Taking time to slow the pace and learn to say pecan seemed
to be the theme for Georgia Rotary Student Program scholars who spent four days
learning about rural life in South Georgia during a student weekend at the
end of March. The Rotary Clubs of Pelham, Bainbridge, Camilla and Thomasville
hosted the 40 GRSP scholars as they stayed with area Rotarians for the Larry
Frosteg Pelham International Weekend, which served as 57th annual
International Weekend event.
Ana Perez of Colombia attends Georgia Gwinnett College and
is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf. “It was interesting to be out of
the city and experience a small town,” Perez said.
Scholars toured Pelham High School and historic Thomasville
for a visit to Pebble Hill Plantation, which features a stately home along with
3,000-acres including barns and a museum. Thomasville, the home of GRSP Founder
William “Will” A. Watt, Sr., also featured a stop at the signature GRSP Peace
Plaza and Will Watt Memorial Fountain at the Courtyard by Marriott Thomasville
Downtown as Watt’s grandson and namesake, Will Watt III shared history and
stories about his family’s legacy.
Celina Duong said she enjoyed visiting the local high
school. Duong is from Vietnam, sponsored by the Rotary Club of East Cobb and
attends Kennesaw State University. “I’ve never explored a high school in the United States,”
she said. “It was nice to meet the students, faculty and staff there and see
While some tours included on previous years for the Pelham
Weekend were not an option for this year’s group, the students were able to
view an expansive citrus farm.
Sarah Engonjo, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo
and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tifton, attends Abraham Baldwin
Agricultural College. She said she enjoyed the quick visit to the citrus farm
where they learned how the staff budded trees to yield the sweetest fruit and
saw the difference in color between citrus trees grown from seeds.
The weekend ended with a banquet and student talent show,
featuring a lot of karaoke and laughter. Camden County will host the final
student weekend April 13-16 in coastal St. Mary’s before the scholars attend
their respective district conferences and conclude the year-long scholarship
program in May.