Summer months are always a challenge for Rotary Clubs. As vacations and other summer commitments make attending the weekly meeting a challenge, should we be cancelling or changing our meetings?
Over the past few years, our Rotary Club has looked at several options. Cancelling the weekly meeting seems to be an easy fix, but it does have some negative effects. Cancelling the weekly meeting does cause a lack in sustaining momentum and dislike for Rotarians who like or plan their weekly routines. It breaks the ability for fellowship and fundraising and can make Rotary not as important as it usually is!
The Rotary Club of Hamilton changed it’s first meeting of each month to Rotary@Sunset. Rather than the weekly lunch meeting, members are encouraged to attend a special evening meeting. During the summer months the Rotary@Sunset meetings have been social meetings on a local patio encouraging Rotarians to bring friends or family. Drinks, food and fellowship in a casual setting with no formal meeting or speaker. We have also done some hands on service projects like our Adopt-a-Park clean-up. The Rotary@Sunset meetings take place once a month and offer many possibilities for all or our members!
There are many options rather than just cancelling a weekly meeting. We looked to see what other Rotary Clubs are doing or have done in the past…. Sometimes you just need to look at fellow Rotarians for ideas and solutions
Here are just a few of the summer meeting ideas;
- Have a fundraiser – Cancel your weekly meeting and hold a golf tournament or other event and raise some funds!
- BBQ or picnic – A great way to include the family or Rotary or to create public awareness for Rotary
- Guest who is coming for dinner – Rotarians hosting dinner or BBQ at a their home and inviting Club Members
- Participate in an activity that the Rotaractor are planning. In our area the local Rotaract Club has a mini-golf tournament, so we get a few teams together to support them and enjoy Rotary
- Business tours – Great opportunity to host a behind the scene tour of local businesses that may or may not be owned by a Rotarian. Tour ideas are of a local hospital, airport or some candy factory
- Garden tours – Meet at a local park and do a garden walk or neighbourhood walk. Explore your community together
- Sports – Go to see a game together! A local baseball, football or lawn bowling
- Socials – Do a ice cream event or dessert & drinks. Events can take place in public places or at a Rotarians’ home
- Tour your City/Town – Why not get to know some of the sights of your own City. Become a local tourist, visit the museum, take a farm tour or do a historical tour of your local cemetery
Lots of great ideas for not just summer Rotary meetings but for any meetings during the year. The idea is to make Rotary relevant, valuable and fun for your members! We do so much good in the world, that as Rotarians we sometimes forget about membership…not recruiting but retention and sustaining engaged Rotarians. Why not spend a few minutes at your next meeting sharing ideas and finding out what your members would like to participate in. Not everything we do needs to be about raising funds or doing a service project…sometimes we need to have fun and enjoy the company of fellow Rotarians, family and friends.
Have a safe summer!