Mentor Program

Helen Fischel at the 2015 Summit

"Working with (my Mentor) has been invaluable and incredibly constructive. We have had three great sessions that have already directly benefited our programs and organization. Thank you so much for this mentorship program, it's just the best!"- ANCA Mentee

The ANCA Mentor Program fosters partnerships and collaboration by connecting those members who are facing challenges with an experienced nature center administrator. This is a unique service to the nature and environmental learning center profession and is a benefit of ANCA membership.

As a mentee, you will be paired with a mentor whose skills match your needs. You will be introduced and from there will grow your own unique relationship. See our Mentor Introduction document for more information.

How to Join the Program

Step 1: Fill out the Mentor Program Form

Step 2: Wait for an ANCA staff member to contact you (may take 1-2 weeks)

Step 3: Make first contact with your Mentor/Mentee. Use this form to develop your Mentor Plan.

Step 4: Check out some of the resources we have to offer below to help you during different stages of your mentorship.

First Three Months:

3-6 Months:

6+ Months:

*For more resources on Mentorships, check out the Mentoring Toolbox


Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I have questions or concerns about my Mentor/Mentee pairing, who should I contact?
If you have any concerns or questions about your Mentor/Mentee pairing contact us

2. When will I be notified of my Mentor/Mentee pairing?
After you complete the Mentor Program Form, and have been contacted by an ANCA staff member, we will get to work finding you a Mentor/Mentee match. Depending on the time of year and your challenges or skills it could take up to a month before we are able to find the best pairing for you. 

3. How long does the mentorship last?
This will depend on the Mentor/Mentee pairing. Some pairings will last through a career, while other pairings only work for one issue or challenge during a career. If there is any question about whether or not it is time to end a mentorship, we recommend you read this document

4. Are my expectations of my Mentor realistic?
Expect your Mentor to listen and give you honest feedback, but do not expect them to have answers to every question. You will work with your Mentor to prioritize and focus on what is most important and realistic for both of you to accomplish in the next 6 months. It will be important to stay focused on these priorities and not burn yourself, or your Mentor, out.

5. Why should I become a Mentor?
"It is mind boggling for me to admit that since 1996 I’ve been a mentor. Why me? Because I love what I do and feel we can all make a difference in our community. Am I intimidated? No, I have strengths and areas that are still being developed just like the rest of you. What do I gain? Knowledge about a different organization and their successes and challenges. The hopes and dreams of someone who wants to be their best self and grow. A pulse on  what’s going on out there. Finally and maybe most importantly a new friend. Think about what you do every day. For me the relationships that I have contribute to the person I am. Have no fear. Reach out and make a friend. Help someone grown breath, find success"- Helen Fischel, Director of Education and Organizational Development, Delaware Nature Society