Recently, I attended a thing called girls camp. Since I was in charge of the whole darn thing I got to choose the service project, and I picked tying quilts. It was a project that took several months to bring to fruition, but by the time the girls saw these child-size quilts up at camp their edges were already bound and they just needed to be tied. Nobody in my area had ever done quilt-tying for the girls camp service project so I’d had a ton of skepticism from other leaders. And even the girls when they initially got to camp didn’t look too thrilled at the quilting station.
“Tying quilts? I’ve never done that before,” a lot of them said.
“Well…consider this your opportunity to learn,” I said and handed out needles with yarn already threaded through the eye.
From that first day to the last day of camp I watched the attitudes of the girls change. Many came for their obligatory thirty minutes of work and ended up staying for hours upon hours. I was pretty confident this project would go well since I’m not the craftiest of persons, yet there is something strangely soothing about tying a quilt. And I wanted to give the girls an opportunity to learn what really is becoming a dying art, since most people just get their quilts from department stores rather than make their own.
Now, I wasn’t successful at reaching every girl. Some just flat out refused to participate. Things like that used to bother me but I’ve come to realize that another person’s attitude is not something I can control, and neither is that a reflection on how well I’m doing as a leader. My mother always said, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.” So whether or not someone is discovering new skills, or even better enjoying the processes of learning them, really falls on each individual to make that happen. Hopefully, you find yourself in the camp of trying new things as often as possible, you’ll be a better person for it.