In the photo, from left, Claire Buletza, Annika Johnson, Charlotte Donahue, and Jenny White.  (Photo by John Muldoon)
Recently, four leaders of Ipswich High School Interact took the reins of our weekly Ipswich-Rowley club meeting.  In addition to collecting Happy Bucks, making announcements, and coordinating our weekly celebrations, the officers used PowerPoint to update us on their second annual summer camping retreat at Green Meadow Campground in Glen, NH.  The event is designed to energize and organize the leadership team for the coming year. 
Dubbed ‘Leadership in the Woods’, the chaperoned event lets 13 Board members step outside their comfort zones to plan and budget meals and gear, organize fun activities, and share event duties.  Following a fun filled hike on nearby Black Cat Mountain, a guest speaker from RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) introduced a learning and organizing game that uses a color test to help identify personal leadership styes.  The group then separated according to their dominant color: red (fiery) do more, blue (cool) do it right, green (earth) do it fairly, and yellow (sunshine) do it together.  Each group picked 5 or 6 goals from the Interact Presidential Citation list. 
At their first club meeting at the High School, the leaders introduced the color wheel and led a planning session to finalize their goals.  The club identified 14 goals but will focus on the top 5 for the year.  The event was well attended with over 100 students present, 1 in 6 students at Ipswich High School.
One goal is to raise money for Polio Plus, Rotary International's collaboration with the World Health Organization to eradicate polio in the world.  Another is to help young leaders learn more about Rotary through RYLA, another personal growth camping experience, and RYE (Rotary Youth Exchange.).  They also used the RI Brand Center to design tee shirts.
Another goal is to expand their definitive event, ‘The Jingle Bell Walk’.  The club is organizing the event earlier this year with the objective of keeping it fun for both members and the community.  They also hope to increase income from the event and will broaden their advertising to adjacent towns.  Funds raised support their community service activities.  They also hope to help Early Act on their movie night, and to focus on nature-based education.
This year’s officers, who led this entertaining and informative session, included President Annika Johnson, also Vice President of the National Honor Society; Vice President Jenny White and Treasurer Claire Buletza, who play on the volleyball team; and Secretary Charlotte Donahue, a member of the basketball team.  Charlotte summed it up, ‘I work with great people’.
‘The Interact Board is the most rounded group involved with high school activities,’ Annika continued.  The same can be said of the Rotary club’s dedicated and inspiring youth advisory team.  Our principal Interact advisor is creative Keith Harris, who along with Christina Harris shepherds Interact on its planning retreats.  Christina also serves as club advisor for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.  Steve Roge and Lee McNelly advise EarlyAct, while Laurie Cameron and Cindy Quinn assist on the ‘Jingle Bell Walk’.  Martha Mauser serves as our Rotary Youth Exchange advisor.