Mistakes can be blessings

I was having an email exchange with an ACA member this week-end about learning and education. It was noted that it was important to find people who had, in fact, made mistakes and had learned from those mistakes because they would already be 3 steps ahead of the beginner. Not a failure but an advantage. We realized the camp community does that for campers. Maybe we are not so much an educational institution but maybe even more importantly we create a learning culture - a community where teaching and learning comes from everyone. Kirsten Olson the author of Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and STanding Up to Old School Culture has done some interesting writing about the culture of learning. She talks about encouraging reflection, innovation, and even mistakes. Those opportunities are abundant at camp. We, as professionals, should afford the same from one another - acknowledge screw ups and instead of blaming collaborate on lessons learned and identifying new solutions. If we would dare to do so we might find we are 3 steps ahead of the next guy.