|Boardman Rotarians Aid Orientation
The annual Boardman Rotary Exchange Student Orientation was held at Camp Stambaugh Boy Scout facility on Leffingwell Rd., Canfield, during the weekend of Aug. 27-28.
The orientation is a two day event. Each student is transported by their host club’s Youth Exchange Chairperson and, or host family to the orientation, with some traveling several hours to attend. Rotary District 6650 has 49 Rotary Clubs in North Eastern Ohio. Most students have just arrived in the USA anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks prior to the orientation.
Lunch is served to the students as well as all who traveled with the students to the event. An orientation is also held for first time Chairpersons and host families to help them understand the responsibilities they are about to undertake.
The student orientation reviews all that is expected of them by Rotary as well as the laws of the United States that pertain to them. They also review the years events they will be participating in, such as weekly host Rotary Club meetings, monthly District Youth Exchange meetings, annual District conference and a bus trip across the USA.
The students participate in “ice breaker” events that allow them to get to know the District group of students they will spend the next 6-12 months with. They participate in Mini Olympic Games. The students are assigned a color tee shirt. These color shirts become their team colors. The participants are purposely split up from other students of the same country as to expedite the intermingling of countries, cultures, languages and traditions. After the games a dinner is served by Boardman Rotarians to all that are present. Later in the evening they are picked up by Bob Smith Rotarian and owner of Camelot Lanes where they are treated to a couple games of bowling. They then return to camp Stambaugh for a hot dog roast where they learn to make “smoors”, which for most is a first time experience!
The annual orientation was started in 1980 by Boardman Rotarian Jack Russell at request of the Rotary District 6650. Jack, who at the time served on the District Youth Exchange Staff saw a need to acclimate the students upon arrival in the United States. The District asked Jack along with his then assistants Bill Trigg and John Probst and their home club of Boardman Rotary to create the orientation for the students. Jack has since passed the responsibility of event chairperson to John Probst, and most recently Tod Grenga has chaired the event who along with many dedicated Boardman Rotary club members and their families has hosted the fall District orientation since it’s inception.
Camp Stambaugh was chosen due to Boardman Rotary’s prior relationship with the Boy Scouts. Boardman Rotarian Don Hall, a Boy Scout Board Member with the club built both a Training Center for scout leaders and replaced the existing kitchen with a state of the art kitchen and dining room. Boardman and Youngstown Rotary Clubs have also participated in maintaining the swimming pool that the Youngstown Club built for the scouts. The ongoing relationship, along with the safe and secluded location as well as the large beautiful natural setting make the Scout Camp an ideal sight for such an event.