Rotary Youth Leadership Award 2022

Sponsored RYLA student receiving her award certificate.

RYLA presentation 2022


Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)

RYLA is an intensive one week residential leadership course organised by Rotary clubs to help young people to develop leadership skills through teamwork.  Participants have fun and make new friends in the process. Following the course students are requested to visit their sponsoring Rotary Clubs and give a presentation (see below) focused on their personal learning and receive their certificate.

"Hello everyone, thank you for allowing me to come here today to talk to you about my experience at RYLA and how it has helped me. I never imagined I would do anything like what I did in that week and I am extremely grateful I got the chance to experience what I did. 
On the first day, we were introduced to our teams (I was in blue team – better known as the water boarders) and we made collages using magazine cut outs as an ice breaker to show who we are and what our interests are. This was useful as it gave a quick and easy insight into who people within the team were. After that we did a night walk blindfolded which was helpful as it let us quickly build trust within one and other. It allowed us to get a sense of the different people in the group and figure out ways we could work together effectively. 
The next day we did a collection of team building exercises within our teams which was enjoyable. It was a good experience as the activities we did were fun while also making us work together cohesively to ensure we completed them. An example of one we did was the spider web. This activity involved us attempting to make our way through holes within the web without touching the sides or using the same gap twice. We very nearly completed the task but in the end that was the only one we left unable to finish. As a team, after we failed to finish the first, we worked very hard and were able to complete the rest of them (e.g. the run-up wall and the rope swing), without problem. 
The next day we did the mountain walk. This saw us complete a walk up and down Cadair Idris. I personally found this the hardest of all the tasks to do. This is because this was something completely out of my comfort zone, and I’d never done anything like this before so was unsure what was going to occur. I won’t lie, I did complain the entire way up and down the mountain but, in the end, I was very pleased I managed to do it as it was something I’d never even imagined doing. I am so grateful my team put up with my moaning as the whole experience provided me with new leadership skills as we took it in turns to lead the group up/down the mountain. It also brought us closer as a group as well as we all helped each other (and by that, I mean my team greatly helped me) to complete the walk. 
The next day I was there we split into smaller groups and went to do activities with people from other teams. This was nice as it allowed me to interact with people I hadn’t been able to get to know yet. I was in the group that went rock climbing. This experience was good as it was once again trust building with the people we did not know yet, and this quickly brought us together as friends. Following on from this we went to the beach as a group afterwards which was fun as it allowed us to relax and joke around together – forming friendships. 
One thing I really enjoyed over the course over the residential was the boat companies we created and had to earn money for. This was a fun experience as we all made sure to try our best in all our exploits to try and earn as many RYLA dollars as possible. The boat race was extremely fun as with the leadership and team building skills we acquired over the other days, it was quite the competition between the groups – I am pleased to say my team won.
On the final day, we went gorge walking. This was something I was very intrigued about as I had never even heard about it before. It was the perfect thing we could’ve done on the last day in my opinion, as the river was the perfect temperature to combat the heat of the day. It was fun, we slid down the rocks as well as jumped into the water from a small height. It was something I’d never even imagined doing so I am thankful to have been given the chance to do so.
One thing that some people may disagree with me on was the minor chores we had. I personally quite liked them. It allowed us to work once again as a team and show our appreciation in a small way to the place where we were staying and the people working there ensuring we had a good time.
Overall, I had an absolutely wonderful time doing the award and will remain eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given and would recommend doing it to anyone. The course allowed me to develop my team working and leadership skills in a fun and safe environment and I am so thankful to have been able to do all I did. On this course I made friends and had experiences I’d never even dreamed about so thank you all for giving that to me. Thank you." 

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