Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

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So I find out that everyone else in my Zone class of DGE’s has already scheduled their club visits for next year, and I realize that I really don’t have a great idea where all of the clubs are in my District.  Geography was never my thing.  So I think to myself, why not buy a map and lay out all the clubs in the District using pins so that I can use good time and territory management while I schedule my visits?

The first thing I find out is that AAA does not have a free map of Maryland.  Instead they offer a map that includes the state of Delaware, assuring that the scale of my project would need a magnifying glass to see. But since I’m way too cheap to actually purchase a map of Maryland, the Delaware/Md. map would be the way to go.  The next thing I realize is that I have morning, lunch, and evening clubs, so I need different color pins for each time of day.  No problem here.  It turns out you can buy pins in a variety of colors.

The next problem to be overcome was that there are meetings five days a week and I need to differentiate Tuesday meetings from Wednesday meetings.  So again, with the Type A spirit driving me onwards, I cut out little rectangular colored papers where each color represents a day of the week, and then write the club name on the slip of paper.  This is all done meticulously in microscopic size handwriting that is pretty much illegible.

With these issues surmounted, I next mount my AAA map on a piece of cardboard that I find jammed into a trash pile in the garage and begin putting pins in the map for every club in the District.  The result is spectacular.  The map has separate smaller maps for DC, Baltimore, Frederick, and Annapolis, so all is good.  Of course, dealing with the stupid pins and papers is a pain, but hey…this is all in the service of Rotary.

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The end result?  A beautifully laid out map full of pins and papers with club names showing where every club is in the District, the day of the week they meet, and the time of day they meet.  Next step?  Trying to figure out what order to visit clubs to maximize my time.  So, after two days of getting maps, pins, and paper, writing down club names in tiny handwriting, and struggling with putting pins in maps, I am ready to get to work.

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That’s when a thought occurred to me.  Didn’t our District Directory have some helpful information in this regard?  Why yes, it turns out it did.  Turning to page 6 I find a section called, Clubs Sorted By Area and Day.  And lo and behold, here is all the information I needed.  And so, dear RFA readers, I have proven, once again, that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.  But I do have some really cool pictures of pins in a map of Maryland and Delaware that give a great view of our Rotary clubs in District 7620.

By the way, that unbelievably large mass of pins in the middle of the map represent the mighty Howard County Eight Rotary clubs.  Yup eight…you can count the pins.

This weekend I’m off to Chesapeake PETS where I get to hang out with my club presidents, make speeches, introduce our RI Director, and generally cause all kinds of havoc.  What fun!  I will be reporting it all here at Ready, Fire, Aim!

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6 thoughts on “Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

  1. Absolutely hilarious to discover that I am not alone as a dull implement in the tool shed! I did the same drill for my District 7690 clubs using the info provided to me in our directory. I now have a very pretty map with pins for locations of 49 Rotary Clubs. Fortunately, as DG (2017-2018), I have a little more time to plan out my grand tour of official visits. Love your Blog!

    1. Great to hear from other low-tech District Leaders. Thanks for the kind words, Lloyd.

      1. Ken, great article. I’m here in Florida planning my DTT for this weekend and stressing out but after reading this issue of FRA, I can”t stop laughing. The stress has gone away. Thank you world class classmate.

        1. Thanks for the kind words. Just finished up Chesapeake PETS with our classmates DGE Rob Hemmen,7630, DGE Janet Brown, 7610, and DGE Gary Chenault, 7600. We really are blessed to have an amazing class for Zone’s 33-34.

  2. Mr. Solow,

    I will be giving a presentation to some young DC residents about making maps, and I came across your blog post. I was wondering if it would be okay to use the images in this post as example of what you can do with data, even without mapping software?

    Thank you for considering my request.

    1. Eva,

      You are certainly welcome to use this material in any way you think is suitable.

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