Kitchener Rotary


April 4, 2022

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomed all to the meeting, in this the 39th week of our 100th year.

Visiting Rotarians

Imke Hellmanns, RC of Frankfurt, Germany


Matt Gray, Director - Coldwater Canada, Guest Speaker

Oksana Tereshchenko, Ukrainian Refugee, guest of Lumi Mironescui

Bell Ringer(s)

Our Bell Ringer this week is Lumi Mironescu.  She was instrumental in contacting the RC of Frankfurt in Germany to arrange support for a Ukranian refugee, Okasana Tereshchenko.
Here is her recent message which clearly reflects her personal efforts to help the people of Ukraine to date:
“Thank you David, Thank you Imke, Thank you Rotary of Frankfurt International for your enormous help on Oksana's journey.  It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of a dedicated group of like-minded people, highly visible community leaders.  David, opening your house' s doors for a mother and her daughter, impacts significantly a person’s life.  You are an example of care, you serve to change lives. On behalf of my Rotary Club of Kitchener, of my family, and Oksana's son, we thank you.”
Ernie and our Ukraine Committee are continuing to develop our club's plan of help. Please contact him if you are interested in helping.
We were pleased to have Imke and Oksana join us in the meeting today.

Happy Jar

Gary Parker was very happy to have been in Windsor this past weekend to see his youngest grandson win his hockey tournament and receive the Alliance Cup.
Lumi Mironescu, is happy that today is International Carrot Day!  She is also looking forward to her daughter’s upcoming dance competition in Toronto.
Carl Zehr is happy that the hybrid car he ordered last September has finally arrived and he can start to spend less on gas and do more to save the environment.
Shawky Fahel is most pleased to have obtained tickets to the quarter finals of the World Cup next fall in Qatar.

Club Announcements

Catch The Ace
Our weekly winner of Catch the Ace was Nancy H. of Toronto.  She is a new Catch the Ace player and heard about us through an e-mail.  Nancy picked card #17, revealing the 3 of Hearts and won the weekly prize of $255.
When you buy tickets you have a chance to win the weekly prize and if your card is the Ace of Spades you will also win the Progressive Prize currently at $9,999.  The next weekly draw is on Thursday April 7th.  The deadline to get your tickets as always is Wednesday at Midnight. 
Don't forget that you have to purchase a ticket the week of the draw to qualify for both the weekly and progressive jackpot!
When you play Catch the Ace not only do you have a chance to win great prizes but you also win by knowing that the net proceeds will all be going to KidsAbility.
Club Survey
Louise Gardiner reminded members of the Club Survey that has been sent out and encouraged all who have not already done so, to complete it.  The information we gather will be very helpful as we make post COVIFD plans for our club.
District Conference
Members are reminded that the District Conference will be at Bingeman’s on May 28.  Details can be found here:
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI)
The Rotary Leadership Institute is a great program for members to learn more about our great organization.  It consists of three parts – each a full day training session, which are being offered on May 7 here in Kitchener.  The $75 fee is free for new Rotarians for Part 1 (2 years or less) and is covered by the club for other members for Parts 1, 2 and 3.
Registration for Part 1 can be found here:

Club Coaching Program

Members of our Membership Committee made a presentation today about a new Coaching Program to assist new members.
  • Ensure newer members feel welcome and supported
  • Relationship with an existing member to answer questions/provide guidance
  • Newer members get the information they need and know they are valued
  • Newer member and coaches are identified by the Coaching Coordinator
  • Regular member/coach meetings are scheduled at least 6 months / or longer, to assist in introducing all aspects of Kitchener Rotary, District and RI. 
The Coaches
  • Have a passion for Rotary with time to work with newer member
  • Understand the world of Rotary but don’t need to be experts.
  • Maintain regular contact with the newer member
  • Introduce the newer member to other members and resources within Rotary
  • Ensure the newer member completes the Super Power list
  • Explain and assist with the Who Am I meeting
  • Assist in understanding club procedures, strategic plan, member profile on ClubRunner, training opportunities, Make-up meetings and other resources
  • Informal relationships are established between new members and existing members
  • Newer members become engaged in the work of Rotary
  • Knowledge of Rotary organization and resources available enhances experience for the newer members
Personal Story - Marissa Watkin
Check this video where Marissa talks about her coaching experience. 
Who to Contact
  • Hubert Singh, Chair
  • Louise Gardiner
  • Adrian DeCoo
  • Paul Rostrup
  • Tom Mennill
  • Erin Way

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker to day was Matthew Gray, Director of Coldwater Canada presenting on the topic: Why You(th) Need Wilderness Adventures
Matt was introduced by Peter Gray, member and his father.
Matt grew up in Kitchener, Ontario as the oldest of four siblings and spent most of his free time playing sports.  He received a baseball scholarship in the US where he met his wife, Michelle.  It was during his time in Iowa that Matt discovered his passion for investing in youth, strengthening faith and developing leaders while simultaneously being exposed to the Adventure Education process.  After several years working as a youth pastor in Iowa and a wilderness instructor in northern Minnesota, Matt and his wife Michelle moved back to Canada to launch Coldwater Canada.  Based out of Cambridge, Ontario, Coldwater uses the wilderness as a classroom to develop, equip and empower young leaders.  From May to September, Coldwater operates out of their summer basecamp located between North Bay and Sudbury, right on the doorstep of the Temagami wilderness area.
Matt graduated from the Arrow Leadership program in 2018 and is currently in the final stages of a Masters of Arts in Leadership Management at Briercrest Seminary.  Matt and Michelle have four children: Eloise (9), Silas (6), Roslyn (4), and Kinslie (1 ½). When not thinking about developing leaders, playing with his kids or working on his masters, you can find Matt hunting, working out or training for an adventure race.
Address: 2042 Dumfries Rd. Cambridge, ON N1R 5S5 Email(s): Cell Phone(s): 519-221-2020 Facebook: Instagram: @coldwatercanada
Matt provided his personal notes for the presentation.
Hello everyone, I am grateful to be with you and have this opportunity to share today!

Ev’s Story

I remember the day that Ev stepped out of the van into a crazy hot summer day at our basecamp.  Ev was coming to us from an organization that works with inner city kids for a one week high school canoe trip. He had dark hair, was a bit gangly, and despite the heat he had a black hoodie on, with the hood pulled up and I couldn’t help but think that his hood was his safety against a new and unfamiliar place.
Our staff greeted him, and quickly tried to get him involved in team building activities. But through those activities and the ones that followed he held back.
The next day his group was loading up the vans and canoe trailer, ready to head out into Temagami, yet Ev remained in a room at camp totally unwilling to move.  He told me in firm and colourful language that he wanted to go home - he didn’t want to go on the trip. He said “this isn’t me. It just doesn’t feel right. I have no idea what to expect out there, I don’t know anyone, and I never do things that I've never done before.” He told me he would rather be at home playing video games where he was comfortable.  I don’t fully remember what I said, but Ev ended up getting in the van.
When I picked the group up a week later, Ev, the kid who was distant and awkward came up to me and gave me hug, saying thank you! Later that night we were having a celebration service at camp, where students share about the growth they want to celebrate and take aways they will apply to life back home. Ev looked like a totally different person. He stood up straight, and I could see the light of confidence in his eyes. In front of everyone he shared about how he had cooked food, seen the stars, carried a canoe, sat in silence beside a lake, and got the chance to lead for the first time. He spoke of being accepted, and of how he discovered that he can do way more than he thought he could.


I am sure many of you are aware of the condition and trends of many youth today. As a Rotary Club I know you are all about serving to change lives. I know you care about young people, and are aware of how the past few years have been incredibly difficult, especially for young people, with undisputed declines in mental health. I am not here to just share facts or trends. Rather, I want to share an approach that I believe can help youth transform the way view themselves, interact with others, and engage in the world.
I first was exposed to wilderness programs harnessing the power of experiential learning and led using the adventure education process back in 2008. Since then I have been leading wilderness programs, or enabling staff to lead these programs. Over the years I have witnessed wilderness adventure programs generate a distinct impact, which I believe can help young people thrive – thrive with a greater sense of purpose, stronger sense of identity, a greater awareness of their unique strengths and gifts; an “I can” mindset; a posture that is full of grit; a greater desire to serve, lead and effect change as a young person.

Context and Definition of adventure:

So When we break it down, what is adventure?
The most basic way we can understand adventure is “any experience where the outcome is unknown.”
You may hear that and think, “well, that sure sounds like most of my life,” and you’re right. That sounds like my life too. There are many uncertainties and there is much that is unknown especially with life during a pandemic.
Other definitions of adventure include something unusual, exciting, maybe a journey, or an experience where there is risk; yet also some sort of potential desired reward.
Maybe you have felt the call of adventure in your life. The seductive view of mountains on the horizon, or the desired caress of sand in the south. That journey you have always wanted to take, the country you have always wanted to visit, or the activity you have always wanted to try, the bucket list you have wanted to check off. That “one day” pursuit that has never quite left your mind.
We are wired for adventure, and while this wiring may be more evident or expressive in some of us, it is there in all of us, lurking in the recesses of our minds and hearts; a thirst waiting to be quenched; a need longing to be filled; a God-given hunger craving satisfaction.
While the hunger for adventure is present in our culture, and to varying degrees in each one of us, it is often thwarted by what author Greg Robinson calls, the twin pillars of certainty and control.
We like to be certain of the outcomes of situations before we embark. We also like to control and let our preferences shape the experiences we participate in.
Certainty and control create comfort, and we love comfort, and comfort in itself is not bad. So, while we are drawn to and even wired for adventure, our love of certainty and control prevent us from having the adventures we need, robbing us of deeper benefits we are unaware of.
In my experience this is often this is true for youth and adults alike.
So, Coldwater Canada harnesses adventure by leading people out into the wilderness on four day to multi week wilderness learning journeys.
Every summer we head north from the Cambridge area, where we make an old church camp our basecamp up between North Bay and Sudbury. During the summer months youth from across Ontario come to us where they spend a night at camp before being sent out in a learning journey in the Temagami wilderness classroom, similar to the trip Ev participated in.
Remember Ev, the kid who had had his hood up, yet ventured into the wilderness and returned with his hood down and confident?  The change I saw in Ev after the trip was palpable.  I knew that the Ev I was seeing had gone through quite the process out in the woods.
Without a doubt when he first ventured out, Ev would have felt a sense of disequilibrium, or un balance, by being placed in the novel setting in the wilderness.
When you step into a novel setting, a place unfamiliar, everything seems different…the sights, the sounds. Our awareness is higher and people can be more aware of their decisions, responses, and interactions with others.
I also know Ev would have stepped into a place where his leaders worked to forge this group of strangers into a cooperative community; a safe place where youth could take their masks off, show their true self, be vulnerable; yet also be seen and affirmed;
I know he would have faced many unique problems and challenges. Challenges like carrying a canoe or canoe pack over rocky and muddy portages, enduring long days of travel, or dealing with rain or bugs. He would have had to learn to tie knots, set up shelters, cook food over a fire. He would have had opportunities where he could choose to serve his group, like cleaning burnt oatmeal out of a pot or collecting firewood. He would have had the chance to lead his group as a leader of the day, figuring out how to navigate through unfamiliar places.
As he leaned into community, learned and used new skills, persevered through challenges, while simultaneously being invested in by our leaders, real and legitimate feelings of accomplishment would have formed; feelings that may have been more powerful than what he experienced in his normal life.
Our staff would have sat with him and enabled him to process these feelings of accomplishment to learn from his wilderness experience, and identify new behaviours and insights he could apply to life back home.
The Ev that I saw at the end of that wilderness trip was inspired, equipped and most definitely empowered.

Back to Coldwater

I feel so blessed that ever summer that I have the opportunity to hear many stories life Ev’s. Every story is different, and people have different take aways and transferable insights.
However, over the years of facilitating intentional and hopefully transformative programs, three key insights emerge for why you(th) need wilderness adventures. I would like to share these three insights with you today in these final few minutes.

1.Wilderness Adventures lead to breakthroughs.

A breakthrough is when the light bulb comes on. It is like when the footage goes from black and white to colour. A breakthrough is like when you emerge from the fog and you can suddenly see with clarity.
Sometimes the breakthrough is relational, or dealing with character. Sometimes it is a complete paradigm shift. A change in how people view themselves, their relationships, the world, or in how they approach situations; A movement from a mindset of living as a recipient to that of an active participant.
The categories of breakthrough are not pre-set. Wilderness adventures paired with focused reflection create ideal conditions for perspective changing breakthroughs. Breakthroughs that help young people mature, and prepare them to enter adult life ready to participate.

2.Wilderness Adventures enable students to develop an “I can” mindset

I am a huge believer in challenge by choice, where students choose to step out of their comfort zone. However, there are some challenges in the wilderness that young people cannot get out of; challenges where it isn’t an option to not show up or to avoid something difficult by turning the device off.
In the wilderness when challenge arises, say when students are portaging, it begins to rain and then mosquitos come out, quitting is not really an option. If they sit there they get wet and eaten alive. Countless times, I have seen students proceed even when they feel like quitting, and this choice to persevere changes their view of themselves.
As they proceed through challenge, there is a mindset shift from “I can’t” to “I can.”

3.Lastly, wilderness adventures help young people look beyond themselves.

Often youth come back from the wilderness saying they feel closer to their group than they are to their friends or even their family back home. The experience of belonging to a group with a shared purpose, where every member is valuable and important, helps youth look beyond themselves.
The shared journey through the wilderness, with concrete goals, destinations; where youth encounter great beauty, joys and challenge, where they discover the only way forward is to work together; helps them to actually look beyond themselves to the people and world around them. Some youth naturally do this, or have been raised to look beyond themselves, yet many are not and they need focused experiences to cultivate this change in their lives.
I’m a student of leadership. Leadership is a passion of mine, and I want to help equip this next generation of leaders. Sometimes leadership development begins when youth make the shift to look beyond themselves and consider how they can use their passions and gifts to serve and make the world a better place.
So, when you pair the powerful learning and self-actualizing of breakthroughs, with a new “I can” mindset, and desire and ability to look beyond themselves, I think we have the ingredients and conditions suited perfectly for developing and empowering young people; enabling them to grow up strong and mature, ready to handle whatever may come.

Conclusion and Charge

So, what does this mean for you today?
First, as rotary members and leaders I have a personal invitation and encouragement. I encourage you to embrace a posture of adventure.
Seek the new. Seek what will stretch you. You can’t grow and you will definitely not have breakthroughs when you hang out in your comfort zone.
Come to identify when you are being held back from something because of your need for certainty and control.
Pay attention to the deep and pure longings of your heart; the longings that are buried and stifled, then use wisdom to know which to pursue
Embracing adventure doesn’t mean you have to head into the wilderness, or go on an epic trip, although I recommend it.
Embracing adventure means living with a willingness to let go of the need for certainty and control and to step into the unknown.
Second, as Rotary members who care about your community and young people: when or if the opportunity presents itself to enable youth to participate on an intentional and formative wilderness adventure, I encourage you to do so! Adventures in the wilderness classroom truly have the potential to influence profound change in young people’s lives.
Q: What breakthroughs would we have if we embraced a posture of adventure?
Q: What change would we see in our culture if we made more wilderness adventures available to young people?
Thanks for the opportunity to share today. I’m grateful!

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Adrian reminded members to mark their calendars for Tuesday evening April 26th for an in-person meeting at the Edelweiss. Also, our next meeting will be on Zoom, April 11th with Mike Morrice - the member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre since 2021, a member of the Green Party and a member of Kitchener Rotary.   
Mar 28, 2022 7:00 PM
EVENING ZOOM - Peace Building - UofW Faculty of Arts for Palestinian Studies
Apr 04, 2022 12:00 PM
NOON ZOOM - Hear Peter's son talk about his not-for-profit involvement
Apr 11, 2022 12:00 PM
NOON ZOOM - Multi club meeting
Apr 21, 2022 4:00 PM
IN PERSON - Registered Event
Apr 26, 2022 7:00 PM
TUESDAY EVENING In Person Who Am Is and New Member Induction
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Gary Parker
April 2
Carl Zehr
April 13
Russ St. Louis
April 19
Ernie Ginsler
April 28
Join Date
Louise Gardiner
April 1, 1994
28 years
Robert Bullas
April 1, 1984
38 years
Hubert Singh
April 2, 2007
15 years
Bryn Jones
April 7, 2010
12 years
Candi Harrington
April 16, 2012
10 years
Howard Pell
April 17, 2002
20 years