The December 16th program emphasized Rotary’s Long Term Youth Exchange Program and its goal of creating lasting friendships and aiding in international goodwill.  Suzan Leonhardt-Mah gave an overview on Rotary’s Long-term Youth Exchange program by highlighting the three-year process of recruiting, selecting, training and sending students on long-term youth exchange.  She pointed out the many people that are influenced by the Youth Exchange experience, including the exchange student, the host family, fellow students and people in the community the student interacts with.  Suzan discussed the challenges that a youth exchange students face on a daily basis, such as language & communication issues and cultural differences. 
Ethan Skemp, Quincy Rotary’s Rebound Exchange Student, who returned from a year-long exchange in Brazil in August, talked about some of the best moments of his exchange along with some of the challenges he faced.  Ethan, donned in his decorated Youth Exchange blazer, showed the group the many pins he collected from people he met throughout the year.  Ethan had two host families throughout his exchange, one of which he had a difficult time establishing a positive relationship with.  As points of suggestion to Rotary, Ethan said he recommends students have at least three host families throughout their exchange year, and encouraged Rotary to screen host families for their genuine interest in hosting students. 
Suzan continued the presentation by discussing the expectations and rules of the program, such as the four “D”s and the six “B”s.  Suzan also pointed out that hosting is completely voluntary, highlighted the training that volunteers and host families complete to participate in the program, and discussed the relationship between students and host families.   She also illustrated the support system available to exchange students:  host family, Rotary Counselor, Rotary Youth Exchange Officer, Rotary Director of Youth Services, and Club President/District. 
Amy Hendrickson then provided the group feedback on her experience as a parent of an outbound exchange student.  She said her biggest worry was for her son to have a fun time during his exchange.  Furthermore, as a host mom of one of Quincy Rotary’s former inbound exchange students, Amy said hosting Nico was “so much fun.”  She said three to four months was an appropriate amount of time to host a student.   In summary, the Long Term Youth Exchange program, while complicated to implement and manage, is valuable in broadening our perspective of the world we all live in.  Host families are essential to making the program successful.  All members of the Quincy Rotary Club are encouraged to promote the program to potential students and host families! 
Quincy/Pioneer Elementary School will be holding a Spelling Bee scheduled on January 24, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.   Three volunteers are need to judge, say the word, origin, and definations of the words to be given to Spelling Bee contestants.   Volunteers will need to familarize themselves with the rules and procedures for saying the words and judging the contest.  All materials will be provided for the Spelling Bee.  If one of our students does well, they could go as far as the national meet that will be covered by ESPN.    Those wanting to volunteer should call Dwight Pierson at 283-3429.