What is a Mentor, and what do they do?
A “Mentor” is a Ranger who is paired up with ‘Alphas” (brand new Rangers) to help determine if each Alpha is a good fit for the Firefly Rangers. Mentors should be in at least their second year of Rangering.
Logistics of an Alpha/Mentor Shift
Shifts for Alphas & Mentors are like any other shifts: a pair (or trio) of Rangers walking around the event, being sober, helpful participants. The primary difference is that the teams are likely to switch more often than usual. If possible, Alpha & Mentor pairs should switch during the shift. Khaki, KIT, or OOD might also walk with an Alpha ranger.
At the end of the shift, Mentors will meet privately with Khaki, and then with the Alpha will decide together if they all think the Alpha is a good fit for the Rangers. If everyone agrees that the Alpha is a good fit, then the Alpha is now a Firefly Ranger! If there are doubts, the Alpha may be “bonked” for this year with an explanation of why they might not be a good fit, or they may be asked to do another Alpha shift. There is an optional assessment form for guidance & documentation (below.)
What to Assess
- Preparedness for Shift (On time & sober; has appropriate clothing & equipment)
- Basic Radio Skills
- Restraint (able to “do nothing”)
- Non-authoritative Approach
- Works as a Team (with Partner & Khaki)
- Situational awareness/observational skills
- Familiar with Event Layout (Trails, major camps, etc.)
- Familiar with Event Culture
What to Do
Engage with the event & participants--HAVE FUN!
Let the alpha take the lead and use the radio.
Engage with your partner
- Communication: Talk to your partner about:
- Trigger issues
- Obstacles you have faced in the past or things you are currently working on
- Your past Ranger experiences
- What they want to get out of Rangering this year
- Be genuine, be open, enjoy Firefly together
- Reflect (as a team when possible) about things you see, think, and do
- Being open to learning about your partner. Remember that every relationship is a negotiated space.
- Encourage your partner to ask questions because that’s how we all learn. There are no stupid questions.
- Having your partner’s back
- Be aware of fatigue and hydration levels, and take the initiative for rest & hydration
- Keep each other safe- that means you are both clued in to your environment
When giving feedback, make sure that your guidance follows “SAFE-T”:
- Specific – is it clear what the feedback is about?
- Actionable – is it something the person can actually change?
- Factual – is it objectively true?
- Empathetic – is it given with the best of intentions to help, not hurt?
- Timely – is it soon enough after the incident that it’s relevant? Is the timing appropriate to ensure the receiver is in a mental space to accept the gift?
Feedback should be about something that the receiver can change, delivered with careful thought (how would I want to hear this?), and given soon enough that it is relevant.
A template for delivering feedback is:
- This is what I observed
- This is how it made me feel or the impact that it had on the situation
- This is what I’d suggest to do differently in the future
Speak straight. In many cases, following negative feedback with something positive can be a wonderful thing. On the other hand, don’t delay giving the negative feedback while you look for something positive to say.
ALPHA ASSESSMENT FORM
Alpha:_________________ Mentor(s) : _________________________
Date: _____________ Shift: _____________ Khaki(s): _______________________
|Prepared for Shift (On time & sober; has appropriate clothing & equipment.)|
|Yes||No||N/A||Basic Radio Skills|
|Yes||No||N/A||Helpfulness / friendliness with participants|
|Yes||No||N/A||Restraint (able to “do nothing”)|
|Yes||No||N/A||Works as a Team (with Partner & Khaki)|
|Yes||No||N/A||Situational awareness/observational skills|
|Yes||No||N/A||Familiar with Event Layout (Trails, major camps, etc.)|
|Yes||No||N/A||Familiar with Event Culture|
Pass to Ranger? Yes No