Rotary made me feel right at home in Scotland

Ally Vincent, center, with her Scottish hosts.

Ally Vincent, center, with her Scottish hosts.

By Ally Vincent

Although I am just 23, I already have nine years’ experience with Rotary. I joined the Interact Club at Crystal River High School in Florida when I was 14. When I began pursuing an undergraduate degree at Saint Leo University, I felt a bit lost, and I missed the connection I had to Rotary. So I became involved in chartering a Rotaract Club on campus, eventually becoming club president in 2013-14. I saw Rotary’s good work both on a local and international scale through projects we worked on with the Rotary Club of Belize Sunrise, in Belize, and the Rotaract Club of Islamabad Green City, in Punjab, Pakistan. Continue reading

Rotary Day of Dialogue – Initiating Change

The unique design of the Wosk Centre encourages dialogue and interaction.

The unique design of the Wosk Centre encourages dialogue and interaction.

By Chris Offer

I have had the opportunity to help design an imaginative Rotary event. The Rotary Day of Dialogue in Vancouver, British Columbia, on 21 November, will give voice to Rotary members’ ideas on how to transform Rotary.

John Anderson, governor of District 5040 (British Columbia) conceived the idea as an opportunity for Continue reading

Summit in California unites young professionals

Participants in the young professional summit held in Berkeley, California, USA.

Participants in the young professional summit held in Berkeley, California, USA.

By Katie Coard

This summer in Berkeley, California, I joined a group of Rotary young professionals and district leaders from the western United States and Canada at a summit to discuss the future of Rotary. Reflecting one of Rotary’s strengths, this event brought together many diverse perspectives to focus on what younger Rotarians are looking for in Rotary.

I’ve been a part of the Rotary family since joining Rotaract in 2010, and it has changed my life in many ways. I am a founder and co-president of a provisional Rotary club in my hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Rotary taught me how to lead, engage, and manage groups of people, projects, and events. These are skills I use in my daily work. Continue reading

What keeps me in Rotary: capturing good through the lens of my camera

Hannington Sebuliba works on an issue of his club’s bulletin.

Hannington Sebuliba works on an issue of his club’s bulletin.

By Hannington Sebuliba, Rotary Club of Kajjansi, Uganda

I joined Rotary in 2010 after spending five years covering Rotary events for our local newspaper. I used to see the way Rotary members were serving the disadvantaged in our community, and it left a mark on my heart.

One day, Rotarian Charles Baganja asked me to give a talk at the Rotary Club of Kajjansi, Uganda, on newspaper production, and I accepted the invite. After the talk, members of the club asked me to Continue reading

Friendship and networking: That’s why I stay in Rotary

Chris Offer, middle, during a recent service project for Rotary.

Chris Offer, middle, in Kassala, Sudan, representing Rotary on a World Health Organization polio surveillance project. 

By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

One of the difficult decisions I made recently was to change Rotary clubs. I had moved from the city of Vancouver to the suburb of Ladner. I had continued commuting for a few years, 45 minutes each way, to my Rotary meeting. When I finally decided to join a club only 10 minutes from my home, I left friends of many years behind and was introduced to new friends. The network of friends in my old club and the new friends in my current club are why I stay in Rotary.

My network of Rotary friends goes far beyond my Rotary club. I have made Rotary friends from many countries. Rotary has taken me to every corner of the world. Rotary conventions and opportunities for volunteer service have extended my network of friends from Sudan to Russia to India to Australia. Social media keeps me connected to this extended network of Rotary friends. Continue reading

The elephant in Rotary’s living room

Rotarian Bill Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker provide students with practical information about preparing for the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program.

Rotarian Bib Grazio and District 7750 Past District Governor Bruce Baker give students practical information about the working world during a recent Junior Achievement program. Some clubs count participation in a service project toward attendance.

By Terry R. Weaver, governor of District 7750 (South Carolina, USA)

In my travels as a newly fielded district governor, I’ve run into a misperception that several clubs have told me is getting in the way of membership growth.

The elephant in the living room? ATTENDANCE.

Let’s step back. Several years ago, Rotary’s Council on Legislation declared that almost ANY legitimate Rotary activity qualifies as a make-up. This includes not Continue reading

Are you a Rotary superhero?

Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity.

Evan Burrell reveals his “superhero” Rotary identity.

By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

I’m sure that, as a child, you had a favorite superhero. Maybe it was Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman or even Spiderman, weaving webs or leaping tall buildings in a single bound to help those in need.

Now that we’re older, we know all too well that that sort of superhero is hard to find. But do you know the easiest place to find modern-day superheroes? Your local Rotary club! And they don’t even hide behind a secret identity. Continue reading

Building connections with young professionals

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with David Knight, a member of the Rotaract Club of Birmingham, during a recent meeting.

Bobby Keith, a member of the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, chats with Rotaractor David Knight during a recent meeting.

By Jeris Gaston, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA

At the recent Rotary International Convention in São Paulo, Brazil, there were several breakout sessions geared toward the next generation of Rotarians. The one that stood out the most for me was “thirtysomething: How Clubs/Districts Can Provide Rotary Experiences for Young Professionals,” moderated by John Smola, a past president of my club, and Christa Papavasiliou, of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Continue reading

Building community and developing leaders at a unique changeover event

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards participants take part in an outdoor challenge course designed to teach leadership and problem-solving. Photo courtesy District 7780

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards participants take part in an outdoor challenge course designed to teach leadership and problem-solving. Photo courtesy District 7780

By Sheila Rollins, governor of District 7780, parts of Maine and New Hampshire, USA

Changeover ceremonies, in which Rotary leaders transition to their new positions, are often formal events. I knew I wanted our district’s ceremony to be different. I wanted an event that would positively reflect the ideals of Rotary, that would be family-oriented and cost-conscious, and that would not take place in a hotel ballroom. I considered combining the district changeover with a service project, but I decided to create something even more unique: I planned the changeover to coincide with our annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). Continue reading

Happy New Rotary Year!

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor to this blog

It’s another new Rotary year, and with it come more decisions, responsibilities, and — more important — some inspiration.

A new Rotary year is a great time to make a fresh start. So how do you get off to a good start? That’s a question many Rotary members ask themselves when 1 July rolls around. Some dive straight in and make a big SPLASH! Others ease into it a little more gently. Continue reading