December 13, 2018: Jolanda Campbell from The Greenwell Foundation
Jolanda re-visited the club to tell us about Equine-Assisted Learning. To quote from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, "Working with equines provides opportunities to teach critical life skills such as trust, respect, honesty and communication. Equines use mostly non-vocal communication and are in-tune with human behavior. This can help participants to better understand and learn how our non-verbal communication might be impacting or influencing others in their lives. Equines ask people to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Through interactions with the equines, participants learn a heightened self-awareness. Self-awareness is important in order to reveal patterns of behavior and gives participants the opportunity to think in a new way. Furthermore, participants gain self-esteem and self-confidence while learning how to work with such a large and powerful creature." Jolanda discussed how some at-risk high school students have been working with horses at Greenwell and have learned new social skills, prolbem solving, and a greater connection with each other. We will be presenting with a $2,500 check--our part of the fundng for Greenwell's Minful Meadon, to be matched by a Rotary District grant. Thanks, Jolanda, for the visit and your passion for helping kids and veterans at Greenwell!
Rich shared news and stories about what Chambers do, how he became involved with our Chamber, and recent developments at our local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has moved from its previous location at the Airport (where they had to serve as de facto airport secuity!) to new offices in Lexington Park. Rich plans to be actively out in the community, fostering membership, and to bring changes to the Chamber website that will improve communucation and bring more value to Chamber members. Thanks, Rich, for your visit and for promoting the development of county business!
Alexis, who has been Director of DSS for four months now, gave an overview of the work that the department does for many of our most needy citizens. The scope and variety are impressive: Adoption, Child Protective Services, Child Support Services, Disability Help, Financial Help, Foster Care, Homeless Services, In-Home Aids, Emergency Food, Paternity Establishment, Safe Haven, Workforce Development, all come under the purview of the department. Natara filled us in on detaisl about the Foster prograsm. For a variety of reasons, many of St. Mary's children are in need of a foster home. While the department works hard to help these children return to their birth homes, and generally succeeds, sometime the children ultimately need a permanant new home. If interested in learning more about how to make a giant difference in a yuong person's life, speak to Lynn Fitrell or Michael Blackwell.
Howard and Ken visted to explain the great work of that Christmas in April does in our community. The mission is to "rehabilitate the homes of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, so that they may live in warmth, safety, and independence. We also provide help through work on community projects in St. Mary's County." Literally hundreds of county residents have a decent roof over their heads thanks to the efforts of this group. Our club annually gives financial support, but tis year on the last Satruday in April we are thinking of helping work on one of the homes as a club project. Light yard work and painting would seem well within our scope. Ken and Howard are an inspiration to do more to help our community thrive.
Energy Select is located right in downtown Leoanrdtown, and James discussed how it is helping to lower use of eletricty in our area through some innovative projects. Rich advocated the use of LED lights as energysaving and long-lasting alretntives to traditional incandescent or flourescent lights. He also gave lots of useful infrmaton on how and why to consier solar power. Systems that can easily last 20 years pay for themselves in ten, and after that one is often simply getting credits from electric companies for putting more energy back into the grid than is taken out. James expects most cars to be electric in 20 years, and power sources for such cars are already easy and inexpensive to install. Thanks, James, for advocating for a brighter future with less carbon burning!
Rich spoke on the importance of engaging new members, especially youunger ones, to help maintain Rotary's legacy of giving back to community adn fostering peace through understanding. Cljubs are encuraged to rry new stratetigies to hear what communityneeds are and meet people at point of need. Millenials are often attracted to projects not because they wish to socialize or conduct business but because they want to "do things." As an organziation that "does things,"a Toary cub has an opportunity to attract such members to remain vital. Thanks for your vision and leadership, Rich!
Dr. Godfrey gave a fascinating presentation on Calvert Marine Museum work with fossils and the famed Calvert Cliffs fossil grounds. Already one of the best destinations in the area when we locals have out-of-town guests, the Museum's collection is stil being enhanced. While many of the fossils collected are of whales and dolphins, in honor of the release of the movie "MEG" Dr. Godfey concentrated on the imposing Megalodon, a pre-historic (thankfully!) 60 foot shark that makes modern Great Whites seem like minnows. Nearly everyone loves big ancient creatures, perhaps especially those that existed locally and that go “crunch” on big prey like eating popcorn, so seeing a fossil dolphin vertebra with score marks on both sides was enjoyable but also a bit chilling. Only a few million years ago (the blink of an eye in geologic time!), residents swimmming over the spot where the musuem now stands could easily become mega-shark food. Visit the museum soon to see a newly aquired set of Meg “Jaws”!
Cathy Askey again graciously visited our cub to update us on changes in the 2018 tax laws, with an emphasis on how businesses will be effected by the changes and some advice on how to be ready for and possibly take advanage of the changes. Cathy and other members of her firm will also be doing some public presentations on the topic, including some upcoming programs at St Mary's County Library. Thanks Cathy, for sharing your expertise with us and the county to help us all be ready for some big changes.