In this episode of The Youth Mentor Podcast, we chat to Bec Coldicutt from Rebel Starseeds in Auckland, New Zealand.
It’s a big episode and we cover a lot, including Bec’s previous careers in law and as a teacher and then starting her youth mentoring business, Rebel Starseeds.
We talk about why she left the classroom, managing boundaries with mentees and anyone else involved, mentoring one-on-one with young people, and so much more!
YMP S3 Ep7 – FULL TRANSCRIPT
[00:00:00] Bec Coldicutt: So it’s a, you know, meet them where they’re at on that day. Um, I prepare based on, uh, things that we’ve talked about with the parents and with them. And then, you know, I’ll have a session plan laid out, and then if we follow it, that’s fine. If we don’t, then, um, that’s all good as well. It’s just what the kid needs on that day and yeah, so as it’s, it’s walking alongside rather than, Trying to fix any problems and I don’t give any advice unless they ask for it.
[00:00:25] Um, I always check in with them on that one cuz I always think it’s so annoying that you’re like talking to someone and they’re like, Have you done this? You should do this. And you’re like, Oh Faria, I really just need you to listen right now. Um, and I think like a lot of our teams have that problem, , especially with really well meaning loving families and you know, teachers.
[00:00:44] All the other people in their lives. So yeah, it’s a real, it’s a real cheerleader, hand holding walk beside, um, Non-judgmental space.
[00:00:53] Hello and welcome to the youth mentor podcast. This is your short burst of inspiration tips and research about teens for parents, educators, and mentors. I’m your host, Amanda Rootsey, founder of teen personal development school Shine From Within and coach to incredible youth mentors all over the world. Now I certainly don’t know it all.
[00:01:12] So I interview the experts about what’s going on for youth today. From psychological insights to really practical advice, this is your moment of inspiration, motivation, and a few laughs amidst the ever changing world of teens and tweens.
[00:01:31] Amanda Rootsey: In this episode about mentoring one-on-one, we chat to Bec Coldicutt from Rebel Star Seeds in Auckland, New Zealand. And uh, it’s a big episode. This one there was a lot of, we covered a lot of stuff. Um, so yeah, we talked about, um, Beck’s previous careers in law and as a teacher and then starting her youth mentoring business, Rebel Star Seeds. We talked about why she left the classroom, how mentoring is different to therapy and when it can be a supportive option, um, in the.
[00:01:57] Middle space or even alongside therapy, um, managing boundaries with mentees and anyone else involved, um, like, like parents are, are obviously a big part of, of doing mentoring one on one with young people. So we talked about the complications that can come up with that and, um, Yeah, that was really interesting.
[00:02:17] We talked about how she pivoted during covid and, and the good and the bad of mentoring out in nature in, um, what she called walk and talk sessions. Um, I found it really interesting that there were negatives to that too. Um, Yeah, so that was really interesting. We talked about her retreat for, for girls age 10 to 16, and the way that, that getting them away and actually getting into, um, experiences like skateboarding and surfing and, um, how those sorts of things can really anchor in the lessons and the.
[00:02:50] The teachings and, and the things that you wanna impart onto, onto young people. So yeah, she shared really generously about the different things that came up, uh, how she handled a group of mean boys at the skate park. Um, so this is a, yeah, this is really great too, that we started talking about that around the 30 minute mark.
[00:03:08] And, um, we talked about how, how you can make sure that all the kids really feel included and that clicks don’t form on retreats or. Um, and we talked about helping young people to really connect with what they need and ask for what they need. So there’s a lot in this episode, and if you are thinking about working with young people or you already work with young people, Beck shares really generously about all the parts of their business and, um, some of the challenges and some of the things that, um, work really well.
[00:03:35] So enjoy diving into this, this, uh, episode. It’s a little bit longer than, than the last one. Um, Yeah, so you might like to do it in, in a couple of, a couple of sessions too. Okay. I’ll stop rabbiting on and we’ll get into it.
[00:03:54] Welcome back to the Youth Mentor Podcast. I’m so excited to chat with you.
[00:03:56] I’m super excited. As you know, you’re one of my favorite people in the world, so I’m very honored to be on the podcast and very excited to chat today. Aw,
[00:04:03] Amanda Rootsey: yay. Same. I’m like coming from under a blanket since . We’ve had so much rain here in Queensland that I’ve had to take most of the furniture outta my office and didn’t think about the ramifications of that and the echo.
[00:04:18] So this is fun. It’s like we’re on camp under a blanket
[00:04:21] Bec Coldicutt: port. Yeah. I feel like I should join you, but then we, you know, might take me a little while behind a super blanket .
[00:04:28] Amanda Rootsey: So we’ve known each other a long time back, but, um, would you mind starting us off by telling us a little bit about Rebel Star Seeds and the incredible
[00:04:36] Bec Coldicutt: work that you do?
[00:04:38] Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. It’s 2016, which is like, you know, a little while ago, but, um, I guess basically I think of Rebel Star Seeds as being the empowerment sidekick that teen girls need right now. I think it’s, it’s funny when people ask what I do, I really fall over on. You know, Real Star Season’s a business that it doesn’t feel like that.
[00:05:01] Um, I think maybe cuz it was really born out of a real passion for supporting kids and, you know, where I came from in my career previous to this. And I guess the purpose of it is to walk with girls through adolescence cuz we know how turbulent that is. Uh, and just meet them where they are in terms of their individuality as people.
[00:05:24] I say this with complete love because I identify as one of these people, but I tend to attract the girls who are a little bit more quirky and who don’t necessarily find themselves fitting in. And I love being able to be someone that they feel they can resonate with and that you know, is got their back and is really the cheerleader.
[00:05:44] Um, You know, the other thing is there’s, there’s so many kids that are needing therapy at the moment, and I’ve found that Rebel Star Seeds sort of provides, it can be a little bit of a holding pattern for a lot of those kids, just walking with them until there’s a space for them or in compliment with, I guess, um, to therapy.
[00:06:05] I’ve had some kids who do both. Um, but it’s essentially a bunch of offerings, one to one mentoring’s my. Thing that I offer and then workshops and, uh, I did a retreat. Somehow I managed to get it in a window of time, you know, with the pandemic. Uh, so since then it’s been a little hit and miss. We’ll come back to it again.
[00:06:28] I can’t wait to run another one of those. But, uh, it’s just a bunch of things that I can offer and be of service in different ways and ways that kids need, because I don’t think, I think it would be true to say, Different kids respond to different ways of, um, being with you. You know, some really need that one to one and some need a group situation.
[00:06:51] And so I offer a bunch of things, um, to meet them where they’re at. So I hope that kind of gives you a broad idea of what it’s about. Yeah, it does.
[00:07:00] Amanda Rootsey: It, it gives an idea of yeah, the sorts of offerings that you have, but also really beautiful to hear the way that Rebel star Seeds is such a reflection of who you are and, and that you’re attracting kids that are similar to you and that resonate with you.
[00:07:15] And, um, I love that. It’s such a great reminder. I think that. Showing up in the way that we work in the world, you know, it’s okay to just show up as you and that, and that there’s enough room for us all, and that we’ll attract specific kids that that really, yeah. Resonate and need and need our specific support.
[00:07:33] That’s really beautiful to hear. And I just love, you know, I’m such a huge fan of everything that you do, over there and, And you’re in Auckland, right?
[00:07:41] Bec Coldicutt: In New Zealand. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you . Thank you. It’s nice to hear that reflected back cause. You know, it’s not, I don’t think it’s the easiest area to work in.
[00:07:52] Um, and me being who I am, I’m not great at self promotion, . So, uh, but that’s the thing people and families find me in, in strange ways, all sorts of different ways. And you’re right, it is, it’s the people that come to you are meant to be with you and for you. And, um, and it’s nice to hear that reflected back as well.
[00:08:15] Amanda Rootsey: welcome. Um, and you mentioned a previous career before at, at the beginning there. What, what did you do before you launched Rebel
[00:08:23] Bec Coldicutt: Star Seeds? Well, I had, had, did have two careers. Um, my first career was in law, so I was a lawyer for a few years. Um, but I still can’t really understand how that happens,
[00:08:37] Cause it just seems so far away from who I am and what I love and what’s important to me. But, you know, it, it was, it. Helpful, um, and shaped me and gave me a whole load of skills, which is great. Um, but I moved into teaching, which I really think of as that being a very big part of who I am. Um, and I really loved that.
[00:08:59] I was a teacher for a bunch of years and I stepped out of that. Just to focus on this really. But yeah, I just, that, that was sort of where I realized I had a real passion for working with kids in this way. What sparked in any way and
[00:09:16] Amanda Rootsey: what, what was it, why, why have you chosen to go down this path of mentoring compared to just staying in the classroom as a, as a teacher?
[00:09:24] Bec Coldicutt: It’s a really good question. I, I still ask myself that cuz I do miss teaching. I really miss those relationships. However, when I was in the classroom, I was finding. I had a lot of students who were coming to me for advice. I thought, I wonder if I’m doing the best job that I can in supporting them on a, you know, in terms of their wellbeing.
[00:09:46] And that’s when I found shame from within. Uh, and so I did the training, which was amazing, and that really lit a fire under me. And at the same time, I got a management position supporting girls in particular at the school and ran a two year program for. Which was really successful. And I just really loved that.
[00:10:05] And I thought, wow, if I could do this and reach a broader range of kids, uh, and you know, I think that would be amazing. So that’s where Rebel Star Seeds came from. I was quite lucky to be able to trial some of it, I suppose, in a, in a really nourishing school environment. And, um, At my leaving function that they put on for me, which is absolutely gorgeous.
[00:10:26] My school, um, there were a number of those girls that I’d worked with who prior to our work together, would not have, they would’ve just been horrified to be standing up there and talking. But, um, I was just reduced to tears cuz they were standing up there confidently talking about, you know, how things had been.
[00:10:45] For them and how they changed and you know, all the nice things. But, um, just was like, wow, their evolution and with their self belief and just having someone in their corner and it was, it was super, super special. And I know that this kind of work is what makes it happen, you know, And I think that’s is such a gift to be able to.
[00:11:05] To be able to give a kid. It’s
[00:11:07] Amanda Rootsey: beautiful. It sounds like you have, you had such a big impact on the students, and you mentioned that the main thing you do at the moment is one on one mentoring. Mm. And I, I love the way that you framed that too, as being someone that walks alongside the young person, um, in kind of a preventative way and, and obviously a nonclinical way, but that you found that it’s also been, um, just that in the middle space.
[00:11:34] Alongside therapy as well. And, um, while we can obviously not provide therapy or support young people with, with, um, with a lot of that staff, it sounds like you’ve found a way to kind of just be, be there with them without going beyond the limitations of what you can actually.
[00:11:57] Bec Coldicutt: Yeah, you’re spot on. It was very eloquent.
[00:12:00] Thank you . Um, that’s, that’s it. I really do make sure whenever I’m engaging with any of my new clients, that they know this is not a therapy route. Um, and what I provide is very different to that and I’m proud of that as well, uh, because it’s, we’re not trying to fix anything necessarily. We’re forward looking in.
[00:12:20] It’s very much in the moment, and what can we do going forward? Um, rather than going digging and trying to, you know, look at, look at issues and, and fix them and, um, from, you know, looking backwards, which you kind of do with therapy. And, um, I think that’s just as important actually, because, and, and unfortunately, fortunately, just interestingly, uh, a lot of kids who have gone to therapy, You know, that’s really, that can be a really challenging space to be in.
[00:12:48] You know, if you’ve been to therapy, that can be really challenging. And so having someone where they can offload, even if they’re like far out, that was really hard. And I don’t know who to talk to about this, this, and this. They’re working actively in therapy and that’s great, but they still kind of need someone, They, they still need that person that they can talk to and feel heard and, um, we’re not gonna try and troubleshoot necessarily, but, Just be there and be that, be that person.
[00:13:12] So that’s what I kind of term is walking alongside. Um, I’m not driving them. To do anything in particular? I don’t really like the method of goal creating with them because I don’t know about the school system over there, but our school system here is obsessed with goals for kids. Mm-hmm. , and they are on goal overload.
[00:13:33] So I don’t prescribe to the kind of coaching model of goal setting with them unless they want to. But I haven’t come across a kid that wants to do that with me. And so it’s a, you know, meet them where they’re at on that day. Um, I prepare based on, uh, things that we’ve talked about with the parents and with them.
[00:13:52] And then, you know, I’ll have a session plan laid out, and then if we follow it, that’s fine. If we don’t, then, um, that’s all good as well. It’s just what the kid needs on that day and yeah, so as it’s, it’s walking alongside rather than, Trying to fix any problems and I don’t give any advice unless they ask for it.
[00:14:09] Um, I always check in with them on that one cuz I always think it’s so annoying that you’re like talking to someone and they’re like, Have you done this? You should do this. And you’re like, Oh, far out. I really just need you to listen right now. Um, and I think like a lot of our teens have that problem, , especially with really well meaning loving families and you know, teachers.
[00:14:27] All the other people in their lives. So yeah, it’s a real, it’s a real cheerleader, hand holding walk beside, um, non-judgmental space. And I love that I can provide that cuz there’s not many opportunities cuz you’re in relationship with someone. They care about you. So they do wanna influence how you’re feeling, how you’re being, and not necessarily in a negative way, but you know, positively you.
[00:14:51] You know, you wanna cheer someone up, right? So, yeah, I think you should do this cuz this will be good for your career as opposed to, Oh, how are you feeling about it? You know? Mm
[00:15:00] Amanda Rootsey: hmm. So special. So special. I, I was chatting with a, um, with a psychologist yesterday actually. And, um, she mentions that, What she sees really regularly, like weekly or or every two weeks, is another young person kind of coming into their practice and, um, they’ve had issues with really well meaning adults going beyond the boundaries.
[00:15:26] Um, and she’s the example of a, of a teacher, you know, welcoming the student into their home and looking after them more and things like that, like wanting to go beyond for them and then, Pulling back, you know, because Yeah. And the impact that, that can have on, on young people, like the importance of, of boundaries and not kind of offering too much or not going too, too far beyond what’s, what’s appropriate of course, or at all beyond what’s appropriate.
[00:15:53] Um, because we’re in a position of power and because the young people don’t necessarily know that what you’ve offered is beyond what they should expect. So then they get really, obviously devastated when you
[00:16:03] Bec Coldicutt: kind of pull that. That’s such a helpful insight to share with you as the leader of showing from within.
[00:16:10] I think being able to pass that on to generations of, um, youth mentors because yeah, it’s that consistency that you have to be able to provide, um, with boundaries and helping them to see those boundaries that need to be in place with other people as well. When you, and you don’t, like even adults, we suck at boundaries, don’t we?
[00:16:29] You know, , but you’re right that it’s that, um, position of power. That you might not recognize that, you know, as an adult that you have with a young person. It’s just, it’s automatic. It’s not, you know, it’s not like something we wanna put in place. Cuz it sounds a bit wrong, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Like we have more, we have more wisdom, we’ve got more years on this planet, like, you know, um, and automatically there’s a general look up to the person who’s older sort of mentality and, um, yeah.
[00:16:57] So that’s, that’s gold. Thank you for sharing. Mm.
[00:17:01] Amanda Rootsey: Yeah, it’s, um, I wanted to, it came to mind while we were chatting because I’d love to hear how you manage that for yourself and even with, with the, with the parents or, or other kind of members that, that would be involved in a one-on-one mentoring situation.
[00:17:15] Um, and even just, you know, do you, do you text the students in between sessions? Is there like a way that you stay connected to them and how do. Yeah. How do you have those boundaries in place? How do you do that ? Mm.
[00:17:28] Bec Coldicutt: So I’m super clear in, uh, in the beginning stages we have a pretty tight contract. Um, I make sure everything’s very explicitly explained to families, both, um, parent and child, and they’ve both gotta assign the agreement.
[00:17:43] So I send emails after the session to the child, and I get permission to do that from. Everybody. Um, and I ensure that it’s, it’s session notes and everything, so there’s that level of professionalism. They know that they can expect that from me in the next 24 hours after the session. Um, sometimes I copy the parenting, but again, that’s another boundary that I make sure that you know, will that be okay?
[00:18:11] I check that with, uh, everybody first cuz there’s a confidentiality. Aspect for the child as well. Um, I also ask permission, it’s an optional extra if you want WhatsApp support. So I, you know, not many kids take me up on that. I’ve had a couple who have reached out in kind of crises moments. Um, but again, uh, I check in with the parents to make sure that that’s, that’s all right.
[00:18:36] And I, I think it’s really important to, I mean, you have got a family involved that everything is transparent and so I don’t like to be used by a parent to try and get a child over the line with something. Mm-hmm. . Um, so I’m really open about that and I’m really open with the kid that. You know, whilst absolutely things are confidential that you say if there’s something that’s gonna put you in danger or, you know, those red flag things, they will be communicated.
[00:19:03] Um, but yeah, it’s, it, it’s a, it’s a hard one to, to navigate. A lot of the times I’ve had, I’ll just be vague with it, but I did have one situation where, um, a parent was unhappy with the child’s behavior and was trying to use me to. Um, I’m just trying to find the right language, um, to make suggestions to her daughter about what, what is right and what is wrong.
[00:19:35] Um, and actually the child was acting totally as I would expect a teenager to, but it what, That wasn’t really what the, the parent felt so, I removed myself from that situation as a result and I never heard back from them after working with them a lot. And that, you know, that’s a really hard thing to do when you’ve established a relationship with the child.
[00:20:01] Um, you’ve gone through quite a lot together and you know you really love them cuz they’re amazing. So that, that felt like a real loss for me. But, um, at the same time, I knew that I needed to stand my ground, hold my professional boundaries. Make that really clear to them because Yeah, it just, it, it wasn’t right.
[00:20:20] It’s just, it’s tricky decision making. It’s not black and white and, um, you just kind of have to weigh things up and ultimately come down on the right ethical decision and, um, and think about the consequences for everybody involved. Really.
[00:20:35] Amanda Rootsey: Wow, that must have been really challenging to navigate.
[00:20:38] Bec Coldicutt: It was.
[00:20:38] It sucked. I had a lot of like soul searching moments with my best mate, . I was like, Oh gosh, am I, what are I doing here? And is this right? Have I made the right call? And um, I think in that case, if you’ve got. Someone removed. You know, obviously keeping details confidential is important, but being able to outline it with someone that you trust, um, can be really helpful to, to feedback to you.
[00:21:02] Cuz they, they look at it from an outside perspective, go, Yep, that was definitely the right call. Mm,
[00:21:06] yeah. Yep. I think people who, who don’t work with young people and it maybe just in, still in a, in a service role or in that personal development space or life coaching or something like that. Until you’re in it, you, you can’t quite understand the, the dynamics and the, and the challenges that can come with working with young people.
[00:21:26] Um, because as, as you shared so well, then there are a lot of people involved and there’s different intentions involved and, and even just getting started with the young person one on one is a bit of work, right? Like yeah. Chatting with the parent and then making sure that the child actually is interested in this and hasn’t been kind of forced to come along and what do they actually wanna work on?
[00:21:45] And all of those things. It’s. Yeah, it’s,
[00:21:49] it can be messy, . Oh, it is. Because you’ve got different interests there and sometimes they don’t align, um, in the best possible way. You know, uh, the child is exploring their rebellious side, which is a very normal kind of teenage thing to go through, and that’s okay if you can help guide them through that, you know?
[00:22:07] Um, whereas the parent wants them to be smashing it on the academics and, you know, going back to their sport that they’ve just left and all that. So you’ve got, you know, that. Very vague example. Um, and so already you have got competing interests and that, you know, on, on the flip side, I’ve had people that seem to have the same, cuz they’re all, they, everyone’s on the same page and the ultimate goal is to make the child happy.
[00:22:33] Um, but you still find obviously that you’re stepping into a space where there could. Tensions and conflicts because the communication isn’t great. Or whoever’s at home wants one thing and the child wants another. And so it’s, it’s delicate and hard to navigate, and I think you need a decent level of, um, EQ to work in this.
[00:22:55] Kind of fair cuz you’re balancing interests and you are paying really close attention to everything that’s going on and you want everyone to feel comfortable and that you’re trustworthy and that you’ve got their back and you’re not gonna just walk away from .
[00:23:09] Amanda Rootsey: Yeah. Yeah. It’s an interesting conversation.
[00:23:13] The boundary stuff, I think, um, because in the youth mentor training we have people join us from so many different countries. Oh yeah. Sometimes when this conversation comes up, um, I realized quite quickly that having boundaries in place is kind of a, a luxury or a privilege or just something that’s, that is expected or ingrained in our society and in our culture.
[00:23:36] And then in other cultures, there’s just no such thing as boundaries. And if you tried to implement them, you, it wouldn’t be acceptable to to do that. So, In one sense, we’re, we’re lucky to have that option, I think. Hey.
[00:23:48] Bec Coldicutt: Yeah. And what a, what a fascinating thing to be able to discuss and what are the things I love about shame from within the diversity and the inclusion and all that.
[00:23:57] And I think, um, how amazing to be able to learn. And because like I said, it’s a great area and you need to take so much into account when you’re talking about boundaries. And, um, but yeah, fascinating and really important thing.
[00:24:13] Amanda Rootsey: How did you go during the pandemic with your one on one mentoring? Did you have to adjust things?
[00:24:18] Like what, How did you
[00:24:19] Bec Coldicutt: make that work? No, that’s been . It was actually really eye opening. Uh, so obviously when we were in our hard lockdown, there was no meeting at all to happen. Um, but when we kind of shifted the level we were allowed to. Out outside. And so I came up with a walk and talk method and um, like within like, I think it was 12 hours or something, like five booking, suddenly everyone was back on and I was like, far out.
[00:24:48] Okay, well this is obviously needed right now cause I wondered what was going on. Um, so I ran quite a lot of sessions, um, about dual mentoring. I only got caught in the rain about twice. Was it too bad? Pretty good, pretty good when you’re in Auckland, um, . But yeah, they, they were great, but I also realized the limitations of those, and that was quite an interesting thing to, to find out.
[00:25:13] So, whilst the kids really wanted to chat, we were walking along the beach in public or we were in a forest or whatever, and the whole world is outside, right? Everybody’s walking on the beach now cuz they’re like, Yeah, we can catch up with our friends on the beach. And, um, so it didn’t have the, the privacy that they needed and they were desperate to get back indoors, which I was in.
[00:25:35] To see, uh, because they didn’t feel they had the safety to express themselves emotionally. And uh, so that was like, oh, that’s, that’s a, that was a really fun way of learning that. Uh, but I also found that I couldn’t go as deep as I wanted to cause I didn’t have my resources and, um, You know, I usually, I have a plan in front of me and everything.
[00:25:54] You can’t walk along with plan , you know, can’t go a clipboard. Each walk with your, Yeah, with your, with the clipboard. That doesn’t really fly. Um, so it is not that it wasn’t in my head, but there were just things that, you know, you like to pull out and remember and come back to. And, um, activities that I do and things that, uh, we weren’t able to access and so, You know, in the middle of a pandemic and renewing your lease, that’s another whole fun, fun experience.
[00:26:23] And, but that’s why I chose to, uh, because the kids really wanted that security. They really wanted to be back in the space and they really wanted to have, um, that privacy, which was interesting. Not surprising, but interesting. I thought maybe I could just keep going outdoors and it’d be all right. But, It seems that my people want face to face.
[00:26:46] Amanda Rootsey: They wanna be very specific. They wanna be in a room with you, with your stuff around, with your bean bags. Your dog,
[00:26:52] Bec Coldicutt: maybe The dog. That’s right. . Yeah. The dog came on like one walk and talk, but she kept pooping and I was like, This is just not right. I just have to keep some, I, I can’t focus on the dog and picking that up and talking you is just not good.
[00:27:08] So she stayed at home for those . Yep. That makes sense, .
[00:27:13] Amanda Rootsey: Yeah. Uh, that’s, um, thanks for sharing all of that because when I first heard about your walk and talk mentoring, I was like, Wow, that is such a fantastic idea, and why do we need anything more than that? So to hear the limitations of that too is really useful, I think.
[00:27:27] Bec Coldicutt: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. Oh, and it, I dunno if it’s just me or if the kids that I work with, Just really like the space and knew what it was they wanted to come back or what it is. So other people I know have great sessions online. Other people in the area do outdoor mentoring sessions and, but that’s just my experience of it, which was interesting and kind of affirming
[00:27:51] Amanda Rootsey: Yeah. Yeah. So funny, isn’t it such a good reminder that what works for some might not necessarily work for us and just going with what feels right for us, but also just checking in and seeing what the students want is is always going to. Work best. Hey.
[00:28:08] Bec Coldicutt: Yeah.
[00:28:10] Amanda Rootsey: And so, okay, so you do lots of one-on-one mentoring.
[00:28:13] You mentioned a retreat that you ran recently at the start of the, of the call. What was that like to have a bunch of kids together for a couple of
[00:28:21] Bec Coldicutt: nights? That was so great. Yeah. Was so great. It was, Man, I didn’t sleep much, but I was so pumped. . Um, yeah. What was that like? It was amazing. It was an amalgamation of everything that I’d love to.
[00:28:34] all the time for kids. Um, over a four day period. We had nine girls there, um Wow. With room for 10. So it was, it was really exciting to have a group, a real diverse group, girls all ages and, um, from all over the place and, um, different backgrounds and yeah, it was awesome actually. Um, and. I think like probably the best thing from my perspective was that we were able to give them practical experiences that allowed them to cement what we’d been talking about and experience what we’ve been talking about together as a group.
[00:29:12] And like a really good example of that. And obviously I couldn’t have planned this as it worked out, but it, it did work out pretty cool. Um, on one of the first days we did a skateboarding lesson at the local skate park, and now that was in school holidays, so you can imagine it was pretty chaka and the ratio of boys to girls was pretty out of whack.
[00:29:33] Um, and a lot of those boys that were skating were quite aggressive towards the girls. And I think only two of them. Skate experience and they were competent, but they weren’t like a lot of these boys, the boys were really pushing them around a lot, yelling things at them. And we’ve been talking about empowerment and confidence and things and um, every one of those girls.
[00:29:56] They kept going and they navigated that space so well. I was just, I was blown away that their, their level of confidence after the skate session was really high, even though they were getting, you know, verbally abused by these little rats. Um, I did, I didn’t have a few words. Um, but, you know, they just, they kept pushing.
[00:30:20] Trying, They, they felt empowered. Um, and they, they really experienced that. I think it’s, it’s easy to think that you feel empowered when there are no challenges, but in the face of that kind of challenge, they rose and they did so well. And we’re talking about girls, two of the girls are like 10. Um, so we made a little exception for them to come along.
[00:30:40] They were a bit young. They were 10 and the oldest girl would’ve been 16. So that we had a whole range. Um, They all just rose to it and nailed it. I was so proud of them. And then they followed it up with a surfing lesson the next day, which, you know, again, they nailed it. Um, and yeah, that was amazing. It’s, it’s like you can build that sense of belonging, um, and giving them experiences like that helps them to get like concrete evidence of, Yeah, this is who I am and this is what I’m capable of achieving.
[00:31:12] Uh, and I. Whilst, you know, I love running the, the day long workshops. I think you can inspire and you can give them things to think about and take away, but there’s only so much that you can help them experience in a short amount of time that will help them change their self-belief. And you know, that’s what I love about being able to do these practical activities that put them outside of their comfort zone and give them experiences that show them what challenges and show them what it is to move through it.
[00:31:40] Yeah. Wow.
[00:31:42] Amanda Rootsey: How special to kind of curate those experiences in a, in a safe container, but in a way that’s still going to stretch them.
[00:31:50] Bec Coldicutt: Yeah, totally. And the, the good thing is that you could come and debrief. So, you know, we, we did the, the skating and then on the way back in the van, I was just like, team wow.
[00:32:01] Like . Do you see what you just did there? Like, that was amazing. Do you understand how awesome you all are? Um, And just help them reflect on the fact that that was a really crappy situation to be in, and they, they just nailed it. Um, yeah. That’s cool. It’s, um, if, if anything, any mentors, any mentors have an opportunity to run a retreat or a camp, I would highly recommend it.
[00:32:27] Amanda Rootsey: Amazing. Yeah. Do you, I’m dying to know how you handled that situation. Like, did you go and talk to the boys or anything like that? Or you just stayed with, with your group?
[00:32:37] Bec Coldicutt: Oh, I was like, I got my teacher on, you know, , I’m like back off. Um, there was no, no ugly language used, but I, um, I started off going, Hey guys, can you just give these girls a bit of, a bit of space?
[00:32:53] Like that we’re, we’re in an area that, you know, you don’t need to use. It’s like kind of flat and all that. Can you just give ’em some space? And some guys, some of them were fantastic, really supportive. And then there were ones that, that just switched something on in them. They just really wanted to piss me off.
[00:33:08] So after that I was like, I just started getting a bit, um, kind of mother cat on them. And I was sort of, you know, um, I, I was blocking them and things kind of physically block them and help the girls manage that themselves. Uh, I don’t think it would’ve been appropriate for me to ignore that. Um, You know, I think we wanna teach the girls that, that it’s okay to use your voice and stand up for yourself and, um, call out inappropriate behavior.
[00:33:34] Cause some of them were, I can’t remember the names that they were calling them and things, but it was just not, it wasn’t appropriate. And the responses of the girls, some of them was just like, Stop. Or you know, pat an off flight. Don’t talk to me like that and I appreciate that. You know, that’s good. That is, that’s what we wanna hear.
[00:33:49] We don’t want them to be getting into a verbal match and putting themselves in at risk. Um, but I think it’s appropriate for them to see that it’s okay to stand your ground, that you are just as welcome in the space as they are. And, um, you know, cause. Yeah, it’s just a skate park. It shouldn’t be gendered, you know?
[00:34:07] Yeah. Uh, yeah. But yeah, that was real proud of them. But I, I started getting a little bit cross there. I thought was appropriate, . Oh
[00:34:17] Amanda Rootsey: wow. How cool. This sounds like the coolest retreat. I’m gonna go and learn how to skateboard into
[00:34:21] Bec Coldicutt: surf and, Oh, come, come with next time. I’ll definitely be writing another one.
[00:34:26] Um, when, when things are a bit more consistent, uh, And summer’s a good time for that. But you know, there’s lots of ideas in the pipeline. Like, um, we are kind of looking at a mother daughter day retreat followed up by an overnight one at the moment, uh, later in the year, which would be exciting. That’ll be a whole different thing.
[00:34:44] But I think we’ll definitely want to include those physical activities that challenge and create. But that helped that bond. Mm-hmm. . Um, yeah. So that, it’s important. It’s important to have something like that. You can’t just sit and talk the whole time. That’s dreadfully boring. ,
[00:35:00] Amanda Rootsey: is it?
[00:35:04] Bec Coldicutt: Oh, I notice when we on retreat, In some of the mentoring sessions we had like group mentoring sessions, . So they were tired, you know? Um, that’s another thing, get a phone box and all the phones come into the phone box overnight. I really should have remembered that from camp, but I was trying to be quite liberal and be like, No, if you need to phone home, that’s cool.
[00:35:25] Yeah, nah, take them off. Um, but yeah, they were pretty, pretty tired, some of them. And, uh, Discussion. Some of ’em just, they, they were checked out. So you need to choose your times and, and disperse them with things that inject a bit of energy in, you know. Yeah, yeah,
[00:35:42] Amanda Rootsey: yeah. Lots of fun. There’s so much power in them being in space together too, isn’t there?
[00:35:47] And like having those opportunities to mentor each other or, or, Yeah.
[00:35:51] Bec Coldicutt: Especially
[00:35:52] Amanda Rootsey: across such a vast age gap. I imagine that would’ve been really special.
[00:35:57] Bec Coldicutt: It was. It was very cool. Most of the girls was 13, 14. Um, and, but they all banded together and there didn’t appear to like no one was left out. Um, and.
[00:36:09] Yeah, I think they, they bonded pretty nicely as a group, uh, and they were able to share experiences. And I remember one of them saying, Oh gosh, I just thought it was just me. And as soon as you hear someone say that, you’re like, ah, That if they don’t take anything else away from this, that is, that is ideal.
[00:36:27] Like, that’s what we wanna hear, that they don’t feel like they’re alone in a very normal experience that doesn’t get discussed, you know? Yeah.
[00:36:35] Amanda Rootsey: Yeah. I remember before the retreat, you, you mentioning one thing you, you really didn’t want to happen and that you were trying really hard to make sure it didn’t happen was that, um, little clicks wouldn’t form and there would be either a student left out or even just little Yeah.
[00:36:50] These kind of little groups happening. How did that part of it
[00:36:54] Bec Coldicutt: go? Yeah, we definitely had a couple of girls form stronger friendships, um, which was interesting, but I think because we didn’t. You know, it was three, was it three nights? Three. Three nights, four days. Um, that was a good length of time. I think if we’d had longer, that could have become problematic.
[00:37:12] Um, we also had the girls who preferred to be on their own. Um, but I was lucky I had. Um, another woman supporting me and she very, an amazing teacher. Um, and she was brilliant, just like me. You are always on the lookout for a kid by themselves. Um, and so you can engage with them, bring them back, and like a lot of the time they don’t actually.
[00:37:36] You know, in that situation, they didn’t want to, they just wanted some time out, which is fair enough. But you, if you, if you’ve got a smaller number, I think, and or a good ratio of adults to kids, it helps because you can keep a tab on where they’re at, uh, who needs support, what little friendships are forming, but being really open about it, you know, we don’t do clicks here.
[00:37:57] That’s not what we’re about. And you know, the expectation is you’re here, you. To, to be, um, on side with everybody. So, you know, if there’s a niggle, let me know. There weren’t any niggles, which is fantastic. Um, but also, you know, if you see someone by themselves just check in, just say hello cuz and it’s okay cuz there’s only a small group of us.
[00:38:17] And you know, um, I think the, you know, the general icebreaker activities, which are helpful and get everyone interacting at the beginning are always really important. Um, and having time to chat in a little bit of down. in between activities, so they’re not relying on you to engage with each other. Um, there were also bunk rooms, which is helpful.
[00:38:37] So there was two bunk rooms and I had the two younger girls who were friends, um, in a separate room, and I thought that was probably, that was, that was appropriate. It, it was something I also was really aware of managing that I had these two younger girls who were going to clinging to each other, but they really stepped up and got involved and, you know, they, they were fantastic.
[00:38:56] So, You know, we’ve, we had two different groups and interestingly, the energy in those two different bunk rooms, like the kids really suited each other that were in the bunk rooms, which was lucky cause we had the, the wild crew and then we had the more mellow crew, . And so, but they, they interacted in between, you know, there was no like them versus us or anything.
[00:39:16] Um, but being really open about it, uh, checking in with the kids, um, and I. , if there is anything starting to form, just getting in there and like un just starting to undo it and making sure that if you’re gonna partner up with anybody, Okay, we’re gonna go for a different person. You just gotta tackle it early.
[00:39:37] Cause you can’t stop people from bonding and being friends. That’s fantastic. That’s part of, you can’t, I wouldn’t expect all these nine girls would’ve stayed in touch afterwards at all. Um, so we don’t want to nuke friendships, but, uh, just helping them be aware that sometimes actions that feel, um, really wonderful to them because they’re forming a new friendship might be seen as, uh, a bit hurtful or exclusive to others.
[00:40:01] Amanda Rootsey: Love that. So important. Mm. What a beautiful way to honor how everyone wanted to show up for the retreat too. And, and noticing and not forcing people that needed a bit of time out to themselves to engage in a different way or something like that. You know? I think, Yeah. Um, that can absolutely happen a lot too, right?
[00:40:20] On camps and things like that. Is, is, Yeah. This is what this is about. So, you know, we, we need you to, to be different. Um, so to, to have. Such an intimate space and, and to honor who they are and check in with them just sounds so beautiful. What a beautiful space you hold.
[00:40:39] Bec Coldicutt: Thank you. You know, I, permission is always a really important thing with pretty much everything I do.
[00:40:45] Even before I was teaching, I was doing, uh, yoga teacher training and, and things. And I remember someone. My classes as just being really permissive and as you know, I live in a body that has limitations, um, in my back and all sorts of things. Um, and so, you know, I can’t pretzels myself, , and so I, you know, I come from a space of understanding that, you know, you might feel like the odd one out and that’s, and, and to actually put yourself into a precarious situation.
[00:41:17] Cause you a bit of danger or a bit of pain and I don’t think that’s appropriate. So, um, that’s how I approach my teaching and that’s how I approach my offerings because I don’t want ’em to feel uncomfortable. I don’t want ’em to have to contort themselves into a way that, um, you know, doesn’t work for them.
[00:41:35] And yeah, it’s, I just don’t. I don’t prescribe to that. So yeah, permission I think is really, really important. If you can keep it top of mind and incorporate it.
[00:41:45] Amanda Rootsey: Yes. And it’s quite unique for young people to be given that I think it feels like quite an adult thing to be, to be asked, you know, How do you feel about that?
[00:41:55] And would you like to participate in that? I think, um, that there’s so many situations because, because of their age and because of. Different situations that they’re in where they don’t necessarily get that opportunity to, to um, tap into, oh yeah, okay, how do I feel about this? And am I comfortable
[00:42:14] Bec Coldicutt: doing that?
[00:42:16] Yeah, absolutely. It’s nice to be able to give them that, you know, self-efficacy and, um, responsibility and understanding that it’s okay to connect with what you need. Mm-hmm. and ask for what you need. Yeah. What a cool thing to
[00:42:30] Amanda Rootsey: learn as a young person.
[00:42:32] Bec Coldicutt: I agree. . Yeah.
[00:42:35] Amanda Rootsey: Uh, well, Beck, I know that we could chat forever, ,
[00:42:39] Bec Coldicutt: and have for hours and hours in, um,
[00:42:45] Amanda Rootsey: but I guess at some point I’ll have to end this episode.
[00:42:48] So where can, where can people find
[00:42:50] Bec Coldicutt: you? Uh, well I am on Instagram. Every now and then not a massive fan of social media, but I suppose that’s the first place you could find me, um, at Rebel Star Seeds and uh, on Facebook as well. And my website is www.rebelstarseeds.com. Yeah, that’s where I am. Amazing.
[00:43:13] Amanda Rootsey: And you’ve got a space and like a physical space
[00:43:15] Bec Coldicutt: in do in Aland as well?
[00:43:16] Yeah, the actual space that I actually am. Yes. In Auckland . Yeah. As opposed to cyber land. Yep.
[00:43:25] Amanda Rootsey: It’s still a thing. People actually have
[00:43:27] Bec Coldicutt: real places. . I know. I’ve even forgotten it far out. .
[00:43:32] Amanda Rootsey: Well, I thank you so much, Beck. It’s been really insightful to hear, uh, and really generous of you to, to share so much about the way that you work with young people, one on one, within retreats, how you navigate other members, family members, um, the way that you hold space on retreats.
[00:43:48] We’ve covered a lot.
[00:43:49] Bec Coldicutt: Thank you so much. Oh, thanks for, thanks for the chat. I always love chatting.
[00:43:57] Amanda Rootsey: Well, I said it was going to be a big episode, didn’t I? Um, I’d love to hear your takeaways from this episode. So if you, um, yeah, if you wanna pop over to Instagram and DM us or let us know, you can find as, as Bec said, you can find her at Rebel Star Seeds and you can find me at Shine from within hq. I’d love to, Yeah, I’d love to hear your thoughts on, on this episode.
[00:44:20] And, um, yeah. We also have a really specific class on working one on one with young people that, that Bec delivered for us during our youth mentor conference. So if you would love to watch a one hour class of Bec really sharing the specifics of how she runs her one-on-one sessions, um, how she sets them up, uh, what information she gathers from the young people and the parents, all of that kind of stuff.
[00:44:44] Um, you can head to youth-mentor-conference.com and, um, purchase the replay of, of the conference and that’ll include Bec. Um, there’s also lots of really, really wonderful sessions, um, that, that happen during that conference. Um, and, and in fact, a session with the psychologist that I, that I mentioned during this episode too, um, where we dived deeper into, into, um, boundaries, boundary violations.
[00:45:10] Getting supervision as a mentor, all sorts of things. So yeah, lots of really great stuff there at youthmentorconference.com. But we have lots of wonderful episodes coming up too. So I’ll see you in the next episode as well no doubt, thanks for being here and talk to you soon.
Mentioned in this episode:
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