Our District runs a major Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) programme. Each year around 100 young people take part in a challenging week in the Brecon Beacons. The course focuses on leadership skills, using outdoor activities as the base. Our objective is to help students develop team-working skills; explore and practice leadership; and develop greater personal confidence. We hope students will benefit practically, e.g. in work or University life, and be encouraged to take leadership roles within their communities in future.
Recruitment happens between February and June. Rotary Clubs approach Schools, Cadet Units, Youth Clubs etc. seeking nominations. Interested students can also apply directly using the email links below. We have up to 120 places over the three weeks and the range of skills and experiences students have is enormous. Everyone who applies has to be interviewed.
RYLA is aimed at young people with potential to become leaders. Anyone can apply. You don't have to be super-fit, or an academic high flyer, or interested in a particular career. Leaders are found in every workplace and community, so we consider anyone with the right personal qualities. There are only two essential qualifications – you must be 16 or 17 at the time of your course, i.e. in the summer holidays, and you must be able to swim. Although we can’t take students in wheelchairs we can, and do, take students with restricted mobility, or sensory disabilities.
All students experience leading a team of 6-8 others. Students select one of the four activities to lead, (gorge walking, hill climbing, canoeing and caving). They are briefed on the key aspects a team leader needs to take into account. These include the technical skills they must explain, risks and risk management, and communication with team mates. Then they each lead their team in the activity they have learnt about. The Instructors are there as back up, but the student is in charge.
Overall the programme has been extremely successful. What the 2017 students thought of their experience is summed up in these quotes from their feedback:
If you are interested in knowing more, follow this link: RYLA Information
In this folder you will find material that may help you think about whether RYLA is for you, including a sample course programme, a Q & A document, pictures, and a brief note about what RYLA involves.
If would like to attend a RYLA course you can approach your local Rotary Club. Most of the Clubs in Southern Wales have websites or Facebook pages which have contact details. Alternatively, if you contact Jeff Hobden, the RYLA Administrator, via the email below, he will put you in touch with your nearest Club.
1. A video which can be used to help recruit students by showing them real course experiences can be downloaded from this link: Video (Click the three dots in the top right hand corner to select the download option). Or if you prefer a DVD can be obtained from Jeff Hobden.
2. To obtain a booking form or for all other enquiries regarding RYLA please contact Jeff Hobden via the contact box below.
3. The Guidance Notes for Clubs can be accessed by clicking on the link: Guidance Notes
A poster can be downloaded here
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