Not necessarily school-specific, bicycling can be a positive, regular group mentoring activity. Think about how this could be adapted for your mentors—learning, bonding, building self-esteem, socialization, exercise… Note that old but good bicycles were refurbished and given to those who completed the program. [For some physically challenged students, consider tandem riding.]
In addition to parks and lakes for cookouts and sporting activities, adults can use their country club memberships for outdoor events. For instance, the Sportsman's Country Club in Oklahoma City offers a perfect venue for a themed cookout, in this case, a tailgating party in which everyone wore their school colors--heavy on OU and OSU rivalry and loud with recorded fight songs! The private, nice facilities had everything including a lake, wildlife, built-in charcoalers, clean restrooms, picnic tables, volleyball, and horseshoes. To customize your own event, age-appropriate games can be added, and some locations may have more playground equipment. Grounds used during the week after work should have minimal costs. Adults can bring potluck and drinks, and the program can pay for the weiners, hamburger, and buns (as we did.). A sports personality or two can also be invited to make a special appearance and pose for photos.
Some country clubs and sports clubs may allow discounted or free-for-nonprofit use of interior sports areas by special arrangement. Pickleball, for instance, a combination of badminton, tennis, and table tennis elements, has become popular since it is more accessible to a wider range of players, especially children and seniors. Look for learning opportunities for all ages.
Videotaping and posting children’s activities
Based upon this assembly-based school activity, any time a mentoring group or program does an activity that is entertaining, film and post it on YouTube. The Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City, for example, had its own version of the cirque du soleil, for which members practiced and performed for families, staff, mentors, supporters, etc. That would have been a fun, unusual post! Many mentoring groups have sports-related activities or service projects in the community. Older youths can help video and edit. Let your imagination be your guide in what activities to create, video and post.
"Eugene Field 4th Grade 2010, Thriller" [Eugene Field Elementary School, Tulsa, OK]
Assembly, May 7, 2010
Videos retrieved 7-31-12