“The mentor guides the young person to find the gifts that truly serve their highest potential for themselves, their families, and their chosen communities. Their union creates a living bridge between generations.” —from the Sacred Fire Community Lifeways Mentoring Program

A Lifeways Mentoring Program planning retreat is scheduled for August 3 to 5 in Asheville, NC, USA. The Young Men’s and Women’s Initiation Councils have invited prospective mentors and initiated adults to explore mentoring and to determine what is needed on both sides to train mentors and to develop a mentoring program for newly initiated adults.

Last fall, a group of young people who met at Ritaka, the Sacred Fire Community yearly emerging adults gathering, and those who attended a youth fire at the Asheville, North Carolina, USA hamlet expressed a need for mentors to guide and support them as they grew into and navigated through adulthood. From those initial stirrings, young and older adults alike shared thoughts and ideas about mentoring during ongoing phone conversations. Over time, 22 people had joined the calls to explore mentoring from various perspectives and experiences.With many voices contributing to these discussions, a task force was formed to draw from those conversations and craft a proposal for the development of a mentoring program. Resources on mentoring and mentoring programs were researched and shared among those who stayed close to the writing process.

By February of this year, a tentative proposal for a mentoring program was formed that contained a comprehensive definition of mentoring, mission and vision statements, goals, strategies, and outcomes, as a well as mentoring guidelines (criteria for identifying and training prospective mentors). With questions in hand, a mentoring team met with Grandfather Fire in Asheville in March to receive direction for the program’s development. Under Grandfather’s instructions, the August three-day meeting is planned for the purpose of identifying—from input of mentors and mentees alike—what is most needed to train mentors (through mentoring expertise) and to guide and support newly-initiated adults as they emerge from initiation and move their lives forward within their families and communities.

For more information on the Lifeways mentoring program and the upcoming retreat, contact Lifeways.

Discover more about Sacred Fire Community Lifeways.