As part of their curriculum, our second years packed their bags and embarked on a team building weekend away. Three full days of new experiences, fabulous food, and quality bonding time – bliss! As a family run institution, strengthening relationships is an integral part of the learning process. We’re not just a school – our students become part of the family the moment they enrol. We lift one another up, celebrate each other’s successes and provide continual support. Our advanced programme students work hard throughout the year and a weekend adventure is just what they need to refresh their minds for the final push. So we took a break from the classroom and set off to the beautiful Baynesfield Estate.
You can’t start a team building weekend without an energising brew. So naturally, Steampunk Coffee was our first port of call. We took a tour of the roastery before relishing in a steaming artisan cuppa. Delicious!
As we were in the area, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. After a spot of exploring we took a team photo to mark the occasion and then it was on the road again to our next stop – Highgate Wine Estate.
Here, we met up with one of our past students, Sizwe, who is now a chef at Menu – the farm’s new restaurant. He chatted with our second years, giving them some valuable tips for life after chef school – a real eye opener for our students. Our visit ended on a high with a wine tour.
Our day continued to Netherwood’s new brewery and restaurant. Our students were fortunate enough to receive a grand tour of the brand new, imported equipment from Roscoe. We learned about the brews and what Roscoe brews with before enjoying a mouthwatering beer and food pairing for lunch.
With our tummies full, it was on to the last stop of the day – a butchering demo on a fore-quarter wagyu beef at Eshowe Meat Co. The second years learnt how to dress tomahawk steak, ribeye and several other cuts of meat. A real treat! After a full day, we headed to Baynesfield Estate, where we wound down with family time and a scrumptious dinner.
Saturday morning we woke up fresh and motivated to continue our team building extravaganza. We spent the morning with Patrick at the Katope-Natal packhouse in Richmond. Here we learned about the growing and packaging of avos for export and local markets. Patrick took the students on the full tour, showing them every aspect of the process. Baynesfield’s cooler climate is ideal for growing avocados and currently extends to 165 hectares.
The morning’s tour left us all ravenous, so a tasty lunch was next on the agenda. With our batteries recharged, it was time to make the most of the fresh country air. We swapped our chef hats for caps and headed out for an afternoon hike at Baynesfield.
But you can’t keep our second years away from the kitchen for long – they were back behind the chopping board by the evening for a friendly potjie competition. We split into three teams and cooked up a storm. Dinner for the night sorted!
Our last day was all about team building. Sunday dawned bright and sunny, perfect for a day outdoors. After a hearty breakfast, we had an enlightening demonstration by Johannes, a San Bushman. He explained all about his culture and showed us how to make a fire with a stick. The second years all had a go at starting their own stick fires. Johannes also taught everyone about the various types of bow and arrows and showed us how to use them. Our students had great fun testing out their archery skills and working up an appetite for lunch.
After lunch, the team building continued with a selection of action-packed activities. The students got a rush of adrenaline on the zip line, navigated the obstacle course and plunged into the dam on the slip and slide. A fabulous, adventure-filled afternoon. We rounded off the weekend with a special night hike and stargazing, followed by a roaring campfire.
All in all, everyone had a fantastic weekend (take a look at the photo album). We are so excited our first second year trip was a success – a great tradition in the making! We can’t wait to do it all again next year with our 2019 batch of second years.
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