A huge thanks to the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove for allowing us this wonderful opportunity to participate in the 5370 District Conference. We have gained a lot of knowledge and now understand how to better ourselves as a club. We intend to apply the principles we have learned at the conference to our own Interact Club. As well, it definitely brought the five of us closer and we are ready to take challenges on together!
Thursday Evening:
This was a super cool opportunity for Interact Clubs to present a project, Dragon’s Den style, to a panel of judges. If successful, groups can receive money to put towards their project.
Some of the presentations included:
  • A Friendship Garden
  • UNI (United Nations)
  • The Little Elves
  • Healthy School Lunches & Service Trip to Mexico
  • Service Trip to Belize to build a playground
Craig Kielburger: author, speaker, and humanitarian. He is the co-founder (with his brother) of the internationally recognized organization Free the Children, which works to “remove barriers to education and empower communities to break the cycle of poverty.” He was our speaker for Saturday afternoon.
Some of the organizations and opportunities we encountered:
  • SUNIA (The Seminar on the United Nations and International Affairs): A weeklong summer camp held annually in August. The camp is situated in beautiful Nordegg, Alberta. This program gives high school students (not just from Alberta, but from around the world) the opportunity to connect with each other and discuss critical global issues.
  • Mercy Ships: This is a very interesting organization. They are entirely volunteer-based and they use hospital ships to offer free medical treatment to citizens in developing nations. It should be noted that volunteers must be 18 years of age.
  • End Polio Now: The international movement to eradicate the Polio disease from the face of the Earth. They have been successful thus far in all but Pakistan, where the treatment is not wanted by the Taliban.
  • ShelterBox.
Some of the lessons we learned:
Group Involvement: This can be as simple as delegating tasks out more effectively. For this year’s upcoming events, we fully intend to create multiple committees to work with a variety of aspects of our Interact Club.
Knowing Each Other: obviously the five of us who attended the conference know each other well now, but we need to get to know the whole group and all of its members! On that note, let’s play a game.
Financial Planning: We went through a session describing, in detail, how budgeting is of utmost importance in project planning.
Conflict Resolution: Another one of the sessions we attended was dealing with conflict. There will always be different ideas and we need to be able to deal with this diversity. The most effective thing we took away from this session was that we need to take the time to consider the situation from the other person’s perspective.
Our favourite lines of the weekend:
 “It is better to light a single candle, than to sit and curse the darkness.”
“Those who have endured torture do not want revenge, but rather feel compassion and do not want anyone else to hurt as they have.”
“Find your pearl”
This line was referring to everyone’s involvement in the conference. The governor spoke about how at every conference you attend, you will experience some sessions that you enjoy more than others, but ultimately, you need to find that one thing that makes the conference worthwhile. Whether it be one session that touched you the most, or meeting many new people, or even the dance at the end of the weekend, you have got to find your pearl.