On June 1st, nineteen foreign exchange students and two chaperones descended on Bonners Ferry to begin their “Rotary Exchange Student Friendship Tour” of 17 Rotary clubs and their communities. Thirteen clubs from the United States and 11 clubs from Canada participated in the tour. The 17 and 18 year olds, representing 14 foreign countries, spent 24 hours in Bonners Ferry on the first leg of their trip that will continue for twelve days concluding on the last day of the District Conference in Spokane on June 12th.

 Exchange Students 6-2-11

Rotary Exchange Student "Friendship Tour"


The students arrived at the International Visitor’s Center from their respective Rotary communities at approximately 1400 hours on June 1st. They adjourned to AJ’s Bowling Alley for some bowling and dinner before an overnight stay at the Bonners Ferry Middle School gymnasium. On Thursday, an early wake up call was sounded at 0545 prior to traveling to the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge (KWR) for breakfast and an introduction to the KWR. Some of the students hiked to Myrtle Falls or took a motor tour of the KWR or did both, seeing a spectacular waterfall, a moose and nesting bald eagles. The students enjoyed a catered lunch at the Boundary County Museum at noon and all 19 students told us about their country and local rotary club of origin.  After an insightful discussion, they provided us with some music before they departed for Cranbrook by bus at about 1430 hours.

Thanks go out to all Rotarians who volunteered to drive, entertain, and exchange friendships with the students. A very special thank you to Lisa Holmes, Wilma DeVore and David McIntosh who coordinated the event. Lisa is also to be commended for donating, preparing and transporting most of the food. Appreciation also to Clarence Jones who provided lodging for the chaperones on very short notice.

And finally, a big hug and appreciation to our own exchange student, Laura Gioto, who spent

 Laura Gioto - BF Rotary Exchange Student 2010-11 (Bolivia)A

the last 12 months in the throes of several host families – while being a student at BF High School. Laura kept us informed about what was happening in North Idaho. We will miss Laura’s smiling face and her amazing sense of humor when she leaves us on June 15th for her return to Bolivia.  David McIntosh, Youth Exchange Officer, is also to be congratulated on putting up with the enormity of paperwork required by the U.S. Government before Laura could even get into this country. 

Flag of Bolivia