While waiting in line to ride the newly reopened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Disneyland, my son asked why it had been closed for over a year. I tried to explain that the entire ride needed a new track and that engineers modernized some of the features. “You mean, IMAGINEERS don’t you, ma’am?” said the cast member taking the FastPass tickets. My son looked at him like that was a made-up word. “Imagineers are engineers who bring our imaginations to life. They are the people that design all the Disneyland attractions,” he went on to say.
I could see the wheels turning in my son’s mind. When I was a child, the only engineer that I had been exposed to where the men who designed and maintained trains. How cool would it be to get to use real engineering applications in such a creative way? My son’s two uncles are engineers. He’s seen them help build and create some cool things, but not a roller coaster.
“You know…” I said, “This is all stuff that you’ve learned at Camp Galileo.” Imagineers have mastered the Innovators mindset. “I wonder how many times the team failed and had to change their designs?” my son said. It may have been a whole summer since he’s been at Galileo, but he remembered.
Failure is not defeat. It’s just a step in the process. An opportunity to gain knowledge. A lesson in risk where sometimes the reward is success and sometimes the reward is finding out that success lies on a different path.
As my son graduates from Camp Galileo and moves up into Summer Quest this year, he’s going to be diving deeper into this mindset. As a kid who often gets caught up in the pressure of perfection, Galileo Learning’s summer camps have often provided a soft place for him to fall. Finding a camp that celebrates the process rather than the end result has made it our favorite summer camp for the last five years has been remarkable. I’ve seen a changed child.
Maybe one day he’ll be IMAGINEERING the latest and greatest ride for Disneyland. Or maybe he’ll just be a little less neurotic about perfection and a little more willing to try new ideas without worrying about failure. At Camp Galileo and Summer Quest, failure is not an option. Making a mistake is just part of the process. It’s a reason to celebrate.
Disclosure: We’ve been a part of the Galileo Learning family for many years. This series of posts is in exchange for a week of camp. I have paid, and continue to pay, for extra weeks at Camp Galileo and Summer Quest because we love the camp that much. The opinions expressed above are my own.