Developing the next generation of leaders ...
The following statement was issued by Rotary International regarding Rotary Youth Exchange:

After carefully considering the results of a risk assessment we conducted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors of Rotary International decided to allow some districts to continue Rotary Youth Exchanges with strict safety guidelines and program modifications during the 2020-21 Rotary year. These changes include suspending all short-term exchanges until 1 October 2020 and long-term exchanges until January 2021. The Board will regularly reassess the situation and make changes accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of our participants.
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM has participated in the Short Term Exchange Program (STEP) for many years; however, the Board has decided that, due to the many unknowns and pandemic restrictions, the Club will postpone involvement with STEP until further notice.
Darryl Craig was a highly respected Principal of Ballenas High School and a valued member of the Rotary Club of Parksville AM, known for his enthusiasm and his dedication to the Rotary motto of "service above self".  Darryl passed away in 2018, yet his Rotarian legacy lives on through the generosity of another member of the Club.

Ian K Dewar retired recently from the Rotary Club of Parksville AM, leaving a large number of Foundation Recognition Points as a result of his many contributions to the Foundation over the years. Such recognition points can be used to award Paul Harris Fellowships to deserving individuals, and Ian has requested that his points be used to establish an award targeted to the youth of our community through the Ballenas Interact Club.

To be known as the Darryl Craig Award, a Paul Harris Fellow will be presented annually to a member of the Ballenas Interact Club who has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of Rotary.  As a former educator, Darryl dedicated his career to the mentoring and inspiration of youth, and thus this award is particularly meaningful.

Announcement of this award was made at a Rotary meeting with Darryl's wife, Jill Wilkie and Ian Dewar in attendance, as shown below.

The recipient of the Darryl Craig Memorial Award will be an Interact member who, during the school year, shows leadership in fulfilling the Rotary Foundation slogan of “Doing Good in the World” and who puts the most effort into achieving this.  The recipient will be selected by members of the Ballenas Interact Club, along with the teacher advisor and the Rotary advisor. The recipient will receive a Paul Harris certificate and pin.  They can reflect achievement of this award on their future school and work applications.

It is hoped that the recipient will continue to have an involvement with Rotary after high school, possibly becoming a Rotaract member while at college or university, and a Rotary member after that.
Interact Brings Youth To Rotary
Interact is a service club for youth ages 12 to 18 who want to connect with other young people and have fun while serving their communities and learning about the world. Clubs, which meet at least twice a month, are sponsored by local Rotary clubs. Interact clubs organize two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Members of sponsoring Rotary clubs mentor Interactors as they carry out the projects and develop leadership skills.
The Rotary Club of Parksville AM is proud of its sponsorship of the Ballenas Interact Club in 2014.  Since then its members have exhibited extraordinary leadership and commitment to making a difference in our local community and internationally.
The following overview was prepared by 2018-19 Ballenas Interact President, Casey Reumkens:
What is Ballenas Interact Club?

Ballenas Interact Club focuses on local and international initiatives. Their motto is service above self because volunteering time is more meaningful than what money can buy. Service above self truly means putting others needs above your own, noticing what needs fixing and volunteering to fix it. The club uses creative methods to raise money for important causes, and many of their causes affect either the students at Ballenas or the city of Parksville.

Local Initiatives
Some initiatives include the annual collection of non-perishable food items, unused toiletries, and warm clothing for the cause called Halloween for Homelessness.  Many people in our city battle homelessness and cannot afford these commodities we take for granted; this initiative ensures warmth and comfort through the cold fall and winter season.

Another annual cause is the spring cleaning garage sale. This year, the garage sale raised money for a set or two of bleachers for our football field. Currently, the only way to view sports on the field is by standing or sitting on the uncomfortable damp field. This viewing method simply is not feasible for parents, grandparents and students trying to support Ballenas athletics.  By coming together and donating to this cause the Interact Club can reach this goal before the end of this school year. 

While fundraisers are a great way to contribute to your community, volunteering can be just as rewarding, if not even more rewarding than donating.

Another cherished local cause is when the group meets at Arrowsmith Lodge (a local old folks home) and they volunteer their time to keep the residents company. The students are helping the residents, but are gaining life experiences and skills in return. There is no better way to learn about life than from those with so much valuable life experience.

International initiatives
Last year an initiative based around lending money to people in developing countries was born. Using an online international non-profit website called Kiva loans, the  Interact Club was able to use fund raised money to contribute to people in need. This initiative is an ongoing project because when your loan is paid back, the cycle restarts and the money is continually loan to those in need.

Other international initiatives are continually being developed as the years progress or specific developing countries are in need of relief.  While the Interact Club has a majority of local initiatives, they still try and spread the money raised equally.