The biennal TPCP/CTHB team-building event was held last week, as in recent years, at Kwalata in the Dinokeng nature reserve north of Pretoria. Prof. Mike Wingfield, director of the Tree Protection Cooperative Programme and co-director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology, welcomed the more than 80 staff and student members of the two programmes and provided a brief overview of the achievements and activities of the TPCP/CTHB over the past year. The TPCP/CTHB Management Committee followed by taking turns to report back to the larger group on various topics discussed the previous day during the strategy meeting of the management committee. Staff and students were then given an opportunity to suggest ways of making FABI and the TPCP/CTHB work better and discuss any problems they may have.
After lunch it was time for a ‘Spy versus Spy’ team-building event. This saw three teams pitted against each other to gather information and follow instructions to decipher cryptic clues. The aim was to piece together a puzzle of what turned out to be the face of Madiba - all this whilst trying to prevent the other teams from successfully completing their missions! After some major confusion, everyone eventually got the hang of their assigned tasks and the area was abuzz with team members dashing around the gardens looking for hidden clues while preventing competing teams finding them! A debrief followed the event before everyone sat down for a well-deserved dinner braai under a clear African sky.