New Mentoring Resources for Park and Recreation Professionals

By Lauren Kiefert, MPH | Posted on November 18, 2022

November Mentoring 410

Last month, NRPA released two new resources that contribute to the advancement of youth mentoring programs and youth development: 

Best Practice Guide 

Mentoring in Parks and Recreation: A Best Practice Guideserves park and recreation professionals looking to implement a new mentoring program or to improve an existing program in the community. These best practices build upon MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ and are tailored specifically for parks and recreation. Key themes include the establishment of the program, partnerships, program staffing, recruitment and matching, and program evaluation. 

Mentor Training Resource 

With parks and recreation providing ample opportunities for formal and/or informal mentoring, the Mentor Training Resource serves as a key component in supporting the development and implementation of a mentoring program in your community. This guide provides park and recreation professionals who are implementing youth mentoring programs with the tools and skills necessary to successfully train additional staff and community members to serve as mentors. 

We also are thrilled to announce additional resources that expand our suite of mentoring and youth development offerings, including a family engagement guide and closure of the mentoring relationship.  

Family Engagement Guide  

This resource is designed to help park and recreation professionals and other youth mentoring service providers integrate family engagement components into youth mentoring programs. The Mentoring in Parks and Recreation: Strategies to Engage Families and Caregivers

  1. Summarizes the importance of family/caregiver relationships for youth and stakeholders involved in mentoring programs
  2. Outlines key considerations that park and recreation professionals should keep in mind as they develop family engagement activities
  3. Explores family engagement strategies that can be integrated into mentoring programs through parks and recreation
  4. Identifies common challenges of family engagement and the ways to overcome them

Closure Resource 

According to MENTOR, closure is the process of bringing a mentoring relationship to an end in a way that affirms the contributions of both the mentor and mentee. The Closing the Mentoring Relationship: Guidance and Best Practices for Park and Recreation Programs helps prepare park and recreation staff to understand and implement best practices related to mentor/mentee closure, ensuring relationships end with positive outcomes for all.  

Case Study: GRANITE Mentoring Program 

Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, Mount Airy, North Carolina 

Jaimi Scott, the mentoring program coordinator at Mount Airy Parks and Recreation, says their mentor program emphasizes the importance of sharing knowledge to achieve successful results: 

“To prepare our mentors and mentees for the culmination of their relationship, we share as much information as possible — and as often as possible. As our program ends, staff are gathering relevant resources, materials, best practices and the like, to best support the closure process. We have several family engagement activities and events planned which will be great touch points for providing these materials and having discussions about relationships ending. Our mentoring program also will have a final celebration/closure event to mark the end of mentor/mentee matches and signify the closing of the relationship.” 

To learn more, visit NRPA’s ever-expanding suite of mentoring resources

Lauren Kiefert, MPH (she/her), is an NRPA Program Manager