Rotary International District 1250
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This year’s RYLA will be held from Sunday 31st March to Friday 5th April 2013 and will cost £390 per candidate. The location is the same as for the last two years, at High Ashurst Activity Centre near Dorking.
We are pleased to say that RYLA 2013 will be an International event, with places for 12 foreign participants, in addition to the usual 48. They will stay for an additional 3 nights, with various sightseeing activities included. The course costs for these participants will be met by District 1250, so inform overseas Clubs with whom you have contact and invite them to send a young person.
The Application Form and Prospectus are downloadable from this page for your information. Places may be reserved, but not guaranteed until I receive payment for local attendees, or a completed form for overseas candidates.
Please contact if you have any queries,
RYLA Co-ordinator District 1250
What is RYLA?
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an international programme that was created by Rotary International to encourage strong leadership in youth. Young people chosen for their leadership potential attend an all-expenses-paid camp to develop and enhance leadership skills through activities conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect.
RYLA aims to:
- Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
- Encourage leadership of youth by youth
- Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
- Build individual self confidence
- Learn how and when to lead, and how and when to follow
- To exceed your own understanding of how strong you really are!
Each year, thousands of young people all over the world take part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) programme. Rotary District 1250 is looking for outstanding young leaders and potential leaders to apply for RYLA. Applicants must be over 15 years (in the school years 11) and under 19 years and should have some or all of these characteristics:
Participants can expect an action packed week during which their leadership potential will be developed to the full. The programme is a carefully structured series of confidence building exercises, backed up with theory and reviews.
Prospective young leaders are invited to contact their local Rotary Club to enquire about our RYLA 2011 course. Successful participants will be fully sponsored by Rotary.
REPORT ON RYLA2010 BY RYLARIAN LOUIS MANN
This is what Louis, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Reigate, had to say about this year's RYLA2010
I write as someone who had the honour of attending the RYLA course which ran from the 4th to the 9th April. It is an annual event, organised by Rotary International, and has the purpose of training and developing a selected group of youngsters (15-19) in their self-confidence, their will to succeed and pursue excellence, their ability to work in team and to commit to each other, and, of course, leadership skills. The course as a whole was marked, in general, by a good sense of community, helpfulness, consideration, and respect and courtesy towards each other – all those on the course were good to get to know and worked well with me. I would end the course knowing that I, along with everybody else, had developed enormously, having been given and tested on many aspects of leadership and teamwork.
The week began well – despite facing a long coach journey to Woodrow House, I immediately had the chance to start introducing myself to, and talking with other participants, all of whom were friendly, including one, Mike Simmons, who kindly let me watch a Batman film he had on his laptop!
We were greeted, upon arrival at the place where we were going to be staying, by the splendid sight of a large white manor house situated amongst expansive and beautiful grounds. Having been introduced to our rooms and dormitories by our leaders, including course director Mr.Chris Fletcher, we were given a talk, firstly about Rotary, from Mr.David Spurrell, District Organiser, and then about our busy schedule for the week. We would be put into groups of approximately ten, to work from around 8.00 in the morning to 8.00 at night, and we began straight on Monday morning with command exercises.
The regime was tough and disciplined, and we took good advice to organise ourselves properly by, for example, not getting to bed too late and ensuring we arrived to meetings on time, with embarrassment and harsh words reserved for those who did not. We were woken to the noble harmonies of God Save our Queen, and every morning were provided with a delicious breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans and toast. Indeed, all the meals were superb, particularly for the Gala, where we dined to a three-course meal. Under this environment, we thrived - we enjoyed listening and receiving information and help from our leaders, in particular over using our known strengths and weaknesses to find out our specific role within a team, and completing dance sessions, paintballing, low ropes, raft building exercises, and a trek of over 20 miles. The low ropes and the raft building were excellent opportunities to learn how to co-operate as a team – with the low ropes activity, we had to arrange ourselves in a line, were blindfolded, and then required to, having been pointed in roughly the right direction, trek through a ropes course. Obviously, this brought the challenge to the person at the front (and we were swapped around every now and again) to boom out clear instructions to the rest of the group as to the nature of what the team would have to march through, whether it was having to jump across a large ditch, or having towallow through a muddy swamp.
To those shy and not so used to being upfront in an activity, it was a chance to gain confidence – I myself was able to start feeling comfortable and upfront about shouting orders and instructions to the troops, despite the fact that most of my body was covered in mud, and that we walked to the rhythm of the squelch of our water-filled boots.
The raft-building, on the other hand, was focussed around the couple of people in our team who were knowledgeable about constructing a raft from the planks of wood, string and barrels provided to us. It was imperative, in order to succeed in this task, to be able tie strong knots, keeping the string that was holding the raft together taught and therefore the raft sea-worth. It gave me an opportunity to learnabout tying various kinds of knots. We tested our rafts on theswimming pool, having changed into our swimming costumes – to my knowledge, out of five or six rafts, only one fell apart – all the rest were strong enough to be used to escort all members of respective teams from one side of the swimming pool to the other. However, one unfortunate member Alex Aldersade suffered a broken wrist whilecrossing the pool on his team's raft – he was eventually escorted to a hospital many hours drive away, due to Woodrow houses' isolated location, and subsequently didn't arrive back until two o'clock in the morning!
The highlight for me was the Gala Evening, consisting of a dinner forthe course leaders, those on the course, and their respective sponsoring Rotarians, and speeches from a group of students on thecourse. I had the honour of opening the dinner with a brief address,thanking the leaders for their work with and friendliness to us. I also thanked Mr. David Spurrell for his great efforts, as District Organiser, in organising the course – I know this would have involved many hours of paperwork, and much perseverance in keeping in touch with us, informing us of travel arrangements etc.The eveningfollowedwith a memorable visit to the theatre in theLondon Palladium, where we saw 'Sister Act', a colourful and livelyshow. It was enjoyed by all.
The course was crowned by the Gala – a presentation to student parents of all that we had achieved in the week. It was remarkable to observe that by the end of the week, the strong leaders had emerged and quitenaturally assumed leading roles. I would like to pay tribute to ourleaders, Robert Willis and Will Chambers (both pictured) – both were organised and efficient, and, in the case of Robert, was firm and clear at meetings, forming a disciplined, ordered and professional atmosphere, enabling us to get things done quickly and correctly. The Gala would be a success, and to them I offer nothing but gratitude.
Across the week, I saw many instances of the application of the Rotary Club motto "Service above Self" – from the will of Alex Aldersade to continue with the course, through a twenty mile trek and other challenges, despite a broken wrist, to the determination shown by many members to overcome difficult challenges, despite tiredness and low morale. Throughout the week one particular statement resonated from day to day - those from Lord Kitchener – the final words of his message to the BEF at the start of the Great War:
"Do your duty bravely. Fear God. Honour the King."
I would like to thank all the course leaders, Mr. David Spurrell, the sponsoring Rotarians and the Rotary clubs for assembling the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards of 2010 and wish them all the best for the future.