|Br. Lucio Boccacci LC (front) and Br. Manuel Reyes LC (left) with boys and a dad chaperone at a Conquest Day Camp in Texas in 2011.|
This article, excerpted from the Youth2Change blog by Br.
Lucio Boccacci LC, explains how to make a “mentoring guidesheet.”
(Click here for the article.)
What is a mentoring guidesheet?
mentoring guidesheet is a one-page, theme-centered, creative questionnaire that teens
first fill out, and is subsequently used to guide their
conversation in one-on-one mentoring or group discussions.
Why use mentoring guidesheets?
help teens think and speak about specific themes more systematically.
These also provide adult mentors concrete insights on the teens´
lives and convictions, as well as provide a guide for
personal conversation or group discussions.
How can these be used?
can be used for these general purposes:
- 1-on-1 mentoring
- small group discussions
should these be filled out?
It´s totally up to the leader!
Teens can fill them out in the chapel, or in
their own seats. They can fill them out in the
morning to prepare the day´s theme, or in the evening
to close it, depending on the goal of the event.
They can fill them out individually (recommended), or as part
of a group. They can be filled out at home,
during CCD class, at school during Religion class, et cetera!
you have any examples?
Yes! Click on these links below to
download sample guidesheets:
For a specific example of
how I used these during a summer camp, can click
on this article link: A New & Effective Tool
for Mentoring Teens
How can I make my own?
It´s not easy,
but practice and feedback from others help! Follow the steps
- Pick the themes. These should follow the themes of the
camp, retreat, youth group, etc.
- Understand your theme! Brainstorm a bit
to come up with ideas, possible questions, important points…
- Pick between
5 to 7 different question formats to convey your theme.
your first draft! Combine your brainstorm results with the question
formats. Make sure the questions are personalized, addressed to the
- Get some feedback from other adults and make modifications.
- Try them
out, and then make any more modifications based on teens´
What are the question formats?
(Remember you´ll have to adjust these
to suit the particulars of your theme.)
Some of these are
a matter of choosing from a list:
- Multiple choice:
or several, from a list of multiple choice answers.
- Difficult situation:
How would you respond to this difficult situation? (i.e. author
describes the difficult situation, and the teen circles from among
- Yes or No:
Write yes/no (or maybe) if the
following statements describe you.
- True or False:
Regarding the theme, state
if the following are true or false.
- Agree or disagree:
you agree or disagree with the following statements?
- Three words:
three words describe this theme for you?
- Circle two:
of the following words that describe you (or this theme)
is more true:
Which of these two statements is more
- Intensity line:
Place an X on where best fits you.
(example: left “close to God”; right: “far from God”)
writing down a response:
What does this theme mean to
- Open answer:
How would you describe this theme to another
- Open question:
What other questions do you have about this
- Jesus´ answer:
What does Jesus say about this theme in
- Scripture passage:
Find this passage in the Bible; in
your words write down what it says.
- Church´s teaching:
the Church teach about this, and why?
Any other advice?
- Remember, these
are a tool to help you, not to replace you.
Feel free to jump ship if they are not working
for your group or for your style. Generally teens like
to learn and speak about themselves, but don´t force the
issue if some teens don´t want to use them.
- Keep in
mind these do not substitute for your knowledge of the
themes covered. In fact, they may challenge your own understanding!
Make sure to do your homework!
- Be very positive. Congratulate them
if they chose a wise answer, and gently correct them
if they didn´t.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten the teens,
and in turn, to enlighten you as you lead a
- Ask them why they chose their answers. This will reveal
convictions that may spark new conversations. Let them speak as
much as they feel they need to. The guidesheet will
then help you return to the theme.
- As they speak, ask
questions that bring them to a practical resolution, or change
of behavior/attitude, such as, “So what do you think you
could do differently?” Avoid making practical decisions for them. If
needed, offer them some examples.
- Before you end, ask them if
they´ve learned something new or not, or if they have
any other questions.