Mentoring, The Full Story

pdwenn/#/ Dale Wenninger provided this:

1. Introduce the idea of using the building and sailing of model yachts as a mentoring tool
2. Function as a clearinghouse for ideas. List to links of programs as they are added to the list and function as a message board listing messages regarding ideas and mentoring programs.

Designing, building and sailing model yachts has long been an activity ideally suited for young and old alike, as a hobby for an individual or as a group or educational project. With the advent of Radio controls, the excitement, pleasure, challenges and opportunities for the use of these boats have dramatically increased and the sport has been rediscovered.

Overview and history
During the first half of the 20th century our country was in a transition from agricultural to industrial. There was concern that our youth did not have the skills that would be necessary for the industrial work place. In response to these concerns, programs developed around making model yachts.

The Pirate program in California and the Detroit school system program that runs today and is the oldest (over 75 years) continuously run program in the country where kids still make hundreds of boats each year, are but two examples. Building these boats introduced the youth to wood working, metal
working, working with fabric as well as applied physics and mechanics. The interest grew beyond the school system and fathers were building and sailing boats with their children. Model yachts became the common mans answer to sailing in an era when real sailboat racing was limited to the more wealthy. Racing the boats became a very serious sport. Model yachts were not limited to the common man however. The most notable real boat designers were also heavily involved and occupied with the designing and sailing of these models. The importance of model yachting is being recognized by the Mystic Seaport museum through their newly established department focusing on model yachting history.

Today the skills required by today's workplace are somewhat different. Computer technology leads the way when we think of occupational skills. Years ago, our society was used to making the things they needed from raw materials. Today the concept of making something from "scratch" is foreign to us and the rediscovery of the possibility in these programs brings delight. Today we are returning to the sailboat model building programs for different reasons. Though the programs continue to offer exposure to the building skills the older programs offered, we look to today's programs for social reasons rather than occupational. We live in a society of fragmented extended and traditional families. It is our hope that the programs and ideas listed now and in the future will teach and offer the experience of self-efficacy and resilience through mentoring.

While the goals of building character and resilience in our youth are common to most youth programs, the approach in accomplishing those goals may differ. There is a great variance in social issues and therefore social values. In view, in respect and in appreciation for these realities, we offer the activity a program might use, but we do not offer the instruction or opinion as to what values should be imparted, make social judgments, or how relationships should be structured.

The story of Mentor comes from Homer's "Odyssey". When Odysseus, king of Ithaca, went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his household to Mentor, who served as teacher and overseer of Odysseus's son, Telemachus.

After the war, Odysseus was condemned to wander vainly for ten years in his attempt to return home. In time, Telemachus, now grown, went in search of his father. Telemachus was accompanied on his quest by Athena, Goddess of War and patroness of the arts and industry, who assumed the form of Mentor.

Eventually, father and son were reunited and together they cast down would-be usurpers of Odysseus's throne and of Telemachus' birthright. In time the word "Mentor" became synonymous with trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. History offers many examples of helpful mentoring relationships-such as Socrates and Plato, Haydn and Beethoven, Freud and Jung.

History and legend record the deeds of princes and kings but each of us has a birthright to be all that we can be. Mentors are those special people in our lives who, through their deeds and work, help us to move toward fulfilling that potential.
"Mentoring-A Practical Guide" by Gordon F. Shea Crisp
Publications Inc. Menlo Park Calif.

The concept of the programs we envision is simple and passive. To provide an activity and environment through and in which a child or adolescent, paired with an adult, can promote a supportive and enduring relationship between the two, as well as providing an opportunity to exchange values and perspectives.

Mentoring & building programs and Ideas
Mentoring program at First Church Swampscott. (link to separate page)
This program, including the plans, instructional manuals, hulls and molds is available from Dale Wenninger /#/ Pdwenn/#/

High School program ideas

Adult education program ideas

You are invited to contribute your ideas for programs and to list a program you are currently or planning to use. We need your creativity, your experience and your wisdom. Dale Wenninger /#/ Pdwenn/#/