The long awaited boat ride on the paddle wheeler left us high and dry. Due to the heavy wind and rain storm for most of the week, the boat trip was cancelled by the boat company and dinner afterwards was also cancelled. However, not to miss out on a fellowship event, Bob and Mitzi Kingman scheduled a pizza party at their home in the evening which we eagerly attended. We’ll just have to re-schedule our nautical adventure in the spring.
Sujoy and Richard Spencer-Thorlakson from the Brookfield Club hosted a Rotarian couple from the south of England through the Bandy-Hefler Friendship Exchange Program. This program has been taking place for nearly 30 years whereby 20 British Rotarian couples travel to the U.S. and stay for two weeks. The time is split by several U.S. Rotarians taking a couple for 3-4 days and then passing them on to another U.S. Rotarian. The following year, U.S. Rotarians visit English Rotarians. The third year in the 3-year cycle is a year of rest and planning. Several Sturbridge members attended the welcome event to meet Diane and Rotarian Graham from England. While there we had the pleasure of seeing President Lynn Duffy-O’Shea from the Brookfield Club receive a Paul Harris Fellow designation. It was a great evening of fellowship across borders and ‘the pond’. Rotary at its best. Photo: Exchanging Banners are the English on left, PHF Lynn in center, Spencer-Thorlakson hosts on right.
Sturbridge Rotary sponsored two Tantasqua students, Emily Millett and Lauren Maus, to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) training session held in June. The RYLA students are later invited to share their experience with our Club. Emily was unable to attend our meeting but Lauren elaborated on the entire three-day training event, the activities they worked through, and the fast pace and professionalism of the entire program. Her overview included: Beneficial experience; the various activities furthered leadership qualities; pushed us out of our comfort zone; not what we expected; new relationships and ideas make us want to return next year as a student facilitator.
Two student facilitators who were the RYLA students we sponsored last year, Jason DeForge and Justin Rothweiler, were also invited to our meeting and told us what it was like to facilitate the students this year. Jason and Justin expanded their leadership skills and experience by serving on a higher level of the training, thereby giving them more self-confidence in their own abilities.
Jason DeForge (L)
Justin Rothweiler (R)