Twenty four high school students visiting from across the globe all met this past weekend for the Youth Exchange International Camp Out. The Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore hosts this 3 day-long event at the Sunset Ranch located in the Ortega Mountains just west of Lake Elsinore. At the event, students who are visiting abroad through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and students from local Rotary Interact Clubs come together to learn about other cultures, share their experiences and travels and for some, have their first introduction to a “s’more”.
Tom and Dee Thomas, long time Rotarians and owners of the Sunset Ranch, spend many months preparing for the event. They secured volunteers from across Southern California to assist with making meals and hosting activities for the students.
“We love hosting the International Campout each year,” said Tom Thomas. “It is an opportunity for teens from around the world to meet each other and just have a good time!”
The campout is often the teen’s first introduction to the United States, as many have just arrived here for their year-long stay. The campout is a jointly hosted by the Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore, Rotary District 5330 and Rotary’s Southern California Youth Exchange Team.
“It is a great opportunity to feel camaraderie when so far from home and a chance to make friendships for life,” says Mary Brown, President of the Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore. “We are always proud to host this great weekend adventure for the Rotary foreign exchange students.”
For more information about the Youth Exchange International Campout and other Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore programs, visit www.lakeelsinorerotary.org. --Bonnie Woodrome
The Rotary Club of Lake Elsinore meets on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 a.m. at the Ortega High School Conference Center at 520 Chaney St., Lake Elsinore. An evening extension club meets at 7:00 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Lone Star Steakhouse Restaurant in Lake Elsinore. For information about Rotary programs, you can log onto www.lakeelsinorerotary.org or you can call 951-699-5551.