NORTH COAST — The Rotary Club of Del Mar-Solana Beach hosted nine international students for the first week of a three-week taste of Southern California June 26 to July 3.
The objective of the camp is to introduce students to American culture and to expand friendship and knowledge about each other’s countries and culture. Five girls came from the countries of Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Slovakia, and Estonia and four boys from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, and stayed with Rotary host families who joined them in a variety of activities. June 27 included a day at Power House Park in Del Mar where the youngsters enjoyed the beach, tried surfing and boogie-boarding, and played volleyball and soccer. Activities continued at the home of Malcolm and Vanesse Koll where everyone enjoyed their pool and played foosball and ping-pong.
The next day was a family day where members spent time getting to know their students and showing them that this is not the USA or California typically depicted on TV and in the movies. The highlight of the day was a luau at the home of Richard and Sharron Fogg where members and guests were treated to a full Hawaiian dinner, hula dancers, and fire and sword performance.
Other activities included a trip to Universal Studios, ice skating and shopping at the University Town Center mall, plus kayaking on San Diego Bay. A particularly memorable activity, according to the students, was serving the homeless at Father Joes Village.
The students ended their stay with the DMSB Rotary club by presenting their Rotary club flags and giving a brief biography/country history at the club’s Friday breakfast meeting at the Doubletree Hotel. This is the 10th year the Del Mar-Solana Beach Rotary has sponsored the youth exchange, which was begun 14 years ago by Rotarian Bill Sturgeon of the Coronado club.