Minutes of September 26, 2013

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush

Attending (11): April Dowd, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Dean Calamaras, Carol Orvis, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Len Leonidas, Carole Spencer.

Guests (2): Assistant District Governor Bob Van Alstine, Troop 451 Scoutmaster Denny Chicinno.

Program: Boy Scout Troop 41

Denny Chicinno
Scoutmaster Denny Chicinno

Scout master Denny Chicinno, scoutmaster of Troop 41 which the Southern Rensselaer County club has helped financially support for years, addressed the club.

Denny began by thanking us for our support over the years. This year, the troop has another new scout and 17 active members.

The boys attend Camp Rotary every year in Poestenkill and work on merit badges during that time. The troop has produced an astounding 80 Eagle Scouts over the years, and he has worked with 33 of them.

Denny said he tries to keep it fun, and keep the youths busy. A few examples:

The troop collected deposit bottles this year and raised $4,000, which helped pay for uniforms and activities. They have taken camping trips, five kayak trips, and visited the Six Flags amusement park. They  also attended the Scout Jamboree, a huge encampment of Scouts from all over this past summer; that trip included a visit to an amusement park.

Denny said the troop does not work on merit badges during regular meetings, instead saving that activity for summer and other special meetings. There are more than 130 different badges available, with mentoring by specialists in each field helping the Scouts learn and become skillful in their areas. Badges are available in such fields as technology, science, crafts, athletics, trades, business, outdoors skills, American heritage,  chemistry, citizenship, architecture, drafting, geology, graphics, art, music, robotics, woodworking and many more.

Upcoming activities include hosting other Scout groups, and a confidence training session this fall.

Curiously, Denny was not a Boy Scout as a youth. He said he got involved because of his two sons’ membership, and found he enjoyed it, so he continued leadership efforts after his boys were grown. He said he often lets his Scouts choose the things they want to do, which helps keeps them interested.

NOTE: Terry Brewer asked about attending a Troop 41 meeting some time to help promote Rotary, an event at which the Scouts’ parents could attend to learn more as part of our Club’s formal membership outreach effort for the 2013-14 Rotary Year. Denny said he liked the idea and will let us know when we can schedule such a get-together with a group representing the club.


THANK-YOU NOTES: The club has received thank-you notes from Jennifer Hendricks, president of the new Capital Region Rotary Club, and Geoff Benton of the Friends of Fort Crailo for the SRC’s financial support and club members’ individual participation in their events.

RYLA: There are five Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) students from Maple Hill High School that the club is financially supporting this year, one more than usual, for the sessions that begin this Saturday. They are Peter Aitken, Lexie Keenan, Max Jenkins, Eleanor Haase and Jacob Long.

OUTSIDE ROTARY ACTIVITIES: Murray Forth reported on his participation in the annual Gift of Life Golf Tournament. He also followed up Peter and Debbie Brown’s report of the previous week  about the new Capital Region Rotary Club. They and Murray were among SRC members who attended its charter dinner and presented a $250 check to help underwrite its startup costs.

UPCOMING GUEST SPEAKER: Dick Drumm reminded us that he has scheduled Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin to be our speaker next week, with that meeting designated a “Spouses’ Night.” Guests, obviously, are strongly encouraged.

HEALTH REPORT: Len Leonidas reported that Jim Leyhane’s cardiac procedure went well, and Dean Calamaras reported that wife Doris’s overall health is improving. President April Dowd said she would have get-well bouquets sent to both on behalf of the club.

Van Alstine
Van Alstine

ADG VISIT: Bob Van Alstine, Assistant District Governor, spoke on the general activities in the district — the Rotary Youth Leadership Institute training on October 12 at Siena College in Loudonville (President-elect Bill Dowd will attend; President April encouraged other member to strongly consider following suit); the Foundation Festival and Paul Harris Recognition event on November 20 at Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia (it is titled “Anchors Aweigh! A Journey to Explore the Visions of Rotary”); changes to the Rotary Grants program that we need to be aware of if we wish to participate.

Terry Brewer suggested to Bob that we schedule a “Rotary Awareness Day” at a local mall for  representatives of various clubs in District 7190. He asked if it also could include some of the exchange students. Bob said he thought it an excellent idea and said he will take it to District Governor Sue Austin.

Terry also suggested holding an event at one or more of the local colleges to encourage membership. This could also include other area clubs.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 3. Guest speaker: Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R-C).]


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