Meeting Three—Vocational, Community, and Youth Service

This meeting focuses on how Rotarians serve through their vocations and in the community at large and how Rotary serves youth. Some of the service projects in which our club is engaged will be discussed.

Assignment for this meeting:

  • Read pages 21–30 of The ABCs of Rotary.
  • Be prepared to report on your experience in “sitting around.”
  • Be prepared to give a report on the Vocational, Community, or Youth Service topic you selected.


Report topics and resources for Vocational, Community, and Youth Service

Awards for Vocational Service: Rotary International offers a number of awards for service in various avenues. One is the Vocational Service Leadership Award. The Rotary Club of Fairhope annually presents the L. E. Rockwell Memorial Meritorious Service Award.

Business and Professional Ethics: Does your business or profession have a stated code of ethics for practitioners? Research the “Rotarian Code of Conduct” and “Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions.”

Classification Talks: What is a “classification talk”? Have you ever been asked to give one? Find out more about the topic here.

Club Banners: “One of the colorful traditions of many Rotary clubs is the exchange of small banners, flags, or pennants. Rotarians traveling to distant locations take banners to exchange at make-up meetings as a token of friendship. Clubs use the decorative banners for displays at meetings and district events. The exchange is a meaningful gesture that serves as a tangible symbol of international fellowship.” [A Century of Service: The Story of Rotary International] You can see the many banners our club has collected in the Banner Gallery at this website.

Community Service: What are some Community Service activities of your club? You can see some of the Fairhope club’s recent projects here. In addition, each year we serve by providing float marshals for the Fairhope Christmas parade and volunteers for Polo at the Point, and we distribute dictionaries to third-graders at Fairhope Elementary School.

Four-Way Test: Our Web page on the Four-Way Test has links to articles about the Four-Way Test and its inventor, Herbert J. Taylor.

Interact and Rotaract Clubs: Does your club sponsor an Interact or Rotaract club? Find out more about these clubs at My Rotary: Interact. Rotaract. Find out about the clubs sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fairhope at this website: Interact. Rotaract. Our home page also has links to the websites and Facebook pages of the clubs we sponsor.

Rotary Youth Club: Clubs in Fairhope and Point Clear support the Fairhope–Point Clear Rotary Youth Club. Find out more about it here and here.

RYLA: The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program is run by individual districts. To find out more about RYLA in District 6880, see here.

Scholarships: Does your club offer scholarships for college or graduate study? The Rotary Club of Fairhope offers the Thomas S. Scoggins Memorial Scholarship. Other local clubs offer additional scholarship assistance. In the past, The Rotary Foundation, working through districts using SHARE funds, funded Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships, now unfortunately defunct. My Rotary offers advice to clubs and districts on creating scholarships, which can be funded with district or global grants.

Vocational Service: What is Vocational Service? Read Cliff Dochterman’s “Vocational Service, Rotary’s First Concept.”

Vocational Visits: A Vocational Visit is an opportunity for Rotarians to learn more about organizations in the community and the work of their members by holding a meeting at the workplace of one of a club’s members. Among memorable Vocational Visits of the Rotary Club of Fairhope have been those to Thomas Hospital’s newly opened Wellness Center, the newly opened Thomas Medical Center in Daphne, Fairhope’s new police station/jail, the new arts wing at Fairhope High School, Crestview Aerospace, The Hamlet, the new Christian Life Center at Fairhope United Methodist Church, Windmill Market, B&B Pecans, and Homestead Village.

Vocational Training Teams: What is a Vocational Training Team? Who can participate? Download the Vocational Training Team Factsheet from this page and/or watch the video here.

Youth Service: As noted earlier, the Four Avenues of Service have been in place since 1928. Rotarians have long been committed to serving youth in their communities, and over the years, Rotarians who felt strongly drawn toward working with children repeatedly called for Youth Service to be a fifth Avenue. Others argued for service to the handicapped. But RI Boards and Councils on Legislation countered that if “youth” became an avenue, there would soon be an argument for “the elderly” to become one; if “handicapped” were added, how long would it be before “poverty” or “environment” was demanded?

Rotary’s programs for youth, such as Interact, Rotaract, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), and Rotary Youth Exchange, often overlapped several Avenues. As Rotary clubs aged and it became clear that recruitment of younger members would be needed, there was renewed agitation for a separate Avenue. Accordingly, on April 28, 2010, New Generations Service became Rotary’s fifth Avenue of Service.

Past RI President Luis Vicente Giay coined the term New Generations when he shared his belief that the future of Rotary relied on involving young people in the organization’s programs and activities. At the 1996 RI Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he said: “Our vision for the future, now more than ever, is the difference between success and failure. The New Generations are our investment in the future. Let us begin to build that future today.”

The name “New Generations Service” never had the simplicity of the other four Avenues, and in April 2015, the name was changed to “Youth Service.”