New Generations: Focus on Rotaract
By Ron Goodenow and Carl Gomes

District 7910 has made a commitment to empower its existing Rotaract clubs and to grow new ones. Why is this commitment being made? The future growth of Rotary is dependent upon attracting and maintaining new and younger members. In North America, this is an acute issue - membership is declining. There are many factors that are causing this situation.

One of the solutions is to develop a strong and vibrant New Generations program that serves as a feeder program of potential future Rotarians. A good analogy is U.S. Major League Baseball. The minor-league system is the cornerstone that allows Major League Baseball to thrive and  grow. The teams that invest and support their "farm teams" are often the ones with the most success.

District 7910 understands this connection and is in the process of building the infrastructure to support its New Generations programs. Having held its first-ever Interact Advisor Training Seminar on November 16, the district will soon conduct its first-ever Rotaract Advisor Training Seminar, on February 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Framingham State University (To learn more about the November 16 Interact Seminar, click here.)

There are two audiences we are building this training for. The first is for potential sponsoring clubs and advisors. The second is for existing sponsoring clubs and advisors. We believe training is critical to the success of each audience. These initial sessions are the building blocks to future training tracks to be developed and offered quarterly. In addition to training, the district is assembling Interact and Rotaract committees that will be charged with developing a New Generations Strategic Plan for the district.

Last year, the Rotaract Club of Worcester Polytechnic Institute was the first chartered Rotaract club to be added to the District 7910 in many years. In its first year, the WPI club received a Global Grant to implement more than 22 rainwater-harvesting units in a remote mountain village in Guatemala, where local citizens benefited from modern, new cisterns and much more - leading to great happiness. This project energized our district and began the path we are now taking. Recently, the Rotaract Club of MIT was chartered as the newest such club in our district. Framingham State University and Brandeis University are in the process of potentially organizing Rotaract clubs on their campuses.

District 7910 understands the future of Rotary is with younger, engaged members. We must do our part and give them a reason to become future Rotarians. The Rotary Alumni Association of Greater New England can be helpful on two fronts: Encourage Rotary clubs in your areas to encourage new Rotaract activities and link up with RAAGNE; and, be sure to send us news, feedback and ideas that can help our New Generations Program succeed as well as educate RAAGNE. For more information on RAAGNE, contact Ron Goodenow, a past Rotary president and RAAGNE editorial advisor, at

For more information on the Rotaract in District 7910, click here. The WPI club sponsors a comprehensive Facebook page. To check it out, click here. For up-to-date information on District 7910's New Generations and Rotaract progress, be sure to contact Carl Gomes, chair of the district's Rotaract Committee, at