Interact Club redefines goals for community services

With the recommencement of the Interact Club for the 2012-13 school year, new goals have been set for advancing the club’s community service efforts and encouraging teen leaders to step out of their comfort zones.

“Interact is a student Rotary club that works in conjunction with the local Rotary,” club advisor Diana Govan says. “It’s been around for as long as Rotary has been around.”

Along with Carmel-by-the-Sea Rotary, the club makes visits to the Rippling River Residential Association in CarmelValleyVillage, a home for senior citizens.

“We’ve done beach clean-ups, road clean-ups and worked with RipplingRiver,” Govan says. “We also help support Rotary International.”

The club has also had the opportunity to work with local Rotarians Rod Neubert and Joe Hertlein. During Neubert’s last visit to a club meeting, he had club members participate in a game that required lowering a giant fishing rod to the ground, as two lines of members stood across from one another, balancing the fishing rod on their fingers. Although the challenge may not have seemed difficult at first, it proved complicated as the fishing rod refused to work without the group’s efforts.

The point of Neubert’s game was to establish that without teamwork, difficult tasks such as this would not be possible, and a club requires teamwork in order to be successful.

“We want to create connections with different organizations on the peninsula that directly serve the underserved,” Govan says. “We’re going to try and make regular visits to places like RipplingRiver and other residential homes, and we rely on the Rotary to make those connections.”

In order to accomplish their community service goals, the Interact Club needs more than willing students to give their time and efforts; it needs leaders to step up and take the reins.

With opportunities to make an impact on the community, the Interact Club teaches students how to step out their comfort zones, learn leadership skills involving taking charge and working together and fulfill their community service requirement at Carmel High School.

“What differentiates us from other Rotary clubs is we want one-on-one interactions,” says senior Jackie Mauldwin, president of the club. “We’re doing things to directly aid the community.”

The Interact Club meets on Mondays in Room 12 at lunch and is open to anyone who needs service hours or simply wants to help make a difference and get connected to the community.

-MADI SALVATI