The Rotary Clubs of Cranbrook are currently presenting a Rotary Values and Ethics program for students at Mt. Baker Secondary School.  The sessions are taking place on October 26th and 28th. The program is presented to all grade 10 students as part of the planning curriculum. 

Darryl Bishop of the Sunrise Club and one of the presenters at this year’s event says that the program in its third year was modeled after a program from a Rotary Club in West Vancouver. The intent was to provide students with an opportunity to examine where their values come from and how they are used to guide decision making throughout their lives. Darryl states that the feedback received from the staff at Mt. Baker has been ‘overwhelmingly’ positive. “They come to us each year asking us when we are available to do the program. The biggest challenge is finding enough people to participate as facilitators and presenters," says Darryl.
The program begins by students being asked what they know about Rotary.  Students are presented with an overview of Rotary and its guidelines and accomplishments. Many students may be surprised on how involved Rotary is on a local level and international scale. Some of the class guidelines include: all ideas have value, speak with respect, no personal stories. Presenters will raise a topic, such as: Let’s think about values and then give out instructions. Your facilitator will give each of you a list of values and state that you (student) will take about four minutes to circle five that are important to you personally. Then, each of the students will report their top five values for the group. The facilitators will hand out values lists to each student and explain problem words, such as zeal = great enthusiasm and help sort out groups five values.
Facilitators are used to move the process along and keep the topics on course. The facilitator’s role is an encouraging supportive non-judgmental role. Their job is to listen, ask questions and encourage participation of the group. Students may already have a set of values for themselves. The values and ethics classes are a great way to promote discussion on these topics and to enhance a student’s experience in evaluating the material and how to apply it in their daily lives.
Ethics and values are a very relevant topic in our society and in living out our daily lives. Some examples used in the seminar are:
  1. taking steroids to improve a professional sport performance
  2. being 5 minutes late to work, leaving 5 minutes early
  3. reporting a car accident caused by your friend
  4. texting or phoning a friend while at work
  5. helping a friend study for a test;
  6. avoiding chores at home by saying you have a load of homework
  7. at the finish line giving a ribbon to all of the kids in a race
  8. a politician using his/her expense account for personal travel
Facilitators are invited to speak about a current job they have or a former job and whether the company has a code of ethics or a code of conduct in their job. McDonalds and Tim Horton's both have an ethics policy that outlines behaviours and what is expected of employees.  Some businesses have a plaque on the wall stating how employees will conduct business.
Rotary has a Four-Way test, which is a Code of Conduct and an easy way to check our personal ethics in what we think, say or do. The Four-Way Test presented as part of the program is as follows:
  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned? (just)
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? (helpful)
The above material and information is a brief overview of  what is presented at the Values and Ethics program at Mt. Baker. It is hoped that the instruction and content involved in the program will continue to flourish and remain a part of the Planning Curriculum at Mt. Baker. Thanks to all of the presenters, facilitators and students in helping make this a successful program.