All Rotaractors are young adults, but all young adults aren’t Rotaractors. Why not?

In recent days, concerns of members shying away from responsibilities or watching a few members tirelessly engage in all the activities of a club, leading to burning out is no more news. This isn’t a sustainable practice of engaging our members for the long run besides we become responsible for ruining the chance of bringing a Rotarian out of those dedicated Rotaractors.

When I first joined Rotaract; I was a fresh graduate, busy with work and hungry to learn all the new knowledge my surrounding has to offer. I wasn’t happy with my first club experience, that I had to switch clubs. What the second club offered was room to exercise my potential; more responsibility, engaging mostly solo. I was a newbie, I was enjoying the excitement. I believe my endless interest to learn and help others kept my battery charged enough to go on.

Looking back to that experience, I can only say; I made it to where I am now because I had senior members who were next to me, who believed in my potential, grooming me, nurturing me, and reminding me to take some rest, so as I won’t pull a string. At the same time, I have witnessed members giving their all and getting tired after a few months where they end up not showing up to any Rotaract engagements.

There are common mistakes happening in clubs regards to members.

The first one is creating a poor first impression on newbies. Prospective members join club events at different times and places. It’s the club’s duty to build a welcoming culture to enrich the essence of home feeling in the hearts of those new members. Most young ones have experienced ignorance of bad first impressions where they aren’t willing to hear the word of Rotaract and Rotary. This grows into a true danger as those unsatisfied people will share the disappointment, and how poorly they have been treated among their circles. This is a red flag besides hindering the opportunity of someone growing in Rotaract and serving his/her community.

Other days, nevertheless how bad the follow-up has been, some members stay. It’s not because they have good knowledge of Rotaract nor because they have good intentions, NO. They will stay because they get easy access to fellowships, endless club events, and the entities it brings along. This is the second issue, clubs oversee. Those types of members become an issue when they take office; due to their poor knowledge and no interest to learn; they leave the club’s status in jeopardy giving poor experience to the club members. Those members have the capacity to recruit members of the same interest; whereby the problem diffuses from certain members to club levels. 

There are clubs that give adequate mentorship and follow-up to newbies. Where the members are well equipped with the knowledge, serving their club and their community with full commitment. What’s the problem with this one? Good question; When the number of those types of members is small; they will be the ones who deliver, who plan out, who always save the day. They will be the ones who take on responsibility at all times. Slowly, those members get tired, personal commitments catch up to them; where they leave Rotaract feeling burn out, never to return again. This is the third common mistake with clubs.

I would like to believe you have found yourself among the three above. The question now is what is the solution?

Any young adult may join Rotaract for different reasons; what matters most is their REASON to stay. That’s what we shall be concerned about. Rotaract is a platform for the young to exercise, Self-development, fellowship through service. All three have to be included in club engagements and plans. As a club, be sensitive towards the experience of each member. Assign a certain member to welcome club members, guests, and so on during each activity. Link new members with senior members for follow-ups and mentorships. This will ensure new members get the right follow-up while senior members get a reason to stay around for guidance. 

Club’s dynamic change based on the membership type throughout the year and with the changing habit of happenings in the world. How Covid changed our interaction and priorities is the best example.

Plan your club engagements after hearing out the heartbeat of your members’ needs. Your club shall be revolutionary, adapt to the surroundings to nurture the need, and bring opportunity for members to be able to give more.

The experience of members in Rotaract is the brand of what the platform portrays. The responsibility lies on the shoulder of each of us. Be the hero!

Remember – Will it build goodwill and better friendship?