I had a bit of nostalgia take hold of me this week.

You can read more about this awesome time with the folks at Pioneer Camp Manitoba (as well as a few others) here: Great Learning and Growing Experiences! – Lead Freely

There is nothing quite like a good memory finding its way forward in time, to remind you of someone or something special that you had the good fortune of being part of your story.

As I left the coffee area at The Forks I recalled having the conversation, the coffee, the topic, and an amazing group of people to discuss, all connected there and around the same time of year. It was great hearing the positive feedback from the good folks at InterVarsity/Pioneer Camps about a series of workshops we did for his staff a few years ago. The fact that it brought such clarity to his crew, led them to a new place in their understanding of working together, and was something to consider again…Awesome!

I entered into the world of Lead Freely with this in mind. Helping people to work together. To understand themselves with greater clarity. To find new ways to go forward with purpose. And most it, discussed over a cup of coffee! (Click here to check out the potential grant you could receive for workshops!)

As I left our meeting I considered a few things that I have found true in all coaching/mentoring/growing moments I have encountered. And as I enter into another season of coaching and developmental workshops, I revisit that list, which is also included in my Mentoring Youth manual.

I call these the ‘5 starting blocks’ for a mentoring relationship, but you can put them into any space in which you want to work and grow together:


There needs to be an expressed desire to step into a relationship where you might be challenged. If there is no want, there is no space to grow.


I call this the land of good intentions. We must make time to be part of a relationship for growth. Otherwise it becomes either a leisure activity or a nuisance.

Shared Experience

This is the stuff of memories! When I look back at some of the best learning and growing experiences I realize the context, the people, the way we organized, all played into the growth. It was an experience with others that we could all relate to and come back to in the future.


A sense of openness could be mentioned earlier, but in many ways this is the most difficult to create for another. It can be modelled, lived, and requested, but it is up to everyone in the room to be so. Transparency allows us to live in each others’ space.

A Point of Arrival

Where are we going? It may be fuzzy, it may be really generalized to start, but we refine as we go together. If all those other things are in place. But we all want to know where this arrangement is heading.

So, what about you? Are you on a journey like I described above? Or can you recall moments that shaped you and stuck with you for the years ahead?

Keep learning, keep growing!

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