Youth Exchange Camp in July:  Elaine started by describing her current and future leadership roles in North Star Youth Exchange (NSYE).  The international camp coming in July will have twelve 15-17 year-olds from countries around the world.  This camp is one of only two in the US this year.  The theme is "summer fun, history, and culture in the Land of 10,000 Lakes".  Campers must be able to swim and to participate in hiking and other physical activities.  Click 'Read More' for further details.
Literacy Event:  Tony is working to restart a monthly reading program at the River Falls Public Library.  Jump Start to Literacy ran the program from 2013 until Covid stopped it.  The thrust is to get families with few resources to the RFPL.  With the knowledge that having books in the home is an important predictor of success in reading later in life, a goal of this event is to have every child leave the RFPL with their own book.   In addition to the book giveaway, there are healthful snacks, movement activities, and a reading.  Tony is seeking help to collect contact information, help to publicize the monthly event, greet, transport books to RFPL, prepare and serve refreshments, and to be a guest reader.   Click Read More for more on this item.
More on the Youth Exchange Camp:  The campers coming in July will be hosted by six clubs:  Buffalo, River Falls, Rochester, Wabasha, Chaska, and St Paul #10.  Elaine went over the plans for the days in River Falls:  arrive from Buffalo on Friday July 12th, participate in the  River Falls Days Parade to promote Rotary and NSYE while showing the campers some typical Americana, then a variety of activities Saturday through Tuesday morning.  Plans include kayaking the Kinni, fly fishing, a visit to Jim Harsdorf’s dairy farm, a Fish baseball game (more Americana), possibly ice skating in Hudson.  The campers will be here on Tuesday AM for our morning Rotary meeting, then depart for Rochester. NSYE pays fees for kayaks, bikes, etc.  Then it’s on to other clubs for more fun while sneaking some culture and education.
Elaine asked us to consider being host families.  Students usually are housed two per home, campers can share a room but not a bed, adults must have a background check (NSYE  pays).  Host families provide breakfast except on Rotary meeting day.    Elaine said that host families are encouraged to participate in activities with campers.  Mark your calendars, and please consider hosting.
More on the Reading Event:  In response to a question, Tony said that he gets books from publishers’ overstock sources and other companies that provide books at very low prices.  Jump Start is registered with three organizations, all of which have requirements as to how books are distributed (i.e. given away, not sold).  These same sources provide many of the books for Tools for School.