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 the school.”
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.