Big ‘mistakes’ make good memories

Feb11_MistakesShortcutRainyCampEver notice that when people start telling stories about their Guiding memories that there are a lot of tales of that time when something went wrong? Mine’s the time when I was at Guide camp and it rained so hard we were flooded out from our tents and had to sleep in the picnic shelter. For a Spark I know, it’s the time that the Guides made cookies for a party and got the recipe terribly wrong, resulting in very salty cookies. Oh, and several of my Brownies won’t let me forget that time we told them we were serving apple juice for lunch but got the container wrong and had half of them drink unsweetened sumac juice.

The time the Guides went on a hike and got “lost,” showing up 45 minutes late for lunch. The time it didn’t stop raining all weekend. The leaky tents. And just a couple of weeks ago, the mug cakes that we tested at home with great results but that still came out rock hard at our meeting. I bet I will be hearing about those for a while. I can’t say I hear as many stories about the camps when the weather was perfect (it happened…once.). Or the crafts that turn out perfectly.

To be clear, in these cases, no one was hurt. And even though in every case something went wrong, these aren’t bad memories. They are stories that we laugh about now, and that even bring us a little closer together. I think these “fail” moments are so memorable because they challenge us. They are the times when we have had to be resilient. Resourceful. Maybe a little more brave than we thought we could be.

A challenge from the outside brings a group together. And those mistakes might show a younger girl that just because you’re older it doesn’t mean you know how to do everything. And besides, those bad moments—in hindsight, of course—really ARE funny. Like the time the squirrel got into the lodge. Or that time when a couple of Brownies kept onions in their pockets for an entire weekend. Ah, good memories from “bad” times!

What do you remember most? Why do you think those bad moments are such fond memories later on?

Guest post by Kathryn Lyons, with the 12th Ottawa Guiding Group, Sandy Hill, Ottawa. Check out her previous posts: Small actions for inclusion; Managing Friend DramaSustainable crafting: Or, what can we do with all of that leftover fleece?;  How do you organize all your Guiding stuff? A Billion Brownies; Watching Girl Greatness

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