Tonight I attended the end-of-year reception for the Creative Mentoring Program in Brown County. This is the 10th year for the program, the brainchild of Beth Mathers, that matches local artists and artisans with junior and senior high school students with a passion for learning.

I was asked mid-school year if I would be willing to be a mentor and I jumped at the opportunity. Most of the mentors had been working with their students since September, so we had only half the time that most of the other groups had in which to learn.

I was blessed with two wonderful mentoring students, Celine and Katelyn, and a third, Stacie, a friend of Celine’s who was interested in photography but didn’t formally join the program.

We jumped right in with all the exciting stuff they needed to know: Shutter speeds, f/stops, ISO, depth-of-field, composition, and more. But they clung on to every word I spoke. I was amazed!

When the weather finally was nice enough that we could get outside, I turned the three of them loose with Nikon DSLRs that they never dreamed they would ever learn to use. They took right to the cameras, however, and showed me that they had, in fact, been listening to what I was trying to teach them.

It was fun to watch them work as we walked around Nashville each week. Each of the three had a very unique vision and I enjoyed learning from them as much as they said they did from me.

It’s unfortunate that tonight was the last night for this year’s program, but I’m excited that all three of my kids want to continue learning from me. So for as long as they’re around town this summer, we’re going to keep meeting once a week. I’m thrilled!

I encourage everyone, no matter what your craft or skill, to take some time out of your life each week and pass along some of your knowledge to the younger generation. It’s an amazingly rewarding opportunity.