The Group: Stillwater (N.J.) Township School PTA

The Setting: A free after-school car wash for faculty and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week.

The Idea: PTA parents, the student council, and several Scout troops would do the dirty work. Teachers loved the idea and the kids couldn’t wait to get wet, recalls PTA president Colleen Perigo.

What Went Wrong: The car wash was rained out, so leaders rescheduled for the following week.

What Happened Next: Although the new date began with the sun shining, it was pouring by the afternoon. The PTA rescheduled the event again. “That day came, and around 2:30, a thunderstorm hit,” Perigo recalls.

The Outcome: Each time the car wash was rained out, PTA leaders had to call parents to see if students could ride the bus home or would be picked up at school. “We decided that this idea was causing too much rain and dropped the whole thing,” Perigo says.

Brainstorms Are Better: “It may have been a great idea,...but it just was not working,” Perigo says. “We will try for a new idea this year—something that doesn’t have anything to do with the weather!”

Oops! Every group has a story of a good idea gone bad. Share yours at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..