NEXT MEETING: June 22, 2018

Developing Leaders through the Power of Nature

Since its inception in 1999, YES Nature to Neighborhoods has brought 5,300 Richmond and surrounding West Contra Costa County youth to week-long, residential summer camps and more than 1,000 families to weekend Family Camps in the Redwoods. Each summer YES aims to send nearly 300 youth, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to attend camp, to one of seven different residential and day camps around the region. Eric Aaholm, the organization’s Executive Director, will tell us how YES build self-confidence and enhance leadership among Richmond’s youth.



Our meeting was called to order by President Connie.

Tom led the Pledge of Allegiance. Herb offered the invocation. Syd had this thought-for-the-day: “One of life’s mysteries is how the boy not good enough for my daughter could father the smartest grand kid in the world.”

Today’s Guests

Our guests today included Mac Lingo from the Berkeley Rotary; Jon Dwyer, our District-Governor Elect; our speaker Brooke Deterline, and her husband, Ken Deterline; and Susan Grossman from the Concord Rotary Club.


  • A reminder: It is now time to pay your Rotary dues and contribution to the Rotary Foundation. You can do this by bringing a check or credit card to the next meeting, or by clicking the yellow Donate buttons in the right column. These bring you to our PayPal gateway, where you can use your credit card.
  • The next TGIFF will be held on June 29 at Saluté’s Restaurant, hosted by the Berkeley Rotary. Saluté’s will be closing in July. Its owner, Menbé, will serve meals gratis but asks that all in attendance write very generous tips to the staff—a kind of severance thank you gift.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Courageous Conversations

Brooke Deterline trains people on how to to talk to people with whom you disagree yet with whom you must live and work—on how to have “courageous conversations.”

Disagreement causes stress. Our animal brains’ fight-or-flight response to stress urges us to avoid the conflict of taking on disagreement, and causes us to avoid difficult conversations. Thus, those with whom we disagree become the other or the enemy. As an indication of our general aversion to disagreement, Brooke told us that inter-political-party marriages are now more controversial than are inter-racial or inter-religious!

Time can help us manage our stress response. We must give our thinking brain time to catch up to our animal brain’s instinctive response. We may also be able to establish common ground of values before we talk about disagreements of policy or implementation.

Rotary Clubs are an ideal forum for such conversations because we are already diverse in opinion, yet are part of a community. Consequently it should be safer to have such conversations among Rotarians. Stay tuned for an announcement of a Rotary-sponsored training on the ways to have more Courageous Conversations.

- Josh Genser, Rotating Scribe