Happenings in Rotary
The Rotary Club welcomed Francis Barnes to our meeting today.  Frances was introduced by Dave Panabaker.  Frances is a long time educator in the local school system and recently was the Chair of the Community Foundation of South Eastern Alberta.  She is now working as an executive coach, and trying to spend a little more time on the golf course.
Francis was with us today, to introduce us to a project that the CFSEA is taking on, a recognition program for 7 individuals over 70 years old.  The criteria specify that the achievements must have been made after the nominee has reached the age of 70.  Francis provided examples from a recent gala celebration in Calgary.
Frances asked the members of the Rotary club to first; spread the word, second; gather nominations (Aug 26 is the deadline), and third; to attend the Gala Event, on Thursday October 10, 2024 at Medalta.
More information can be obtained at https://cfsea.ca/top-7-70 .  This is not a fundraiser for the CFSEA, it is intended to recognize these outstanding individuals in the community.  Dan Kammerer from our club is a member of the CFSEA Board and is available to answer questions if you contact him.
Frances was thanked by President Bruce Shepard, with our Rotary coffee mug.
The Rotary Club was delighted to welcome to our meeting today, Kerstan Price, who is currently the Administrative Executive for the RYPEN camp.  Kerstan was introduced by Margie Booyens and has been involved with RYPEN since 2005, when she attended as a participant.  After that "life changing" experience she has returned as a leader and now helps organize the camps on a yearly basis.
The RYPEN camp (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) is held annual at the Lomond Bible Camp on the Little Bow Traverse reservoir.  Camp leaders are normally past participants.  Participants are not necessarily the top students or those who naturally excel, but those who have overcome adversity and can use an opportunity experience their own strength.  Many participants will move on to our Rotary Youth programs such as RAYEC or YEX.
The group has an amazing leadership team, and employ professionals in certain positions for social work, counselling and nursing.  Rotary clubs can support this with sponsorships, transport of students and leaders.
Many clubs across District 5360 (Including ours) sponsor participants.  The current cost is $600 per student.
The next RYPEN camp is May 3 - 6, 2024 and more information is available at http://www.rypen5360.org
A ‘second family’ for over 400 young people.
On Monday 25 March, the members of the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat had the privilege of spending just under two hours at the Redcliff Youth Centre (RYC).
The Centre, established in 1990, is on Main Street, in Redcliff. It is a registered charity, and a ‘standalone’, not affiliated to any provincial or national body. It offers a variety of free educational and recreational programs to young people between the ages of 10 and 17 years.
The purpose of holding our Rotary noon meeting at the Centre was to see, ‘feel’, and learn more about this context for youth empowerment and development, to which we made a donation last year, for kitchen equipment.
We were warmly received and hosted by Executive Director Janae Ulrich, Sandra (Youth Support Worker) Hayden (a student), Chris (President of the RYC Board), and three other Board members, Carrie, Danielle and Gary.
What a worthwhile visit! We left the Centre with a better understanding of who they are and what they do, and with a huge appreciation for the quality of this context in which over 400 young people (on average), sign in for at least one activity, per month. Interestingly, about 70% of the 365 young people who are registered with the Centre, are male.
Most of these young people live in Redcliff, but 30% hail from Medicine Hat and a small percentage come from other parts of the Prairie Rose school district. They all attend school.
In this ‘second family’ context, which operates from a strengths-based perspective, the youth are able to relax, be themselves, play pool, make and eat lunches and dinners, connect with positive adult role models, join in a homework program, get help to put a resume together for employment purposes, participate in Teen Group Sessions with Medicine Hat Family Services, enjoy Emotional Support Animal Assisted therapy, and go on field trips to places of interest, including the Medicine Hat College.
Child and Youth Care Counselling (CYCC), Social Work and Nursing Clinical Students from the College attend the Redcliff Youth Centre as their practicum / practical study for hands on learning during their field of study.  Students participate in programs and services, helping to advocate for youth during the time spent with the agency.  CYCC, SW (2-3) students, and the Nursing Clinical Students (8-12) along with their instructor, attend the centre twice a week. The Nursing Students help to host the Annual Wellness Fair, where registered youth are able to obtain free new and gently used clothing, hygiene products, and community resources, while participating in a variety of wellness themed events, such as animal assisted therapy, yoga and team building exercises, all related to the “Needs Assessment” made by the nursing students during their time spent in the Redcliff community and placement agency.  
The staff, Board and volunteers are guided by the following core values and principles:
  • Mentoring, building healthy relationships
  • Inspiring leadership and developing active citizenship qualities, through volunteerism and engagement
  • Promoting and developing youth self-efficacy, building personal growth, and individual esteem
It was good to hear, during question and discussion time, that a fair amount of time is spent on helping the Centre members think about their futures, in terms of post-school education and future vocation.
The facility has undergone major renovations over the past year, costing $68,000. Home Depot Canada Foundation covered the cost AND Team Home Depot spent days at the Centre, doing the actual work. It looks great – an environment in which young people feel comfortable and respected.
Who supports the Redcliff Youth Centre, in addition to the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat? Home Depot Canada Foundation, United Way, Sun City Ford, Suntaira Growers, Servus Credit Union, CIBC, the Town of Redcliff, UFA, the Community Foundation, and others.
What are the biggest challenges? Recruiting Board members, parent participation, and finding money to cover operational costs.
But, as put forward by Janae, “We may not have it all, but together we have it all”. Such a positive, inclusive, message.
Another takeaway for all of us, is this:
Read more about this amazing Youth Development Centre - and how you can get involved - on their website: https://redcliffyouthcentre.com
Upcoming Events
May 2024
Medicine Hat

We meet In Person & Online
Mondays at 11:45 a.m.
Medicine Hat Lodge
1051 Ross Glen Dr SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3T8
The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat has returned to meeting in person. Our first meeting of every month is a ZOOM business meeting. Check the club calendar, which is usually up to date for our meeting locations and program.
Club Contact Info
Rotary Club of Medicine Hat
PO Box 1058
Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 7H1