G.I.R.L.s recruit G.I.R.L.s. That was definitely the case with Doral Girl Scout volunteer, Ana Carolina Piernavieja.
“I had a great friend who, for one year was very persistent that I learn about Girl Scouts.” Eventually, Ana Carolina took her two daughters to a meeting and all three of them were immediately hooked.
When the troop’s leader stepped out of the role, Ana Carolina stepped up. Her passion for what Girl Scouts provides was already cemented, and she wanted to continue to empower the girls to learn and grow. “The way I am, once I get into something, I jump in 100%,” she says.
What inspires Ana Carolina to remain involved as a Girl Scout Leader
I ask kids, ‘what are you doing here?’ and they tell me ‘I like helping people’ and they mean it. It’s so transparent that it’s from the bottom of their heart. Sometimes I ask myself what am I doing here, and I always know it’s because we are planting the seeds to help them bloom into the leaders they will become. I need them and I think they need me. It’s an extended family, it really is.
Ana Carolina’s welcoming attitude knows no bounds either. “We always take people. No matter what time of the year it is, we always welcome people. That moment that people want to jump in is the moment,” she says.
Ana Carolina’s favorite thing about being a Girl Scout Leader
You can enjoy things and see things in the way that kids see it. You amaze yourself with an activity or something and to me, that’s really inspiring.
On creating experiences for Girl Scouts
I love planning. It’s easy to and it makes me happy. I sit on my own and have a vision of the girls working on an activity. My thing is community service. Sometimes parents don’t see it - but every activity that we plan is team building, non-competitive and community service oriented. You provide the platform for them to grow and practice their leadership skills by taking action. You listen to their ideas. The whole purpose to set a safe, non-competitive environment for them to shine and be the future.
On getting girls outside
Camping is one of those amazing experiences, and I didn’t get that experience growing up. I believe it’s important to open their eyes to see that the best things in life are free. You don’t have to pay to see a sunset or swimming. I have an attachment to nature and we see it every day, but we don’t always appreciate it.
Advice for women considering becoming a Girl Scout Volunteer
You have to be brave enough to take your mistakes. People are so afraid to make mistakes that they don’t give themselves a chance. There’s always a way to fix things and improve things in a nice and loving environment. I have so many volunteers with great talents and my job is to help them make their talents shine.