Guide friends, Girl friends, Mom friends

Apr2_GuideFriendsWriting about friendship is tricky. The first time I took a crack at writing this blog post, I started writing about my daughter Karley’s transition through Brownies, with the end paragraph talking about how she made this new awesome best friend and had a great time and earned all of her Brownie badges.

Well duh. This is Girl Guides 101. Tell us something we DON’T know.

The second time I dove into Karley and Heidi’s friendship a little deeper, how they had such a great time earning all their Brownie badges and Keys together and how they’re sad to leave Brownies but are excited for Guides.

After the second time, I felt that I had written a heartfelt and genuine ode to the girls, but it was missing something. And just as I was about to text Heidi’s mom Sarah (also their Brownie leader) about what I was missing, it hit me. There are two stories here: Two little girls becoming good friends, having fun and learning new things. The second story? Their MOMS becoming good friends, having fun, and learning new things.

My time in Girl Guides as a girl was fleeting – I spent two years as a Brownie in a small village in Alberta and that was it… While Brownies quickly captured my heart, I was devastated when my parents moved  away to a town that didn’t offer Guides, so that was it, I was done. Of course, done until years later and my own daughter was old enough to join! I became a leader (Sparks!) and found that I enjoyed Guiding more than I remembered and truly loved being a part of the organization. The women that belonged to my district were (and still are!) an inspiration for me to continue.

When Karley moved into Brownies, a new Guider joined our district with her daughter – and joined Karley’s unit. Karley and Heidi were very similar, and became friends quickly, as did Sarah and I.  Sarah was in Guiding for years, right into Pathfinders, in her home province of Nova Scotia. She had the experience of growing up through Guiding that I didn’t, and had a lot of experiences that I was missing. She is a treasure of a Guider to spend time with; she’s got energy, ideas and loves to share her experiences. We can talk Guiding all day every day, much to our husbands’ delight (Ha! Ha!).

Most recently Karley and I went for a playdate and a visit to Sarah and Heidi’s house, and while the girls played outside, Sarah brought out her bin of old Girl Guide stuff to show me. We spent nearly two hours looking through old badges, program books and pins, coming up with new ideas for our own units and making plans and telling stories.

I feel so lucky to not only have my daughter find such a terrific friend in Heidi, but for me to find an equally great friend in Sarah. I would encourage any woman who was in Guiding as a girl to give it a try again as an adult leader. If you enjoyed it then, I guarantee you’ll love it as an adult.

So I am sending in a picture of our two amazing Brownies, maybe it’ll be one of those things tucked away in a bin of Girl Guide stuff for them to share with a friend, one day, 30 years from now.

By guest blogger Jodi Paulgaard. Jodi is a Sparks Guider, Brownie Camp Guider and stay at home mom in Airdrie, Alberta. Check out Jodi’s previous posts: Now my family understands why I’m a Guider; Sparks CAN snowshoe

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