Summertime Skill Share

Mentoring and apprenticeships used to be a common method for teaching people new skills. They might go by different names now but they are never out of style. Do you realize that family and friends are custom designed for skill sharing? What does this have to do with memories? Tons—many of our most memorable moments happen while learning to do something.

Here’s a quick list of things I’ve learned via this method:

♦Hiking—of course the how-to’s of packing everything you need for a week. But more than that, pulling up the grit  and determination to keep going.

♦Building a fire—super important life-skill. Whether or not you ever go camping or have a fireplace. In the zombie apocalypse you’re going to wish you knew how to do this!

♦Horseback riding and training—learning grace and patient firmness with a 1000 pound animal. How to think like a  horse—the attention span of a 3 year old in an animal hard-wired to flee at danger

♦Making a quilt–basically making something out of scraps. You can use your quilt if you did not learn the building  a fire skill above

♦Shooting—why it is important to keep the scope away from your eye when pulling the trigger. Keep yer eyes open when you aim!

♦Fishing—the proper application of salmon eggs, how to twitch a lure, how to land the hook where you mean to, not    in the brush. How to prepare said fish for eating.

♦Photography—look for beauty, how to compose a photo

♦Writing—the power and aptness of a carefully chosen set of letters

♦Cooking—not just the basics but the desire to try new things

♦Tying my shoes—Ha, just seeing if you’re paying attention. But true! I was taught by a left-handed aunt and my      method is a bit unique to this day

♦Building a wall—yeah, sorry for knocking it down Dad, but thank you for teaching me basic masonry skills, and how   to handle a crisis with grace!

♦Making jam and bread—skipping college classes for a day with my best friend to teach ourselves a life skill

♦Babies and Children—proper care and feeding, how to calm a fussy one. How to love well.


Try making your own list and jot a note beside each item of the memory it prompts.


One of my college professors posted a quote on her door that gave a brief rundown of life skills every person should learn. I’ve always remembered the life philosophy behind this but can’t for the life of me find the old quote. Training your memory was probably one of those life skills! If anyone recalls something like this, let me know. In the meantime,  check out this great resource– The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do


You don’t have to be an expert. Just try. Adding a new skill will make you more interesting, you’ll strengthen relationships and stretch your brain synapses. It’s said that learning new things keeps you young and it definitely keeps you from being bored or boring.


What new skill are you going to learn or teach this summer? Share this inspiration with your friends and family to start –or continue—some great mentoring relationships.

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    Karen Ray

    Address: 331 Bristol Avenue, Las Cruces, NM, 88001

    Phone: 575-323-1048