At this week’s meeting, Benzie Sunrise Rotarians learned about the many Rotary Youth Programs including Interact Clubs, the Life Leadership Conference, Youth Exchange, Leadership Camp, and the Youth Protection Policy.   
Doug Mealey, the South Kent Rotary Club, and Wendy Piper, the Rotary Club of Holland, members of the Rotary Youth Services Committee provided ideas on how to build strong Interact Clubs at schools.  Students are encouraged to each year complete a local and an international project that will better their community.  Strength is built by empowering youth to do their own fundraising and to have their club president in regular communication with the sponsoring Rotary Club president. 

The Rotary Youth Exchange Program's goal is to promote peace and the opportunity for a young person to experience living in another culture.  The ideas presented by the speakers were echoed by Linda Wood, club member who for many years oversaw the Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club’s Youth Exchange program.  Linda shared that “the child who leaves is not the one who comes back,” and that she has seen past participants maintain their connection with their host families and go on to do great work in their careers. 

The Youth Protection Policy is being promoted to clubs to assure that we all give our “best efforts to safeguard the welfare of and prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse or harassment of every student with whom we come into contact.”  The Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club will provide members with training to know how to respond if/when a student shares information that indicates his/her safety or well-being is at stake.