Mentoring: Take advantage of fall activities

Explore fun, timely activity ideas for community-based mentors who need a little help deciding what to do with their mentee.

It’s almost time to pick up your mentee for your weekly outing. Do you know what you are going to do? It can be difficult to come up with new ideas every week and mentors often find themselves in a rut. Fall offers many opportunities for fun and inexpensive match activities. With a little planning, you and your mentee will be out of the rut in no time.

First, take the time to locate one or two great sources for public events in your community. Most communities have a website, public calendar, Facebook page or community paper that provides lists of upcoming events. Bookmark or subscribe to a source to get updates. Once you have a list, take the time to look through it with your mentee. Popular fall activities include a trip to the cider mill, a walk through a corn maze, attending a high school football game, and going to local fairs and festivals. For additional ideas take a look at “A Year’s Worth of Mentoring Activities.”

Mentors often take on the responsibility of planning activities, but why not enlist your mentee’s help? This can reduce your stress and help him or her develop some new skills. Set a budget and pick your meeting time and date. If your mentee is young, you might give him or her a few choices to work with. An older mentee might not need choices, but parameters are helpful. Be sure to check in before the day of your next outing to discuss details and ensure that you are prepared.

There are a variety of resources to help matches meet specific goals. Check out “Eat Well, Stay Active, Have Fun: A Guide for Mentors” to find activities and tips to expose your mentee to healthy living. The “College Positive Mentoring Toolkit” by “Mentor Michigan” is full of ideas for exposing mentees of all ages to post-secondary education.

Finally, many local mentoring programs offer group activities that are fun, free and designed to strengthen your relationship. If you haven’t attended a program activity, give it a try!

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