Where Do We Go From Here?
The most frequently asked questions I have encountered the past few weeks are:
When will our club meet in person again?  And, how is that going to work?
I have no magic bullet in answer to these questions.  I do have some thoughts and suggestion to share.  
First of all, and most importantly, we must abide by the local and state health orders.
Ultimately, it is up to each club and each club member when and how the club will meet again in person.  The smaller and medium size clubs are starting to meet in person with a hybrid component to the meeting.  These clubs have invested in the equipment with members with  the technical know how to operate the Zoom meeting. 
For information about the equipment, pricing and tutorials as to how to run a hybrid meeting, please go to the front page right hand column under club resources of the District web site: Rotary5340.org.
It would be expected that the large clubs would have a more challenging time returning to their former venue given the number of people returning.
Returning to in-person meetings will require members to be sensitive to those who have not yet been vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated but are uncomfortable in such a setting.  It is incumbent that we continue to be inclusive to those who have expressed a desire to stay away until they feel it is safe to return.
Some clubs will not be able to return to their former venue as those places are no longer in business.  Other clubs will be limited to a smaller number of in-person attendance per the requirements of the venue for spacing and social distancing.
Clubs should be holding club assemblies to discuss when and how to meet.  Ideally, there will be consensus.  Everyone who wants to express an opinion should do so and have that  opinion respected.
With all this as background, allow me nudge us to the future.  It starts with Zoom and hybrid meetings.
Zoom and hybrid are here to stay.  As clubs and the District, we have adapted.  It was a struggle at first.  But, we overcame technical difficulties and adapted.  Now is the time to make Zoom/hybrid a regular part of our meetings.  
And not just our regular weekly meetings, but our board meetings and committee meetings.  By having these meetings on Zoom, people will not have to disrupt their days and evenings.  Zoom is an efficient way to get our work done in a timely manner.  I have no doubt that driving to and from peoples' homes or hotels where meetings occur wears us out.  We can curtail these in-person committee/board meetings.  If Zoom meetings are good enough for the folks at home office in Evanston, they are good enough for us.
As we meet in person, if the club is a larger club and their meeting venue has occupancy restrictions, perhaps whoever comes in person the first week, stays in the office or home the second week, allowing those who were in the office or home the first week to attend in person the second week.  And keep alternating until we are all able to meet in person.
Here are some reasons why we should keep Zoom as part of the regular course of doing business - or the new normal.
Zoom allows those who can’t attend a breakfast, lunch of dinner meeting in person to stay connected with the club.  I know of a member in the Netherlands who gets up at 1:00 in the morning to attend his club’s weekly meeting.  There are members who have relocated to other parts of the country and continue to attend their club meetings by Zoom.
By the same token, prospective members who will be relocating to San Diego and Imperial can get a taste of our clubs with Zoom.  What a great marketing tool.
There is always a hue and cry to attract younger members like millennials.  One thing about millennials is they don’t go for breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings.  But they love doing projects and giving back to the community in that fashion.  Why can’t we meet these young people halfway?  By having meetings on Zoom, millennials can very much be a part of the club without the requirement of being in person.
I suggest having one strictly Zoom meeting each month.  The reason for this is simple: we can keep the cost of being in Rotary low.  If we don’t have to pay for a week’s meal or venue charge ($25 to $40) we make Rotary affordable.  Maybe members will contribute that week’s charge to the Annual Fund which will allow us to do more DDF projects and Global Grants.  Just a thought.
By continuing to have a hybrid/Zoom meeting we can bring in top notch speakers from across the country or around the world.  These speakers are all too happy to present for 30-minutes without having to leave their home or office.  This year I heard the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom from London; the US Ambassador to Serbia; and a water scholar from one of the “Stan” countries.  We also saw RI president Holger Knaack from Germany, Past RI President Ian Riseley from Australia and Past RI President from the Bahamas.  All because of Zoom.  The possibilities for great speakers are endless.  By having these speakers we can promote our clubs and attract new members.  Just a thought.
That leaves us to answer the big question: How do we have the fellowship and camaraderie that is the hallmark of being in a Rotary club?  Glad you asked.
Of course, nothing beats the in person experience and the friendships and relationships that we develop with our members.  To enhance this participation, we turn to socials.  Once a month have a club social instead of a meeting.  What Rotarian doesn’t love a good social cocktail hour?  The cost is nominal and the time together without time restraint is invaluable.
The following month have a social with another club in your club’s area.  For instance: Chula Vista and Chula Vista Sunrise; La Mesa and La Mesa Sunrise; Point Loma and Coronado; Del Mar and Del Mar/Solana Beach; Carlsbad and Carlsbad Evening; Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Bernardo Sunrise.  You get the point.  Here’s what happens when two clubs get together for such a social: One members says to the other: "what project are you working on"?  "We're doing a water project in Ecuador" they respond..  "Can our club join you in the project"?  "We have some DDF money to participate".  There we have it.  Collaboration.  Partnership.  A small project just got bigger.  Relationships just got stronger.  The Rotary and club experience just got more meaningful.  Again, just a thought.
There is so much more to discuss on these subjects.  My hope is that this is the beginning of the conversation as to what our clubs are going to look like in the next Rotary year and beyond.
More Happenings
Registration is now open for the Governors' Dinner on Monday, June 28th at 5:30 pm at the Del Mar Hilton Hotel located on Jimmy Durante Boulevard.  The cost for dinner is $50.  We have a choice of chicken, fish or vegetarian.  There will be two no-host bars.  Parking is free.
The ballroom seats 500 people.  We will not have that many so there should be plenty of room to create the spacing to accommodate all who want to attend.  If all goes according to plan, all restrictions will be lifted on June 15th - two weeks before the dinner.  This Governors Dinner will also be hybrid and Zoomed to those who are unable to attend.
Here is the link to the Registration.  Registration can also be found on the District web site.
Today is Mother’s Day.  I want to wish all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers a very happy Mother’s Day.  We wouldn’t be here without you.  Thank you for all you have done for us and all that you do.