By Rotary Service and Engagement staff
Throughout the month of June, we’ve been honoring Rotary Fellowships Month by sharing exciting stories from various Rotary Fellowships. Although fellowships range in interest, they all find ways to incorporate their passions into service initiatives in various forms. Fellowships enhance the Rotary experience by allowing members to make friends and connections outside of their clubs, and utilize these connections to address community needs. Below are just a few examples of how Rotary Fellowships are making a difference:
- The International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians recognizes youth with superior scouting and guiding skills in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom through their Youth Services Award. The group also encourages youth involvement in community projects. Recently, members from the Rotary Club of Waco in Texas, USA, worked with local Boy Scouts to clear and improve trails at their local arboretum. The Fellowship also recognizes Rotarians and Rotaractors for their dedicated service to scouting and Rotary through the Cliff Dochterman Award, named after RI President Cliff Dochterman (1992-93), a devoted scouter.
- Members of the International Fellowship of Birdwatching Rotarians (IFBR) gather annually for a local bird walk through the city hosting the Rotary Convention. During the 2016 Convention, Robert Newlin, author of Korea Through Her Birds, joined the group as they toured Shirip University in Seoul, South Korea. At the end of the walk, IFBR presented Newlin with a US$100 donation which aided his efforts to rescue and rehabilitate endangered waterbirds, shorebirds, and seabirds. Read more about the group’s activities.
- The International Travel and Hosting Fellowship (ITHF) enables Rotarians and Rotaractors to enrich their travel experiences through cultural exchanges by visiting other ITHF members during the course of their travels. Tilak Thapa Magar was visiting the United States from Nepal when he was hosted by fellow ITHF member, Bob Artis. Read how his experience strengthened his appreciation for Rotary.
- The Rotarian Jazz Fellowship organized an International Jazz ’n’ Youth Exchange in northern Germany where 120 kids took part in the camp—60 from Germany and 60 from the USA. The group also organizes concerts to raise funds supporting young aspiring jazz musicians.
- The International Fellowship of Rowing Rotarians is organizing rowing against cancer initiatives focused on raising awareness within their local communities through rowing trips.
There are currently over 70 Rotary fellowships! If your recreational or vocational interest isn’t represented by Rotary’s current Fellowships, contact us for information on starting a new group! Five new groups were recognized during the 2016-17 Rotary year:
- International Fellowship of Draughts Playing Rotarians
- Fellowship of Rotarian Genealogists
- International Fellowship of Rotarian Military Veterans
- Russian Culture Worldwide Rotarian Fellowship
- Whisk(e)y Drinking Rotarians and Members
How are you celebrating Rotary Fellowships? Comment below sharing your experiences and read more stories about fellowship activities and service projects!