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Waiting for a Mentor: Help Backus boy fish, build, explore

The hallways in our local schools are quiet now. Vacation is here and many kids look forward to days filled with summer programs, family trips and hanging out with friends.

But for ninth-grader Thomas of rural Backus, this time of year means separation from classmates, his school and activities to fill his hours of free time. Thomas and his family live many miles from town and with mom's work schedule, he will spend most days at home plugged into video games.

It is not that Thomas doesn't have interests. He likes to read, tend to the farm animals and do wood working. He wants to learn more about operating and repairing diesel equipment. Perhaps he could also find a way to build his own go-kart. Thomas would enjoy going fishing, four-wheeling or paddling a kayak.

He likes attending school and maintained a straight A average this year. Algebra and studying military history were favorite subjects. His counselor at school hopes that Thomas can acquire people skills to go along with his strong academic skills. Thomas is interested in finding a man who might have an aptitude in mechanics and farming or a family with kids his age to mentor him.

Summer is the perfect time to consider mentoring a child. Thomas is at a critical stage in his development and being exposed to new, enriching activities will help him charter his future career path. Can you offer him a few hours each week to fish, build and explore? Could you help expand his world to beyond his front door?

Kinship Partners serves families in Crow Wing and southern Cass counties and the Staples/Motley area by providing positive role models to youth ages 5 to 14. Offices are in Pequot Lakes, Brainerd, Crosby and Staples. Call 218-454-8016 or visit for more information.