Julie Sainz grew up with Girl Scouts, her own mom being her troop leader when she was younger. Involved for 21 years, she earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards. Additionally, she earned the Bronze Cross Lifesaving Award, which recognizes acts of heroism, for rescuing a friend from a strong current during a tubing trip!After earning her Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and graduating from California Polytechnic State University in 2015, she knew she wanted to get involved with Girl Scouts again, whether it be as a troop leader or a volunteer.
“I wanted to share my knowledge with the girls and give them the experience that I had when my mom was my leader. I learned so much from Girl Scouts and wanted to share that with younger girls,” Julie says. When she’s not running in a Triathlon, spending time with her husband, working as an Engineer in Training, or designing cakes, she’s planning activities for her troop.
Julie, age 27, is expecting her first child in May, and she hopes to have a daughter with the intention of sharing everything she’s learned from Girl Scouts or even become her troop leader one day. Her current troop in Santa Maria consists of 18 girls, ranging from 7-10 years old. They had their first camp-out at Julie’s family ranch, enjoy pizza and movie night sleepovers at her house, and used their cookie money from this year to take a group trip to Disneyland.
The girls have already gained a lot from their time with Julie. “They are learning how to speak up and lead at meetings. They are selling more cookies since they now have the confidence that they didn’t have before. Some are getting more involved in activities since they have had the opportunity to speak up and do what they would like.”
“There are so many things that make volunteering worth my time,” she says. “One of my favorites is that when I see my girls outside of GS events, they are always running up to me and saying hi and giving me hugs. This makes me so happy every time and makes me want to stay being a leader and commit my time to them. I enjoy being able to teach them new things that I love doing myself! They are always very interested in so many things and have a lot of questions.”
As a troop leader, Julie feels that it’s not only the girls who’ve gained incredible experiences, but she’s made a lot of memories herself. “Girl Scouts has taught me that you can do anything you put your mind to. I probably would have never thought of doing some of the activities that I did with Girl Scouts by myself. I learned that I can be open to trying new things, because it might be a lot of fun!”
If she could choose one thing for girls to take away from their experience, it would be that “You can do anything that you work towards and you can be a leader in any aspect of life!” Julie encourages everyone to consider volunteering “because it gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with younger girls who will grow and learn from you. They look up to you and to me that is all I need to keep volunteering.”
Join the network of nearly 1 million adults who share the same important commitment: preparing girls to lead successful lives. Help inspire, encourage, and guide the leaders of tomorrow by becoming a Girl Scout leader today.