Challenge Rotary International Practices to Improve your Club

Rotary is changing! Some clubs are changing faster than others. All 34,000 clubs worldwide should actively re-evaluate their practices in order to remain vital and purposeful.

Does your Rotary club have quirks and traditions? Like singing, praying, pledging allegiance to the American flag, fines for leaving early and arriving late, fines for cell phone ringing, talking? Even  ringing the Rotary bell is strange to those who don’t know about the bell.

Names such as Sergeant at Arms? Other words like classification? DG, DGE, PDG, PP, GSE, RYLA, Pets? Anyone know what this means?

Policies for attendance and classifications? Like elementary school.

I have challenged these practices, stating that some of what clubs do is just plain weird. My own Rotary club in Providence also has what I thought were strange, annoying and just plain silly practices. Practices that were based on a hundred years of traditions. I honor traditions but at some point the traditions negatively impact the power of a Rotary club.

If you are a Rotarian, challenge your own club’s practices. Why have an invocation or prayer when Rotary is not a religious organization? Why pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States when some club members are not American and should not pledge that allegiance? Why do clubs sing? I have yet to visit a club that sings well and some of the songs are from my grandfather’s day.

Why celebrate and applaud perfect attendance? Who cares?


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