Mentoring Self-Assessment Tool
Current efforts to increase mentorship in hunting have not proven effective enough to move the regional or national needle. Most states have several hundred thousand active hunters, yet a lack of coaches, mentors, and instructors was noted as one of 16 key threats facing hunting and shooting sports that must be addressed if R3 efforts are to be successful. Additionally, research suggests that a large cohort of potential mentors and mentees exists, but little is understood as to their motivations, barriers, and needs. A better understanding and implementation of effective mentoring programs and communication measures to motivate these two groups would potentially reverse downward hunting participation trends. The goal of this assessment is to gain an understanding of the elements of successful mentoring programs, as well as current mentor/mentee motivations, and apply that knowledge to expand and promote effective mentoring efforts from the current hunting and recreational shooting base that will increase hunting and recreational shooting participation.
The Wildlife Management Institute, Southwick Associates, and DJ Case conducted a research project titled, “The Missing Link in R3: Making Mentorship Work,” which included a universal definition of mentoring: “One-on-one interaction, either in-person or otherwise, that occurs more than once between the same parties. This would include one-on-one long-term teaching relationships, youth clubs with an education element, summer camps with multiple hands-on opportunities, in-field programs that bring the same students back more than once, electronic mentoring, etc. It would not include one-time fishing derbies, one-day seminars, instructional videos and marketing campaigns, etc.”
The experts who served on the Mentoring IWG group identified that there are fundamental differences between “mentorship” and “effective mentorship,” and added two key points of clarification to the definition to reflect those differences: “Interaction by one instructor with three or less students (or with a family), either in-person or otherwise, that occurs more than once between the same parties on at least two different days.” In addition, several other elements were considered parts of effective mentorship including identifying a target audience, collecting and utilizing data from evaluations, and providing structure for mentorship, communication, and social support. These qualifying characteristics were put into a questionnaire format and a series of demographic and programmatic questions were added for data management purposes.
You are invited to participate in the National R3 Implementation Workgroup’s Mentoring Program Self-assessment. The purpose of this self-assessment is to serve as a tool that R3 practitioners can use to improve their programs. This self-assessment can be taken as many times as needed. If your organization runs more than one mentoring program, please take a separate assessment for each program.