Girl Guides isn’t just for young girls, as mum and daughter duo discovered when Grace Jarvis now 17, enrolled in her local Girl Guides Unit 10 years ago. Instead of just drop-offs and pick-ups, mum Helen Jarvis became a Leader of the Unit and hasn’t looked back.
The connection that Helen enjoys with her daughter Grace has a lot to do with the shared understanding and language they have developed through Guiding.
Helen and Grace have navigated the distinction between their relationship as mother and daughter and guiding colleagues, by using the mentoring approaches taught at Girl Guides.
“I don’t provide answers, just a thought process that encourages Grace to take the initiative and come up with a pathway for herself,” explains Helen.
Helen says this shared language and approach has been one of the largest benefits of being a part of her daughter’s Guiding experience.
“It’s not the doing it together all the time that’s the lovely thing, it’s the common language, shared experience and interest which is great. It is one thing to hear about the stories, and another to be there sharing them.”
Their relationship and Guiding experience continue to strengthen with Grace now being a Leader alongside her mum. Grace has developed a new appreciation for the hard work her mum has put into leading their Unit over the years. Grace admits: “We make a pretty good team”.
Grace has not only experienced great personal growth during her time at Guides she has also been able to see her mum from other people’s perspectives which she is grateful for.
“She took on a female role-model position in my life where she was my teacher and my guide through this incredible journey.
“So, when people ask me who is your biggest role model, it doesn’t feel weird to say, ‘my mum’ – because in all aspects she is.”
The Jarvis family could not be prouder to be a part of the Guiding community appreciating the confidence and strength it has provided them as a family unit. Grace’s younger sister, Amy also joined Guides and has enjoyed building the same bond with her mum.
Grace says it best when explaining why this dynamic works so well in the Guiding community: “At Guides, we are an absolute sisterhood and have an underlying acceptance of each other. So, no matter who you are, you’re automatically going to be accepted whole-heartedly into this environment of pure joy, fun and learning.”
Source: Girl Guides NSW & ACT