Program Summary

The AORE Mentorship Program is a 6 month intensive professional development opportunity for individuals to learn and grow within the field of Outdoor Recreation and Education. In this 6 month mentorship program, mentees are paired with mentors who they feel is a best fit for them and in a field that they hope to enter or grow within. Outdoor Reaction and Education fields include but are not limited to; Collegiate Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Education Schools, Parks, Summer Camps, Guides, Challenge Course, Outdoor Retail, and much more. Throughout this program, Mentors and Mentees will meet once a month for 1 hour and both the mentee and mentor will be provided with talking points and professional development assignments to help guide the development of the mentee. Both the mentee and the mentor will complete a brief survey at the end of each session so that AORE PDC members can track the development of the mentee along with the efficiency of the program. To apply to be either a mentee or mentor, please complete the below form. 

How Mentors are Mentees are Paired

Mentees who wish to participate in the AORE PDC Mentorship program must start by submitting a resume and complete a survey. After submitting this information, the AORE PDC Mentorship Program Managers will review the applicant's materials and send it to 2-5 mentors who they think may be a good fit for the Mentee. Mentors will then decide if they want to take on the mentorship of the new mentee. A list and overview of mentors who agree to the potential mentorship of this mentee will then be sent to the mentee. Mentees will then select the mentor that they wish to work with. Once the mentor is selected, then a member of the AORE PDC Mentorship Program will introduce the mentee and mentor via email and the 6 month mentorship program will begin.

Some of Our Current MEntors

What is the Time Commitment for this Program?

Mentees and Mentors are expected to spend at least one hour per month meeting with one another via in person, phone call, or video meetings such as zoom. In addition to this one hour meeting, both the mentee and mentor are expected to conduct 1-2 hours of work per month outside the meeting times by completing post meeting reflections, assignments, or communicating with the AORE PDC Mentorship Meeting Program Managers.

Who Will Oversee this Program?

A team of 2-5 volunteer AORE PDC Mentorship Program Managers will be overseeing the mentorship program. These individuals will be responsible for the pairing of mentees and mentors, overseeing the relationship between mentees and mentors, and reviewing post meeting reflection notes. In addition to the Mentorship Program Managers, level 5 Mentors will also be able to review post meeting reflection notes as compensation for their volunteer work. 

Criteria for Each Level

Level 1 Mentee (Example- College Student)
  • 0-4 years of Part time or seasonal experience within the outdoor recreation field. 
  • Is in higher education such as college or university program (does not need to be an outdoor recreation degree)
  • Is actively involved in conducting outdoor activities (backpacking, climbing, paddling etc) but does not have an activity log. 
  • Has not participated in any outdoor education courses such as NOLS, Outward Bound, or International Wilderness Leadership School.

Level 2 Mentee (Example- Graduate Assistant)
  • 4-7 years of professional experience. 
  • Either working full time for 1-2 years or has been working seasonally or part time within the same industry for 4 years.
  • Has graduated from college or university. 
  • Has an outdoor activity log or professional portfolio. 
  • Has some nationally recognized certifications (WFR, WEA, AMGA, ACA, ACCT, etc)

Level 3 Mentee / Mentor  (Example- Program Coordinator)
  • 7-10 years of Professional experience within one field. 
  • Supervise part time employees.
  • Has a fairly extensive activity log with 200 field days documented.
  • Has multiple nationally recognized certifications. 
  • Has a network of professionals that they can call upon for assistance and guidance.
  • Has budget management experience.
  • Has marketing experience.
  • Has program development or management experience

Level 4 Mentee / Mentor  (Example- Assistant Director)
  • 10-15 years of Professional experience within one field. 
  • Directly supervise full time staff members 
  • Is a certifying entity for a nationally recognized organization
  • Has an extensive professional network.
  • Can make large program purchases for their department.
  • Has developed new programs from scratch

Level 5 Mentor  (Example- Program Director / Company Owner or CEO)
  • 15+ years of Professional experience within one field. 
  • Directly supervise a team of full time staff members 
  • Is a certifying entity for a nationally recognized organization
  • Has an extensive professional network.
  • Can make large program purchases for their department without the need of approval from others.
  • Is solely held responsible for their programs decisions.

Note: Mentees may only receive mentorship from mentors who are two levels above their current status. Example - A level two mentee may only receive mentorship from a level three or four mentor.

Program Developed By: 

  • Sam Albert 
  • Patricia Lynn
  • Steven Koster
  • Elyse Thulin
  • Erik Rabinowitz

Ready to learn and grow within the field of Outdoor Recreation and Education? Apply for the AORE Mentorship Program!

Apply to be a Mentor or Mentee

The Process for Mentees and Mentors

The AORE mentorship program recognizes the fluidity, flexibility and variability of the outdoor industry. We recognize that not all parts of the industry fit exactly into the categories as outlined. As such, we highly encourage anyone who doesn't see themselves fully represented in the below tiers to reach out and apply. Your experience may not fit neatly into a category, but that does not mean it is not welcome in the program! If you are a new professional, a long-standing professional or anything in between-this program is for you. If you are interested in the business of the outdoors, the academics, the technical skills, the human skills-this program is for you. We want to support all folks where they are and are here to help guide you through next steps, whether that is the chat with a pro option or applying to be a mentor or mentee.