As a BCM Volunteer Mentor, you will engage under-resourced urban teens to establish meaningful relationships. You will serve as a positive role model while coaching and encouraging youth to have a transformative outdoor experience to help them gain and transfer critical life skills into their lives.
BCM expeditions take a lot of work and require that all the adults pitch in throughout the trip to help make it successful. One of the reasons BCM is comfortable with a single instructor model is because each expedition has a team of adults to share responsibilities throughout the trip. These trips should not be viewed as a “vacation.” Successful trips require each team member to work together under the guidance of a professional lead instructor.
BCM programming may take place in remote settings. Communication and consultation with BCM administrative and program staff is not always possible. Adult mentors must be prepared to support the leadership of the instructor and positively resolve issues to be a high-functioning independent team.
- Pitch in and support instructor as needed throughout expedition.
- Ability to put youth participants “first” and be “on” throughout the expedition.
- Positive role modeling (speech, actions, attitude, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, etc.)
- Wilderness backpacking experience, navigation, camp cooking, Leave No Trace, etc.
- Physically fit for backpacking expedition with ability to carry backpack weighing up to 50 pounds all day, for up to an hour without rest, and hike at elevations up to 7,000 ft.
- Pass background check
• At least 21 years old
• Reside locally in one of the BCM regions
• Pay a $150 volunteer fee (BCM has fundraising options available as well)
• Experience in youth development:
– Experiential education and facilitation
– Mentoring or teaching teen-aged youth
– Delivery of youth development programs
- Spanish speaking or bicultural
• Priority given to volunteers who can make the full BCM program commitment (see below)
Your attendance role models commitment, reliability, trust, and fosters a strong mentoring relationship serving to support the teens participating in the program. Season events typically include:
- A full-day adult training and an online orientation (spring)
- Family and teen kick-off orientation (spring/early summer)
- 1-2 local pre-expedition single day activities, typically a hike or climbing day (spring/early summer)
- Seven day expedition (summer)
- Post-expedition single day transference celebration event (late summer)
While BCM encourages group decision-making, the instructor is ultimately responsible for all field decisions.
- Follow BCM policies, procedures, and guidelines and provides reminders and guidance for the teens
- Mitigate and manage risk, health, and safety under the guidance of the instructor
- Be clear about ground rules, group agreements, and various responsibilities
Communications and Logistics
Program details will be provided in emails, orientation, and training. Good and prompt communication with BCM and the team you are placed on is key to ensure that you and the adult leadership team are thoroughly prepared for the BCM journey.
Program Content and Quality
- Participate in required training and orientation
- Assist instructor with various aspects of expedition to ensure well-functioning trip.
- Help to create a fun and safe experience as part of a 4-5 person adult leadership team
- Engage youth to build meaningful relationships
- Be a positive role-model
- Coach and encourage youth outdoors in transferable life skills
- Assist in facilitating parts of the BCM curriculum
Mentoring skill development and learning.
- Ask for feedback and evaluate your mentorship performance