Do you and your mentee want to be more active? Check out your local rec center to see what activities are offered there! You can learn to play a sport together, take free yoga classes, and use basketball courts, pools, and other available equipment! If that’s not your speed, try going for a hike in the woods, renting bikes, or canoeing in the river or canal! If you’d like to work on some goals to stay motivated, try out one of the President’s Challenge activities.
Are you and your mentee feeling creative? You don’t have to be an artist to have fun creating a masterpiece! Bring some art supplies on your next outing and draw or paint what you see, learn to make some jewelry, bring a camera and take some photos, or even put together a scrapbook of your time together. If you’re crafty, try your hand at origami, learn to knit, or check out some of these crafts for kids as a starting point for some brainstorming. If you're not crafty, that's ok! There are lots of places in the DC area which provide art supplies and lessons. Many of our mentoring pairs have enjoyed painting pottery at All Fired Up, Art Jamz, or Paint This.
It’s never too early to get your mentee excited about college! Try visiting one of the local college campuses for a fun day out. You can purchase tickets to many college athletic sporting events at low cost, and you can also see what other arts or cultural events are happening on campus. If you want it to be more formal, check with the admissions office to see if there is a student willing to answer your mentee’s questions or perhaps there’s a campus tour you can attend.
Create a life journal to get your mentee opening up about future goals! You and your mentee can create a pictorial life journal. Both you and your mentee can create your own life journal using photographs, pictures from magazines, construction paper, rubber stamps, glue, etc. The journal contains events, people, and memories of your life. The journal then continues into the future. This will help guide the conversation to enable you to ask your mentees things such as, “What do you want your future to look like? What photos, pictures, people, or things do you need to make your future?”
Take A Hike! There is something special about walking that enables us to speak honestly and openly. Whether it is the non-threatening nature of the activity, or the fact that there is no awkward eye contact as you walk alongside each other. It is also a fun way to get active with your mentee! And an added bonus: walking is free! A great place to start is the Billy Goat Trail which offers spectacular views of Great Falls. Check out this link!
Make a Vision Rock! Set up is simple - grab a pile of your favorite magazines, scissors, and some Mod Podge® (Elmer’s glue will also work in a pinch – just water it down a little). You can create your own vision boards on posterboard, but for this project, grab some river rocks. The smooth shaped rocks are the perfect size to hold in your hand and keep on your desk for a lovely paperweight. Once complete, you and your mentee can literally hold your dreams in the palm of your hand. Just start cutting and collecting words and phrases that reflect what you and your mentee want this year to be! See more here.
Let the mentee be the expert! Discover something the mentee is knowledgeable about and let him or her be the teacher. For example, if you are not very good at basketball but your mentee is a pro; or your mentee makes crafty bracelets as a hobby and you have never made one before. When the mentee has the opportunity to be the expert, and the mentor shows genuine interest, the mentees sense of competence and self-worth may blossom. Have fun with this, you may never know what your mentee can teach you!