What do rock climbing and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have in common?

Those are just two of the activities girls and their mothers or guardians completed as part of a multi-workshop project funded by The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region.

The workshops, titled “Bond Strengthening Between Girls and Their Mothers,” is a collaborative project of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region, Bank of America, and the Sage Colleges.

The collaborating partners believe the mother (guardian)/ daughter relationship is important for girls’ healthy development because these adults are influential role models for their daughters. Girls learning together with their mother or guardian increases the impact of learning, reinforces the skills and knowledge gained, and strengthens their relationships.

Participants said they enjoyed the workshops. One busy mother of three said she doesn’t get much one-on-one time with her daughter during “daily living,” and truly appreciated the bonding time the workshops afforded them.

The project included three workshops: “Money Talks,” “Reaching Together” and “Adventure.” Each free workshop, which lasted about five hours, was open to adult/ daughter teams from Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga counties.

Money Talks! is a financial literacy workshop, designed to enhance communication and listening skills between girls and their mothers/guardians. Topics included saving, investing, and goal setting.

Reaching Together focused on the challenges and opportunities for girls growing into young womanhood. The workshop emphasized the skills needed to make good decisions about their lives and the external resources available to them. The workshop also helped girls dismantle negative thinking patterns about themselves and their futures.

Adventure sought to assist girls and their mothers/guardians strengthen their leadership skills, build confidence, improve their goal setting and problem solving capabilities, and enhance their creativity and teamwork skills. The workshop included group activities — including rock climbing — designed to build mutual trust and strengthen the bond between each member of the two-member teams.

The photo above shows a mother/daughter team practicing communication skills at one of the workshops by verbally telling the other how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ... and have some fun in the process.