Early in the group’s 90 years of community service, the Rotary Club of Sequim became actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America, later the Explorer Scouts and then included the Girl Scouts. Club members were troop leaders and liaisons with the Rotary Club.
The club received the charter for Scout Troop 490. When Rotary Club of Sequim member C.W. McCall was doing his estate planning, he left a gift of $20,000 specifically to be administered by the Rotary Club of Sequim for the benefit of our local scouting troops.
Each year troops can submit a formal request for funding of activities such as travel and lodging to their jamboree or assistance to individual scouts working on completing their Eagle level.
Members at that time included local businessmen interested in community service, some of whom you’d still recognize. Some of the Scouts later became Rotarians.
Another activity the club was actively involved with early in the formation of the club was the hosting of inbound foreign exchange students for the nine months of the school year. Each student would live with three separate Rotarian families for three-month periods.
Being treated as one of the family, helping with family chores and traveling with them to events and vacations. Like all teenagers, the exchange students would attend school regularly and be required to complete their homework.
Over the years, the Cy Frick family hosted 17 foreign students in their home and have had the pleasure of traveling to meet them in their home countries and had many return to Sequim as adults for a visit.
Clubs that host inbound students also have the opportunity to offer a local teen the opportunity to be an outbound student. The youths are between 15-19 years old when doing their exchange and will be the exchange student of a hosting club, possibly in Europe, South America, Thailand, Taiwan or Japan — the goal being to immerse themselves in the culture of their host country and to become fluent in their native tongue.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of nine articles highlighting the Rotary Club of Sequim, whose byline is, “People of Impact.” Club members plan to celebrate its nine decades of community service through the remainder of the year culminating with a Celebratory Tea on June 18 (at Pioneer memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St.), to which all former members, members’ spouses, exchange students and others will be invited.