Trailhead Information for Home Mentors
We ask each Trailhead participant to identify an adult “home mentor” from his or her sending community (typically a church, school, or other ministry organization). This is a relatively small role, but an important one.
Continuing to Explore
When they're with us on campus, Trailhead participants encounter engaging people and challenging ideas. They might come to think about their lives, and the lives of others, in new ways. They might come to see how their faith can be relevant to pressing problems in our world. But if these encounters bear fruit, it won't be with us, during a week on campus--it will be at home, in the day-to-day activities, relationships, and decisions of their ordinary lives. Trailhead's home mentor program is one of the ways students can keep exploring in their own context, continuing conversations and listening for God's call.
A home mentor can serve as:
- A consistent conversation partner, helping a student extend his or her journey of exploration and formation;
- A voice for a student's church family, connecting a student's story to larger stories of faith in community;
- A guide to new opportunities, facilitating service and leadership in a student's home context;
- A sympathetic listener as a student shares the hopes, plans, and challenges of young adulthood.
The Mentor's Role
Studies of religious belief among young people have shown that intergenerational relationships are vital for encouraging faith commitment in college and beyond. The home mentor's basic role is to build and sustain relationship, to be a point of connection with "adult" Christian life. In practice, we recommend:
- Meeting with your student at least five times in the year following their summer experience at Westmont.
- Staying engaged in the content of the Trailhead program. We'll supply some resources for this (short readings, podcasts, videos, and other relevant material) in our bimonthly Conversations on the Path email publication.
- Helping your student engage opportunities for ministry and service. As students listen for the ways God is prompting them, you might be able to suggest avenues for practical action.
Home Mentor Selection and Orientation
- Students, parents, pastors, and teachers can work together to identify a suitable home mentor.
- Home mentors can be drawn from existing discipleship programs (small groups or confirmation class, for example, or pastoral staff), but could be any responsible adult who can perform the role described above. We typically discourage family members from serving as mentors.
- We'll hold an orientation session for home mentors over Zoom (date/time TBA).