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The Philosophy of Rotary

The vision of Rotary founder Paul Harris was of a club that would kindle friendship among members of the Chicago business community. He wanted to find in the large city the kind of friendly spirit and helpfulness that he had known in the small towns where he had grown up -- the spirit to reach out in service to others less fortunate. Through the subsequent spread of the Rotary movement, the spirit of friendship and service evolved quite naturally into a focus on helping to build goodwill and peace in the world.
It was also Harris's thought that the first club should represent a cross-section of the business and professional life of the community. From this idea developed Rotary's Classification Principle. Admission to Rotary club membership is by invitation, and accepting the invitation represents a personal commitment of the Rotarian to exemplify high ethical standards in one's own vocation or occupation.
As the entity representing the global association of all Rotary clubs, Rotary International's mission is to assist Rotarians and Rotary clubs to accomplish the Object of Rotary, emphasizing service activities by individuals and groups that enhance the quality of life and human dignity, encouraging high ethical standards, and creating greater understanding among all people to advance the search for peace in the world.

The Object of Rotary

The main objective of a Rotary club is service -- in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotary International (RI) has developed a broad range of programs designed to help clubs carry out this vital mission. Some of these programs have been under way for many years, while others have been developed more recently to meet emerging needs.
Rotary's community development programs address many of today's most critical issues - - hunger, health, the environment, literacy, to name a few. RI also offers programs that focus primarily on young people, including service clubs for high school students and young adults, leadership training workshops, and student exchanges. The international component of RI programs enables clubs and districts to assist Rotary efforts abroad and to share information and arrange exchanges with Rotarians in other countries. Vocational concerns figure in many club and district projects designed to promote high ethical standards in the workplace and to help young people and others become and remain productive members of society.

Avenues of Service

The phrase "Five Avenues of Service" is frequently used in Rotary. The "Avenues" refer to the four elements of the Object of Rotary: club service, vocational service, community service, youth service and international service. They describe the primary areas of Rotary activity.
  • Club service involves all of the activities necessary for Rotarians to make their club function successfully.
  • Vocational service is a description of the opportunity each Rotarian has to represent the dignity and utility of one's own vocation to other members of the club.
  • Community service pertains to those activities which Rotarians undertake to improve the quality of life in their community. It frequently involves assistance to youth, the aged, the handicapped and others who look to Rotary as a source of hope for a better life.
  • Youth service Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange.
  • International service describes the many programs and activities which Rotarians undertake to advance international understanding, goodwill and peace. International service projects are designed to meet humanitarian needs of people in many lands.

Club Membership Information

Financial Obligations:

Annual Dues: Members pay annual dues of $135.00 The dues cover the operational costs of the club including fees paid to District 7470 (includes the district Newsletter, InFlight) and Rotary International (includes the monthly Rotary International magazine)
Meal Charges: Weekly lunches at the Third Base Pub cost $13.00. This includes salad, choice of several entrees and dessert,  
Rotary Foundation: Rotarians are also encouraged but not required to support the Rotary Foundation as they are able. Becoming a “Sustaining Member” of the Foundation is $100 donation per year.

Personal Obligations:


Club meetings are held every Friday from 12:15 – 1:30 PM at the Third Base Pub. Branchville Rotarians are encouraged to maintain 100% attendance; the minimum requirement is 60%. Missed meetings can be “made-up” at one of the many local clubs (district directories is are available or, for clubs out of the area you can contact www.rotary.org) or at any of the 28,000 clubs worldwide or online. Meetings should be made up two weeks prior or two weeks after the missed meeting. The President may call “informal” meetings that will count as make ups, if needed. Additionally, participation in special events as well as attendance at board meetings can count as make ups if they fall within the two week period before or after a missed meeting. Informal meetings, meetings that are cancelled (major holidays, etc) do not need to be made up.


Members are encouraged to get involved in the various avenues of service by joining a committee. The major committees are as follows:
Executive Committee
Fair Committees:
Chili Open Committee
Walpack Wilderness Challenge Committee
Scholarship Committee
Dictionary Project Committee
Party Committees
                    Other Committees as needed        

Community Events:

The Branchville Rotary Club has a very high profile in the local area. Members are encouraged to participate in as many events as possible. Examples of some of these events include helping with the Fair Booth, staffing at Branchville Community Day, caretaking community flower and Christmas decorations, assisting with the Chili Open and Walpack races, etc.

Members are also encouraged to extend their volunteer commitment by working with and supporting other community organizations.

Classification Talk:

At your swearing in as a member you have the opportunity to speak to the Club members about your “classification” and a description of your business and personal pursuits. These talks typically are about 10 minutes long. After that we discourage any member from talking “business” during the meetings.


The Board of Directors serves as the governing body for the club. The committee consists of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sgt-at-Arms, and Past President as well as Committee Chairs.. Officers are elected for one year term.

Branchville Rotary Club Foundation:

In 2014the Branchville Rotary Club Foundation became operational. The Branchville foundation is a separate not-for-profit corporation [501(c)(3)] that enables members (and others) to make tax-deductible donations in order to support the various Branchville Rotary charities must also be 501(c)(3)]. The Branchville Foundation board of trustees, made up of past club presidents, oversees its operations.  


New members need to be sponsored by an active club member and are encouraged to take advantage of their sponsor’s experience in Rotary. The sponsor’s role does not end at the new member’s induction into the club. Sponsors can be a resource for club information, a buddy to go with on the first make-up at another club, and the “introducer” to the club for the new member.

New Members:

Once a new member is sworn in they will be obligated to serve as Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms for a period of 6 weeks. Duties include checking in members and guests for meetings and managing meal choices and payments. This enables the new member to get to know the other members of the club. New members are encouraged to tell others about the club and to recruit new members. Prospective members can be invited for lunch and the sponsoring member is responsible for payment of the first meal for their guest. Member Recruitment packets can be requested from the Club President or the Membership Chair.

Getting the Most out of Rotary:

You have just joined one of the strongest service clubs in the world. Get involved with committees, programs, and community events. Attend district activities including District Assemblies. Enjoy the social aspect of Rotary not only at the weekly lunch meetings and special club events but also by visiting other clubs (near and far).

*Foundation Point System:

Our club has a hybrid system of helping members become members of the Paul Harris Fellowship. Traditionally a Rotarian becomes a PH Fellow by donating $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation, but we have adopted a system of points given for service, attendance, and leadership. There is a maximum amount per year of 100 points that may be attained, and each point transfers into a dollar donated to the Foundation. This assures that all are working toward their Fellowship, and based on steady dedicated participation, each member could become a Fellow in 10 years. If a member is a Sustaining Member ($100 donation to the Foundation each year) that time would be cut in half. The club may supplement a member’s required $1000 Fellowship requirement based on outstanding service, to help that member receive this award even sooner. The goal is to encourage all of our members to support the good work of the Rotary Foundation by working to become a Paul Harris Fellow.



20 Answers: Why Join Rotary?

1. Friendship:

In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.

2. Business Development:

The second original reason for Rotary's beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross sectionof every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.

3. Personal Growth and Development:

Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth and education in human relations and personal development.

4. Leadership Development:

Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education. Leadership: - learning how to motivate, influence, and lead leaders.

5. Citizenship in the Community:

Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.

6. Continuing Education:

Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed about what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers and a variety of timely topics.

7. Fun:

Rotary is fun, a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. The service is fun.

8. Public Speaking Skills:

Many individuals who joined Rotary were afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills.

9. Citizenship in the World:

Every Rotarian wears a pin that says “Rotary International.” There are few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary club.Every Rotarian is welcome – even encouraged – to attend any of the 29,000 clubs in 194 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both one’s own community and in the world community.

10. Assistance when Traveling:

Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found assistance through Rotary.

11. Entertainment:

Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one’s business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.

12. The Development of Social Skills:

Every week and at various events and functions,  Rotary develops one’s personality, social skills and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.

13. Family Programs:

Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and the development of family values.

14. Vocational Skills:

Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.

15. The Development of Ethics:

Rotarians practice a 4-Way Test that governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.

16. Cultural Awareness:

Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of their cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

17. Prestige:

Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.

18. Nice People:

Rotarians above all are nice people - the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who follow the policy of it is nice to be important but it is important to be nice.

19. The Absence of an “Official Creed”:

Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meeting or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

20. The Opportunity to Serve:

Rotary is a service club. Its business is mankind. Its product is service. Rotarians provide community service to both local and international communities. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else and to sense the self-fulfillment that comes in the process and return of that satisfaction to one’s own life. It is richly rewarding.


“He profits most who serves best.”



Richard D. King, Rotary International President 2001-02