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The temptation is common, and your intentions are good. Your relationship with your mentee is new. You want to give him the opportunity to experience things he may not get to do very often, if at all.

There are so many possibilities: amusement parks, zoos, museums, movies, plays, concerts, professional sporting events; all a lot of fun, all providing an opportunity to strengthen your mentoring relationship, but all likely to require real money.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to help your mentee have many of the kinds of experiences she may not otherwise get.

It is important however, that these special outings are balanced with simpler, lower-cost activities, not just to save on the impact on your pocketbook, but also to ensure that you are not setting a precedent with your mentee that your relationship is based solely on participating in expensive outings.

You may want to start gathering ideas for ways to create meaningful interactions with your mentee that don’t necessarily cost a lot of money, so you can be assured that the relationship is based on the important stuff, like support and caring-rather than on the places you go and the things you buy.

You can ask your program staff for additional information about low-cost and no-cost activity ideas.


Reprinted with permission from Search Institute®.  From Mentoring for Meaningful Results: Asset-Building Tips, Tools, and Activities for Youth and Adults. Copyright © 2008 Search Institute, Minneapolis, MN; 800-888-7828; All rights reserved.