Official club name: The Friendship Force of Southern Oregon
Closest major airport: Medford International (It is a 45-minute flight to Medford from either San Francisco International or Portland International Airports)
About the club: Established in 1997, our club serves Southern Oregon and Northern California with most members living in the Rogue Valley. Rogue Valley lies between the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain ranges, about 100 miles from the coast and 14 miles from the California border. It is home to one of the nation’s earliest National Parks, Crater Lake. The area is surrounded by wilderness and forest areas. In the city of Ashland is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This is a professional company performing plays by Shakespeare, modern plays, and occasional world premier plays 6 nights a week from February through October each year. Additional attractions consist of the Redwood National Park near the Pacific Coast, the wonderful out door Britt Music Festival, rafting on the Rogue River, orchards, vineyards, and small breweries.
- Our current membership is 55.
About the region: The Rogue Valley, at approximately 1,500 feet in elevation, has a Pacific Northwest climate with warm to hot, dry summers and moderate, dry winters. Snow falls mainly in the nearby mountains at elevations above 2,000 feet. Southern Oregon and Northern California have an average annual rainfall of approximately 20 inches with most of the rain falling from November to April. It rarely rains during the late spring, summer or early fall. Summer daytime temperatures vary from 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with low humidity. Evening temperatures usually drop to 50 degrees.
Southern Oregon should be visited for its outgoing, friendly people, its fine natural scenery, excellent hiking and, especially, for the theater. In the heart of the summer the Britt Music Festival, held in the historic gold town of Jacksonville, features modern, jazz, and classical music in an outdoor amphitheater. Because of the long tradition of music and drama in the Valley, there are numerous other small theaters performing during the year.
The Rogue River, a wild and scenic river, provides white water rafting and kayaking as well as outstanding wildlife viewing and excellent fishing. Crater Lake is one of the deepest and clearest lakes in the world, set in the basin of a former volcano. The drive from the valley to Crater Lake is scenic with exciting stops to see the turbulent Rogue River pass through a narrow gorge.
About the exchanges: We have one planned incoming exchange and one outgoing exchange each year.
Scholarship Program: In 2009 our club decided to provide a scholarship to a student who wished to travel, whose values were in sync with Friendship Force goals and who demonstrated financial need. At the completion of their travel the students give our club a report of their experiences.
The first recipient was a high school student from Cascade Christian High School who traveled with a group to Morelia, Mexico to live with local families, study Spanish and participate in volunteer activities.
In 2011 we selected an SOU student who traveled to Ovieda, Spain to study Spanish and experience the culture of the area.
In 2012 we have selected another SOU student who will be traveling to Angers, France.