Rotary New Year’s Resolution – Have More Fun!

In my Rotary travels I have often heard the following addition to the Four Way Test…”Have Fun.”  The funny thing about having fun is that, in most clubs, you have to work at it.  It is simply not good enough to say you want to have fun in Rotary.  Like most things we do you have to have a plan, recruit leaders, inform the members, and execute.  To which you might say…”Aw Come On!”  “REALLY?”  Yes….Really.  Being a long-time member of the Columbia Patuxent Club, where meetings fall somewhere between Animal House and Saturday Night Live, it is interesting to visit other clubs to see how much fun they have during their meetings.  In fact, as a PETS trainer I challenge President-Elects to bet me $20 that I would laugh out loud three times during one of their club meetings.  You would be surprised at how many offer to take the challenge.  Clearly we THINK we’re hilarious.  Unfortunately, in many cases…not so much.

So, this year Ready, Fire, Aim will share some of the best ideas about how Rotary clubs can have fun.  Having fun in Rotary is…well….fun.  But if that isn’t a good enough reason, consider the following:

In order to retain Rotary members they must feel connected to your club.  Humor is one of the best ways to connect to people and will help to make members feel “at home” at your meeting.  Nothing builds relationships better than  sharing a good laugh.

Rotary Club meetings should not be a business meeting.  Your members already attend enough business meetings.  Think of your Rotary Club meetings as putting on a show.
The show should be fast-paced, entertaining, energetic, and fun for all concerned.

It is the job of the club’s leadership to objectively look at the club’s meeting to make sure you are putting on a GREAT show for your members every week.  Remember, for the most part Rotary business should get done elsewhere.  This is a good topic for a later post.

The Sgt. at Arms is the club member in charge of fun.  If you think the job is to set up the room and call for order…..nope.  If you think that the job simply entails collecting Happy Dollars….nope.  A lot more to come in this space about Sgt. At Arms, the least understood and one of the most important positions in a Rotary club.

Finally, the best clubs have lots of opportunities for having fun outside of club meetings.  In the attached photo you will see members of the District 7620 Leadership Team practicing having fun.  The good food, laughter, story telling, libations, and general good cheer were all done strictly for the benefit of our District Rotary membership.  You know…practice, practice, practice.  After all, we need to “Walk the Walk” if we are going to stress having fun in Rotary.

Seated L-R: Member Chair, Darrell Nevin, Linda Solow, Yours Truly, Stephanie Fenner, Kathy Nevin, Trish Parkinson, Margaret Kyle. Standing L-R: DGE Bill Fine, AG Nancy Szlasa, PDG Bob Nelson, AG Mark Milby, Kathe Fine, AG Geoffrey Fenner, PDG Bob Parkinson, DG and Grand Poobah, Peter Kyle


2 thoughts on “Rotary New Year’s Resolution – Have More Fun!

  1. Ken,

    Great blog this week. You are absolutely right about the importance of FUN in Rotary and the need for every meeting to be a SHOW.



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