Where We Came From
the early 1990's, several Rotarians who were also scouters met and discussed how
to provide an outlet for both interests through a recreational fellowship within
Rotary International. It was felt that because of these dual interests, there
should be many opportunities for PAST and PRESENT Scouters to further
Scouting/Rotarian ideals and relationships at local, national, and international
levels, depending on the interests of the individual. A group of British
Rotarians interested in Scouting formed the basis for this original impetus.
Among those original members were Sammy Samuels, the late Norman Cooper, Edward
Robinson, John Kenny and David Judge. An organizing meeting was held at the RI Convention in Mexico
in 1991. The necessary requirements of RI for
formation of a new Rotary Fellowship were met and the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians (IFSR) was approved
and IFSR took its place among the 70 plus interest groups in RI. The first
formal meeting was held in France at Marseilles.
The first group was formed within RIBI (Rotary International in Britain &
Ireland) although IFSR quickly spread throughout the Rotary World, particularly
North America. Sammy Samuels of London, England was selected as the first World
his term, coordinators for the USA and other countries were selected and the
membership began to grow. To this day, the two largest groups are in the UK and
the InterAmerican region (US, Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean Central and South
Past RIBI President, RI Director & current RI Trustee John Kenny from
Scotland became the second World President in 1996. Under John's leadership IFSR
doubled its membership and expanded to 18 countries. Groups formed in
Australia, New Zealand, Africa, South America, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan
and the Mediterranean areas. Special IFSR membership fees were adopted. (The Fellowship does not receive monetary support from Rotary International.)
The present membership fee covers
a quarterly newsletter, various mailings, phone calls, purchase of membership
recognition items and other miscellaneous costs related to operation of the
PDG Harold Friend from Boca Raton Florida became World President 1999 having
previously held the position of IFSR Secretary for several years. Harold did
much to formulate IFSR procedures, expand membership into 31 countries and was
responsible for drafting the current IFSR Constitution.
On the 1st of July 2002, PDG David A. Judge of Colchester England
became World President and almost immediately launched a number of initiatives to
increase the support of Scouting by Rotarians throughout the world. David
encouraged RIBI members as well as others to support the restoration and
redevelopment of Brown Sea Island in time for the Centennial of Scouting in
2007. In response to a call from World Scout Secretary General Jacques
Moreillon as keynote speaker at the 2002 Rotary International Convention in
Barcelona for Rotarians to support "Operation One World" he also established the
IFSR Centennial Project designed
to have each Rotary District sponsor two scouts, one from their own district and
one from a developing country, at the Centennial World Scout Jamboree in England
in 2007. Through contributions by Rotary Clubs, individuals and other
interested groups IFSR hopes to increase Rotary's direct support for and
involvement with Scouting and increase the awareness of Rotarians throughout the
world of the special relationship these organizations have had throughout the
years. In addition, we hope to develop special program items, a display for use
at Rotary and Scouting events, plus other public relation tools to spread that
In July 2005, Ted Olson of Irving, Texas USA took over the reigns of the Fellowship and continued to recruit District Coordinators to aid and work at a local level. The Girl Scouts USA was advised to have a certificate program similar to our Eagle Scout recognition. Approval was granted and the first recognitions presented in Atlanta, Georgia at the National USA Meeting, thanks to the efforts of several key IFSR members; especially, Joie Hain, PADG from Georgia, who remains as our liaison with Girl Scouts USA and WAGGGS.
We, also, began the Cliff Dochterman Community Service Award. Thanks to the LAR Chair, Ben Semd and others, this award named for Rotary International Past President Cliff Dochterman, has created a great amount of interest both in Rotary and in the Scouting communities, as well.
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Will Manier, Scouter & Rotarian
Will Manier was known internationally as the President of Rotary International. But in Middle Tennessee, he was better known for being a scouter.
Like many Rotary Clubs across the country, when the need arose to organize and finance a Boy Scout Council, the Nashville Rotary Club put together a committee to develop a council organization. Will R Manier, Jr., a respected Nashville attorney and charter member of the club, was named to the small Scouting committee.
Following a speedy and very successful fund raising campaign, the Nashville Council of the Boy Scouts of America was officially formed on March 1, 1920. A number of Rotarians including Manier agreed to serve on the board.
The Nashville Rotary Club accomplished another of its goals of establishing a Scout summer camp just as Will Manier was beginning his term as Club President in 1921.
Will Manier accepted the position of Scout Commissioner for the Nashville Council in 1936. But he also accepted the position of Rotary International President for 1936-37. Following his Presidency, Manier threw himself into Scouting. In 1938, he extended the District Commissioner system throughout the council including Commissioners for Cubbing and Black Scouting.
In 1940, he called on the Mayor of Nashville to use the fire and police departments to offer Scouting to what he called, “Less Chance” boys; meaning underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. He named a Fire Scout Commissioner and a Police Scout Commissioner to help establish new troops sponsored through the city.
Will Manier passed away in January 0f 1953 after serving as Scout Commissioner and Board Member for over 30 years. He was recognized by everyone not only as a great Rotary leader, but a great Scout leader as well.
Primarily based upon: Boys Will Be Men, by Wilbur Creighton and Leland Johnson, 1983