadsheet use and the development and understanding of key Financial Statements

-    Financial Literacy, Investing, Wealth Creation versus Debt Creation

Social Acumen

-    Principle-Centred Leadership and the development of effective team builders – influence, effectiveness, values and the foundation of character qualities

-    Psychological Assessments for Strengths Profiling and Careers Orientation - group sessions or optional individual sessions with trained psychologist

-   Public Speaking, Communication and writing skills – presentations, recitals, speech-making, essays and critical thinking

-    Cooking and Catering

-    Relationships and Spirituality

-    Character and Mindset coaching – the character ethic and the personality ethic, growth mindset versus the fixed mindset

-    Personal Development Plan and the Final Resolution – defining the main drivers for character greatness and personal fulfilment and effectiveness

SPRING TERM SPECIALIZATIONS – Mid-September to end of November

Core Course graduates will be able to select 1 of the electives below as areas of specialization. All students will remain on a physical fitness program, but this would be largely self-managed by Core Course graduates, setting their own physical fitness goals for the course. Students remain involved in leadership development and all other social acumen during their specialization. The Spring term also includes a 3 week trip to the West Coast where students have the option of doing various ocean sailing courses, or they can partake in a 10 day Cederberg mountain trekking, orienteering and rock climbing course, led by Cameron Smith.

  Option 1 - Field Guiding and Bush craft

  • Nature guiding - Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) - Level 1  

  • Guiding skills

  • Ecology

  • Climate and Weather

  • Astronomy

  • Geology and Soils – general geology and soil formation, karstic landscapes and soils of The Kaba area

  • Grasses and Trees – basic plant physiology, grass and tree identification, practical veld management

  • Introduction to Arthropods, Amphibians, Reptiles, Fish, Birds and Mammals

  • Introduction to Animal Behaviour

  • Bush Craft, Tracking and Hunting – “Cyber tracking” course through Master tracker, Tarryn Gilson. Hunting in this course is interest driven depending on individual preferences.

  • Career Opportunities

Option 2 - Quest Marines

-    Marine Guiding - FGASA Marine guiding - Level 1  

-    Advanced Scuba Diving 

-    Spear-Fishing  

-    Line Fishing 

-    Sea-Kayaking  

-    Career Opportunities

Option 3 - Game Farm Management

The course will involve practical work carried out on the Kaba game farm with an emphasis on disease-free buffalo management. The theoretical component will cover the areas listed below:

-    Veld Types and Biomes

-    Grazing Assessment

-    Browse Assessment

-    Species Selection and Stocking Rates

-    Sex Ratios

-    Predation

-    Diseases

-    Infrastructure – Roads, Fences and Water

-    Game Utilization – Cropping, Trophy Hunting and Live Sales

-    Focus on High Value Game – The African Savannah Buffalo

-    Economics

Option 4 - Livestock Management

This course will involve practical hands-on beef cattle and goat herd management. Students will develop a working knowledge of calving management, basic veterinary care, breeding and breeding stock selection, grazing management and the economics of livestock farming. The theory component will cover the following areas:

-    Grazing Assessment

-    Grass Physiology

-    Stocking Rates

-    Holistic Grazing Management 

-    Diseases

-    Breed Selection

-    Breeding Plans

-    Artificial Insemination (AI)

-    Pregnancy Diagnosis (PD)

-    Production Systems

-    Economics

Option 5 - Physical Fitness and Adventure Sports

The theory component of this course will give students a good foundation for understanding the human body in relation to development of fitness and also general health and injury prevention and management. The practical component is based on the students developing and managing a fitness program to achieve certain fitness goals for themselves and other Quest students. The theory course will cover the following:

-    Physiology and fitness – understanding basic physiology, the stress/adaptation cycle

-    Principles of Training

-    Racing

-    Health and Injuries

-    Adventure Sports – rock climbing, kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking

-    Career Opportunities

Option 6 - Professional Hunting course

The Quest PH school includes the full curriculum and practical training required for qualification as a non-dangerous game hunter in South Africa. The PH school is in the process of final certification as a nationally recognised hunting school. The comprehensive training curriculum has been developed by John van der Meulen and the program is run by John with assistance from outside contributors and other members of the Quest team.

Option 7 - Technical training

We are able to cover a range of technical skills areas and the emphasis can be varied according to the interests of the individuals involved. All training is carried out on site under the guidance of our technical manager, Dean Payne.

Technical training will involve project work and hands-on maintenance management in the following technical areas:

  • Welding projects using arc and gas welding

  • Vehicles and tractors – supervised work on all ongoing repairs and maintenance work on farm vehicles, motor bikes and tractors

  • Building projects – supervised work on construction projects  and routine maintenance on buildings

  • Electrical installation and maintenance – supervised work on building project and maintenance on existing installations

  • Plumbing – supervised installation work on building project and ad hoc maintenance work

  • Woodwork and carpentry – project work