RYLA Courses Summer 2011


During the weekends of 15 - 17 July and 19 - 21 August 2012, the annual district RYLA (Rotary Youth leadership award) courses were held at the Avon Tyrell activity centre located in the New Forest (near Bransgore).

RYLA is designed to develop the leadership skills of young people aged between 16 and 17 years old. The course programme includes:

  • Fundamentals of leadership
  • Ethics of positive leadership
  • Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
  • Problem solving and conflict management
  • What Rotary is and what it does for the local community
  • Building self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Elements of community and global citizenship

The students have been selected and sponsored by Rotary Clubs around the district, which are responsible for the fees and any expenses involved in the course. The course is designed and run by Rotarians and professionals who have experience of working with young people in a challenging environment. RYLA runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon and the programme includes outdoor activities of an adventurous nature, such as raft-building, practical problem-solving, low ropes led by the Avon Tyrrell staff. Additional confidence and team building exercises are run by the Rotary Facilitators. There are also indoor exercises designed to improve communication skills and to encourage the students to think about how they interact with other people.

The enthusiasm for RYLA is reflected in the course feedback. The students found the weekends to be both rewarding and enjoyable; by the Sunday afternoon they don’t want the course to end! Here are a few examples of their words:

“Hey, I’ve just come back from RYLA... literally just got in and raced to get on the computer to email about RYLA Revisited in October. I LOVED this weekend and wish that it could have been longer. I’m sooo grateful for ALL of the things that we took part in and all of the grownups help. This weekend was so fun and amazing! It has also really helped with my confidence, which is why, along with wanting to see all the amazing people that I’ve made friends with, I think that RYLA Revisited will also help boost my confidence even more. I’m so thank full for this weekend!!!! “

“Hello, thank you sooooooo much for this weekend I had the best time!! So glad I went! “

“I'd just like to thank you for the awesome weekend, and I'd also like to come back in October.”

“ Well boys haven't stopped talking all the way home about the weekend they loved it.”

These courses will be followed up by RYLA Revisited at the end of October, where we will develop the leadership skills of 18 students in further, in a much more demanding course.

The bids for the 64 places on next years’ two courses will begin again in November when I will distribute the invitation letter, application form, and guidance notes at the District council meeting.

To request access to many more photos from both weekends please contact: ryla.wessex@gmail.com 

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