Mentoring The Future Of The Great Outdoors

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Become a Certified Outdoor Mentor

Become A Certified Outdoor Mentor

Vision for the Outdoor Mentor Training Initiative:

The vision for the Mentoring Program is to provide the leadership (locally and nationally) necessary to motivate and empower our partners (existing outdoor organization, mentoring groups, corporations and individuals) to provide: DNR Certified Outdoor Mentors, the resources to participate, the gear needed to experience the outdoors, the social support necessary for continued participation, the outdoors education to be steward of resources, to provide multiple outdoor experiences (leaving them wanting for more) and matching said Outdoor Mentors, to both inexperienced youths and adults. By creating DNR Certified Outdoor team of mentors, we'll leave a legacy to the citizens of the state with best mentoring practices, science based interactive skill sets, and sound educational background to build on long-term commitment to the mentoring outdoors mission and mentees (to raise participation involvement in the outdoors) that will come full circle developing into an outdoor mentor.

Why a Mentor Training Initiative:

The old system is broken and for those of us who love fishing, hunting, and shooting, the defining challenge of our times is to breathe new life into our outdoor traditions. Participation has been on a steady decline for years, due to numerous factors. Some of the most important reveal that the old system for bringing newcomers into these traditional outdoor sports has broken down:

  • There are fewer available outdoor mentors who are related by blood to young beginners. In our modern society, there is a shortage of trained adult mentors.

  • Many Parents feel unqualified to teach their own kids the basics of fishing, hunting, or shooting.
  • Lives are busier than ever, with more competing interests and organized activities filling up the schedules of youngsters.
  • Access to "a good place to go" can be a huge hurdle to overcome.
  • As a result, many potential beginners slip through the cracks. They struggle with the learning curve and "getting out" on an ongoing basis. Too many beginners are taken once, then released back into their non-fishing, non-hunting, non-shooting lives.
  • Shrinking customer base threatens the very existence of equipment makers, state agency budgets, conservation groups, outdoor media, guides, tourism, and the list goes on....
  • Interest in the outdoors lies dormant. We have to break this cycle. We have to do more. For if we don't provide the basics for outdoor participation and make a difference in an inexperienced youth or adult....Who Will?

​​"How To":

  • Recruit Outdoor Mentors and Mentees

​              >  By partnering with existing mentoring and outdoor organizations utilizing press releases, articles, brochures, radio                        interviews, websites, email blasts, blogs, social networking, TV and presentations to the general and outdoor                                public relaying mentoring mission/vision and the need for mentors and why.

  • Inspire youth/adults with limited experience in the out-of-doors through media opportunities while providing: education, Certified Outdoor Mentors, resources, gear, multiple long-term outdoor activities and FUN, which will mesh with today's lifestyles.
  • Training and Educate Outdoor Mentors and Mentees

​               >  Provide trained DNR Certified Outdoor Mentors (in mentoring and outdoor skills) to inexperienced youth and                                adults with organizations like: Tips Outdoors Foundation (Tips) Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), Mentoring                                  Partnership of Minnesota (MPM), Pass It On (PIO), the School of Outdoor Sports (SOS), Pheasants Forever                                (PF), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), and other organizations in the outdoors and mentoring.

               >  Train DNR Certified Mentors for hands-on training opportunities at expos, outdoor events, skills training and                                  other such activities for both public and private entities.

  • Possible grant to help start-up costs.
  • Make the Match - Empowered organizations as in Tips, BBBS, PIO, SOS, PF, and NWTF (and in the future, other organizations) to match DNR Certified Outdoor Mentors/volunteers with inexperienced youth/adults to provide education, hands-on outdoor skills, multiple experiences, social support and the follow-up tracking necessary to create self-sustained independent actions from mentees.

​If you would like additional information in regards to Outdoor Mentor Training to become a DNR Certified Outdoor Mentor please contact:


​                     Mark Tipler                                                            Mike "Cold Front" Kurre

                     Executive Director                                                 Mentoring Coordinator

​                     Tips Outdoors Foundation                                     Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

                     P.O. Box 796                                                         500 Lafayette Road

                     Saint Paul, MN 55045                                           Saint Paul, MN 55155

                     Email:                           Email:

                     Phone: 651-779-8216                                           Phone: 651-259-5193