Programme for week commencing 5th April, 2012

IDEAS

From the outset of forming the District 1100 eClub, we have been keen to encourage younger people to join, however unfortunately the cost might be prohibitative. One idea might be to form a Rotaract Club within the eClub, young people 18 – 30 years are encouraged to join with a membership fee between £25 – £35 per year. See information about Rotaract . Would members be interested in this happening? Would anyone like to volunteer to help get this off the ground?

Kevin & Heather Dontenville have become our eClub Webmasters and currently they are working on a new platform for the eClub Website, they’d like members views on what needs to be included and what needs to be improved.

On Saturday 28th April, District 1100 are holding the District Assembly, this is where the incoming District Governor shares his ideas for the coming year 2012/13 (see Events Calendar for more details). The District 1100 eClub will need to hold a Club Assemby in June, to say what our plans are for the year, so if members can attend the District event it will help with our eClub planning.

Yzanne gave a very good job & life talk at the beginning of March, would anyone else be interested in doing likewise?

PROBLEMS

As everyone is aware we were planning to be involved in the Festival of Rotary on the 22nd April and Yzanne has passed the organisation back to President Tim, because of her personal circumstances. President Tim posted on District 1100 facebook page asking if any other Rotary Clubs could help the eClub with face painting. One of the return posts said:

“I have no wish to be a damp squib but know from previous experience that part of the reason why facepainters are expensive is that it is believe it or not deemed high risk. Therefore need specific insurance and all that goes with it. What a bonkers world we all live in!”

After which President Tim felt it would be best if the eClub avoided this activity and possibly concentrated on showing people how eClubs had been established to offer a new form of Rotary Membership to the world, possibly also launching our virtual Pet Show to give it a fun element.

David Wells the organiser of the Festival of Rotary has now replied, copying in others (including the District Governor), saying RIBI insurance covers face painting, see copy below:

‘Very disappointed and somewhat surprised to get your email as your club offered to do it a long time ago and we put a facepainted girl on all our publicity. I have checked with our Rotary Insurance Company and they have confirmed that we are covered for Rotarians doing facepainting so please reconsider your decision as we are keen to have face painting at our event.

Having recently taken facepainting to Nepal for a childrens games afternoon I am aware of the care needed by the painter to follow the instructions provided with the paints and we were careful to ensure that we followed such instructions, but this should not put us off from doing it.

I am copying Bob Allison our Safety Manager with your email and my reply so that he may comment if he deems it necessary to do so.

I do hope that you will reactivate your plan to do facepainting.’

A subsequent email followed from the District Governor Martin Greaves:

‘I can only echo Davids words of disappointment. If the eclub are not going to do the facepainting then we will have to get another club to do it as it is on all the literature. I would ask you to reconsider.

Also I need to point out that if the eclub wants a presence at the Festival it will be required to be doing or promoting something. We are not having clubs there just to promote themselves. This Festival is aimed at promoting the work and activities of Rotary as a whole and not individual clubs.’

President Tim replied that perhaps it was best the eClub was not involved, as the main point of face painting anyway was to occupy the children, while the parents were at our stand – instead it has become a feature of the festival and now a massive issue. We have since had an unfortunate reply from the District Governor, which is best not shared. So members of District 1100 eClub what do we want to do:

a) continue to provide a small face painting activity as part of our stand

b) or withdraw from the Festival of Rotary, as without face painting our stand is not seen as promoting Rotary, only our eClub

FINALLY

Hopefully many of you will have seen the posts on facebook by President Tim about ‘Women in Rotary’, he is passionate that in a modern world many more women should be involved, his initial post on facebook read:

‘Shocked, horrified and saddened, some of the terms to describe my feelings whilst at the RIBI Assembly this weekend. At hearing that there were still many Clubs in RIBI that were still men only and still some of these Clubs were reluctant to accept women as Rotarians. This is madness, do we want to perpetuate the image of Rotary as an old mans domain? In my experience woman in Rotary will help bring the vibrancy, energy, enthusiasm to get things done without too much fuss, a diverse Rotary Club will also help us to move forward, recruit more members and be seen as an organisation ready to tackle issues in the 21st Century.’

One of our members has suggested an e-petition, what do others think? As an eClub we have made a fantastic start in recruiting both genders, so how can we help others understand.

Perhaps our contribution to the Festival of Rotary ought to be about helping Rotary to welcome in both women and a more diverse and younger membership. What do you think?

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0 thoughts on “Developing ideas and solving problems

  1. Yzanne Martin Hallett says:

    What a posting. With regards to the face painting – I am really not sure that a child on a poster with a black nose and a few black whiskers is really what most people have in mind when it comes to such an art – my children would expect that amount of talent from me, not someone in a tent professing to be a face painter. I think “Rotary” have got it wrong. Equally I am not sure the event really holds much interest for families either, I can’t see children enthusing over many, if any, of the stands which are there – most are displays rather than activities and I don’t feel would grab the children’s attention. On that basis, I would let District go elsewhere for the service!
    With regards to women and Rotary – I can’t see what the fuss is about. Let clubs be what they are. Some accept women, some don’t. Does Inner Wheel allow men? Does Rotaract allow 50 year olds? The more we fight the pc/equal line the worse it is. I think there are too many mentions of women being allowed in clubs, what we offer etc etc. Other clubs will catch on in the long run – we have time for them to do it. Why should they change? If we’re so unhappy about the way a Club runs and there is that much demand for women to join then another club can be formed or a club can split, as has recently happened in District if the divide is so strong. I for one would not be signing a petition.
    Finally on the subject of us setting up a Rotaract Club – great idea – but can I suggest we don’t run before we can walk. We’re barely off the ground ourselves. Lets know what we’re doing before we start advising others on how to do it. I’d happily be involved in due course, but I think it is far too early in our eclub life.
    That’s me over and out. Off on holiday now to Devon for a week, before coming home and straight into hospital for surgery. I shall be logging on as and when, but won’t be much use to anyone for a while!
    Yzanne

  2. Rachel-A says:

    With regards the Festival of Rotary, it is my view we should and must be there, we are club of the District after all and offer something totally unique. So what we need to address is how we ‘promote the work and activities of Rotary as a whole’. I’m not sure facepainting is really reflective of Rotary activities (!) but District obviously want that offered so we should even if it is us as amatuers – I presume we are not charging so can people expect too much? I’m a dab hand at cow faces…anyway, back to the initial question of what our stall is doing to promote Rotary, I think we very much need to pick up on the theme of Rotary is for all and how the power of the internet is allowing us to do this.

    Women etc in Rotary. I like Yzanne don’t get too worried about it. My view is these clubs will eventually become such a minority that they will either have to change or will die. It is a choice those members have to make. Just like potential members have to make the choice of whether they want a single focus club or one with a bit more diversity. More important to me is how if we want to get younger members into Rotary we support them through their lives, by this I mean career changes which may see them move location, work pressures, families coming along etc. If Rotary and its clubs can adapt to this and offer meetings that support them and recognise the difficulties of balancing work, life and Rotary, then we will be much more attractive to younger people as Rotary becomes a club for life rather than a club for when you retire and have ‘time’.

    As for Rotaract, we have it wrong if the 18-30’s are a) put off joining a Rotary club and b) are put off by the money factor. So my view is always Rotary not Rotaract, there is a place for everyone in a club if your club is open-minded enough. Lets not put up a barrier to Rotary membership if you are under 30 by getting people to join Rotaract. On the money side, it may be £100 a year but that is under £2 a week – ask an 18 year old to give up 1/2 pint of beer a week for positively changing their community, and if they see the point, they will make a good Rotarian.

    • Tim Mason says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m sure we will take place in the Festival of Rotary is some way, but I wanted the eClub members to be a part of the decision making.

      In respect of Rotarct, from the very start I’ve wanted the eClub to be attracting younger people. What’s required is something that sits in between Rotary, Rotaract and an ability to attract younger people 18 – 30 years. I do think cost is a consideration until you appreciate what Rotary can offer you. I agree £1.45 per week is peanuts, however we need to some how get people thinking it’s cool to join Rotary,because they can help make a difference in the world. If we could get a good number of younger people in the eClub, this will help as they will get their friends to join. Ideas welcome…

  3. Mary says:

    If somebody could give me a link to the Festival of Rotary I can see what all the fuss is about. As I understand it it is about promoting Rotary to the general public or is it to each other? It does seem a storm in a teacup we could do virtual facepainting by using graphic software do you think?

    For such a bureaucratic organisation such as Rotary I am surprised there has not been a directive about gender balance in clubs but what do I know?

    • Tim Mason says:

      Hi Mary,

      I’ve joined you to the Festival of Rotary page on facebook, so you can find out more about this event.

      Why do you think Rotary is a bureaucratic organisation? Within our District 1100 eClub we can make it what we want provided we adhere to the constitution we have adopted. So it would be good if you explained what you’d like to see change, because I want members to feel comfortable with how the eClub operates.

      Tim

  4. Janice Mason says:

    There is a lot to think about at the moment and getting everyone’s view is really important. Building relationships and getting to know everyone in the eClub is still for me the most important thing and something we must continue to strive to do as we get new members. The website is the backbone of the eClub that should enable us to do this. Currently when I log on I:
    • Check whether I have any private messages from members – we now seem to have lost the notification alert at the top of the page and I am really missing that facility;
    • Under the Community button look at the Members to see who has logged on recently, then go to the Activity to see what they have commented on, where I want to I leave a reply – this can be confusing as, although I can see where on the site the comment has been made, I automatically leave a comment on the Activity list so I don’t really think about where abouts the reply is going and with everyone doing this discussions seem to be getting divided up and happening in more than one place;
    • Look at the week’s programme under the eProgramme & Blog – I suppose I have been reticent to leave a comment here as, with Tim and me doing a lot on the website, I’ve not wanted to dominate discussions or be patronising by asking questions (I do seem to have the ability to stop a discussion dead:-)) This is the part of the website that takes some thought, but it shouldn’t always be serious, we should be able to laugh and joke in our weekly ‘meeting’, we somehow need to get this section going as a real discussion each week. What I would like to know is why others don’t always comment on it at the moment, even if just to say “I was here’?
    • Lastly I look at the Groups and see what action is taking place. Here I don’t think we have the set up of the website right as discussions are very disjointed – I tried to follow the trail of the Quackers Duck Sale, but there were replies and comments in several places. Very difficult to keep track of how a project is progressing. The same with Kevin’s son Max’s fund raising expedition, I only found after some time that Kevin had left me a comment, it didn’t show up in the Activity listings.
    I would like to post up photos. At the moment the only place images can be put is on the Blog, but as this is part of the Programme it doesn’t feel right. Can we have a photo gallery where we can share our exploits?
    A few members have said that when they login they don’t know what to look at and do, the website confuses them. Here is your chance to say why and give examples as to how you expect it to look and work. The website needs to buzz, be a happening place to come to.

    Rotaract: I agree with Rachel, I have always said that Rotary should cover all working ages and I also feel that our costs are low, but when you have little money coming in at the start of your career attitude to cost is different. However, I believe very strongly that people will pay for what they really want. Our advertising and the 2 month free trial really needs to sell our eClub to prospective new members – we need to develop our membership interaction to ensure we ‘sell’ ourselves to new people and sustain our current membership. When I’ve spoken to Rotaract members from other countries they all talk about a vibrant club, active and achieving things for the community, and they are young busy business people themselves setting up their careers. How do we as an eClub really grab the bull by the horns and get a good vibrant project going? Let’s get EXCITED:-))))

    Which leads quite nicely on to our eClub Assembly in which we need to all be involved in saying what we want to do in the next Rotary year. Are there things you don’t feel you’re finding out about Rotary that you would like to know about? What charities do you want to support? What projects would you like to do? Do you know people who could write a short programme for the eClub about their interest or job?

    The Festival of Rotary has been difficult for us, as we were being pushed for details of what we were going to do before we had even formed as a club. Hence ideas and knowledge of our capacity has changed and developed, which has frustrated the organisers as well as been awkward for us. I have now spoken to the key organiser and he is asking other clubs whether they can offer face painting (so this will either be as well as us or instead of, the pressure is off of us to actually do it if we want to concentrate on more Rotary things). I said to him that looking down the list of other participants they were all doing stuff around activities that they had done or were working on now, as we are a new club we don’t have anything like that. What we currently have is a new way to make Rotary accessible to a wider membership and he liked the idea of us doing something on ‘Communication’ (his words, not mine). I personally loved the idea of the Virtual Pet Show and using the Festival to launch it, but there has been little follow up on this, nor has the eClub adopted the idea of using money raised to move the pond at the Gloucester City Farm (£500 needed and a group of young offenders on a scheme will carry out the work). We only have 2 weeks to the Festival, displays need to be made, Tim and I can’t do all the work – we need decisions to be made and offers of help to get it done.

    And Finally! I’m not personally getting het up about the Women in Rotary issue, but I think that the general ‘old boys’ attitude in Rotary generally is a problem. As an eClub we can get on and do a whole load of wonderful things, we can have fellowship with like minded clubs and Rotarians around the world, but when we go to Rotary functions, especially those organised by the District, it is hard to close your ears to the derisory comments, it does affect how you feel about Rotary generally. I see Rotarians being more negative on Social Networks than being positive, and my heart cries for the image they are putting across. For 23 years I supported Rotary through Tim’s membership and only experienced the local club (made up generally of old boys) and the District Conference (yawn), but then I went to the RI International Convention and it opened my eyes to what Rotary is really all about and how exciting it is. I have remained excited and see the eClub as a way I can really be involved in an international Rotary, we need to ensure that all members catch the real Rotary vision and don’t get distracted by the old school attitudes. This comes back to us having a buzzing website, Social Networks with Rotarians around the world and really achieving things for our communities through our eClub fellowship and activity.

  5. Kevin-D says:

    Perhaps shorter posts are a good idea, more but shorter posts, tightly on subject are easier and quicker to read/comment on. Time is more precious than money, younger business people already spend time on personal social media and we wont compete with FB. Perhaps we should be more Twitter-like, lively, concise but more considered?

  6. Shelley says:

    Both my wife and I have spoken about whether we wanted to be associated with a group that even had to have discussions abou having women as part of it! This seems so antiquated! Might not be much to some but being a woman is actually For most the more sociably acceptable par of our lives!

  7. Shelley says:

    Don’t think there should need to be a rotaract section of the group, however, if I am honest, even I feel a little overwhelmed being with people I perceive as being older and more experienced or aware about what is going on, especially being so new to rotary!

  8. Shelley says:

    Hod us not going to the festival look bad due to your role I rotary Tim? Cos if it didn’t I would tell them to go forth and prosper! Are they seriously saying that ALL of the other groups won’t be publicising themselves? We are brand new????!

    I quite like the idea of doing virtual face painting. Take their picture and then let them paint it on screen in clip art!

    It is my fault that the things for the pet show has not come together. I too have been unwell and am preparing for surgery and had the kids off school. But there is no excuse I have let people down. I wish we lived closer ecause sometimes if you have to make physical time to meet someone it acts as a trigger for action.

    • Janice Mason says:

      Don’t beat yourself up just because life happens. Two points here to consider for our plan: 1) The idea of recruiting members in areas so that if the club had 100 members, aiming to have around 10 in each of the District key areas, it would give a structure of support where there is a chance for more informal meeting and support for all members: 2) I love the idea of the virtual pet show and would love to see this happen, but it does need time to plan it well, so to put it into the 2012/13 plan seems the best way forward.

  9. Shelley says:

    And as you can see, if you don’t like long posts, I’ll do lots of little ones!

    This club is a bit radical, we have a president and a secretary who is also radical and likes to push limits, people and make those around him question what is taken for granted. Do people really think some thing like our club could have got this far so quickly if led by someone without this personality?

    I don’t agree with everything rotary does and I am sure there is going to be elements of our programme that will challenge my way of thinking but that does not mean I will throw my toys out of the pram and spoil things for everyone. Being part of a group is about taking our own risks and supporting those around us. Challenging our beliefs and being prepared to see the other side!

    The road is going to be bumpy!

  10. Katharine says:

    Don’t think we should jump into Rotoract yet ! But I do believe we should work with projects and activities which can involve younger people, show them what Rotary can do and how they can be involved and then they will think about longer term commitment and membership.
    At least in this Radical new club we are already bringing down the average membership age and promoting diversity by including Women !

  11. Yzanne Martin Hallett says:

    There are many things we could look at which involve young people, and potentially our club selection of them, if we were to support them – Kids Out, RYLA, Young Musician, Young Chef, Youth Speaks, Young Photographer, Young Writer – there are probably others too. Young Photographer might be a great one for us to support where people could place their entry online.

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