Vision for the Outdoor Mentor Training Initiative
The vision for the Certified Outdoor Mentoring Program is to provide the leadership (locally and nationally) necessary to motivate and empower our partners (existing outdoor organization, mentoring groups, corporations and individuals) and to provide: Certified Outdoor Mentors, and mentor training, and the resources to participate, the gear needed to experience the outdoors, the social support necessary for continued participation, the outdoors education to be good steward of the resources, to provide multiple outdoors experiences (leaving them wanting for more) and matching said outdoor mentors to inexperienced youths, adults and families. By creating a Tips Outdoors Certified Outdoor team of mentors, we’ll leave a legacy of best mentoring practices, science based interactive skill sets, a sound educational background to build on, long-term commitment to the mentoring outdoors mission and mentees (to raise participation involvement in the outdoors) that will come full circle with mentees developing into the next generation of outdoor mentors.
Why a Mentor Training Initiative
The old system of an older family member or close family friend taking youth out to participate and educate the youth in our traditional outdoor activities-sports like fishing, archery, hunting, and shooting sports is not happening nearly enough as it did generations ago. This has created a generation gap, or multiple generation of adults not taking youth outdoors and teaching youth the traditional outdoors activities and sports. This is the defining challenge of our times, to breathe new life into our outdoor traditions. Participation has been on a steady decline for years, due to numerous factors. Some of the most important reveal that the old system for bringing newcomers into these outdoors activities-sports has broken down:
• There are fewer available outdoor mentors who are related by blood to young beginners.
In our modern society, there is a shortage of trained adult mentors.
• Many parents feel unqualified to teach their own kids the basics of fishing, hunting, or a
• Lives are busier than ever, with more competing interests and organized activities filling
up the schedules of youngsters.
• Access to “a good place to go” can be a huge hurdle to overcome.
• As a result, many potential beginners slip through the cracks. They struggle with the
learning curve and “getting out” on an ongoing basis. Too many beginners are taken
once, then released back into their non-fishing, non-hunting, non-shooting sports lives.
• Shrinking customer base threatens the very existence of equipment makers, state
agency budgets, conservation groups, outdoor media, guides, tourism and the list goes
• Interest in the outdoors lies dormant. We have to break this cycle. We have to do more.
For if we don’t provide the basics for outdoors participation and make a difference in an
inexperienced youth or adult, then who will?
• Recruit Outdoor Mentors and Mentees
o By partnering with existing youth, adult and family organizations that provide
traditional outdoor activities and to help organizations that want to provide
traditional outdoor activities and utilizing social media, and traditional media:
press releases, articles, brochures, radio interviews, websites, email blasts, blogs,
social networking, TV and presentations to the general and outdoor public
relaying mentoring mission/vision and the need for mentors and why.
• Inspire youths/adults with no or limited experience in the out-of-doors through multiple
skills building opportunities while providing: education, Certified Outdoor Mentors,
resources, gear, multiple long term outdoor activities and FUN, which will mesh with
• Train and Educate Outdoor Mentors and Mentees
o Tips Outdoors will train or provide trained Certified Outdoor Mentors to
organizations, public and private entities that are providing or will be providing
education for our traditional outdoor activities and sports
o The Certified Outdoor Mentors will educate mentees through hands-on outdoor
skills building at expos, events, and outdoors educational opportunities provided by
organization, companies and public and private entities. Preferably ongoing
outdoor skills building experiences such as Tips Outdoors provides.
• Grants might be available through DNR’s or other organizations to help with start-up
costs. Tips Outdoors looks to provide support to Chapters and others in North America.
• Make the Match – Empowered organizations as in BBBS, PF, NWTF, and Tips Outdoors
(and in the future, other mentoring organizations) to match Certified Outdoor
Mentors/volunteers with inexperienced youths/adults/families to provide education,
hands-on outdoor skills, multiple experiences, social support and the follow-up tracking
necessary to create self-sustained independent actions from mentees.
Thank You for your interest. For additional information about Outdoor Mentor Training
Tips Outdoors Foundation
P.O. Box 796
Lindstrom, MN 55045
Darren a Certified Outdoor Mentor