Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) 2021

What it's all about


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards 

Are you considering applying for a place on the Rotary Young Leadership Award?  

Camp Dates for 2021

Girls Camp 3rd - 10th July

Boys Camp 10th - 17th July

If so, this page aims to provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about what the course involves and help you decide if it is for you.  


RYLA is a leadership development course. 

It is not a pass or fail course and you will be as successful on it as you are willing to be. There are no limits for your development. We aim to help you realise some of the leadership potential that others have seen when they selected you for the course. 

It is not an outward bound course! Yes, a lot of the activities may take place outside – in the Cairngorm National Park - but it is about using a variety of activities, both in and outdoors to develop you as an individual, as a team member and as a leader of a team in a safe and enjoyable environment.

It is a rare opportunity to experience and learn things about yourself, about working in a team but more importantly about leading and supervising other people. These are the skills employers look for in the workplace.

The courses are open to young people who are 16 and 17 years old and take place at Abernethy’s Outdoor Centre at Nethybridge.  This centre, located in the Cairngorm National Park had been running RYLA courses with District 1010 for over 30 years.


The selected activities on the course are all based on elements of problem solving, communication, organisation, delegation and teamwork etc. Although the tasks are largely centred on outdoor activities which add a physical dimension to the problems you will face, it cannot be stressed enough that this is not an activity holiday!

The activity side of the course is used to highlight the problems of leadership in a practical situation and to allow each course member the opportunity to take on a leader’s role. You will then be given feedback on individual and team performances, not only by Abernethy staff, but also by other course participants and your mentors. In this way you will learn how things were from a wider perspective and by taking this learning forward it allows you to set new challenges and adapt your approach for the next task.  Don’t worry there is no exam / assessment and no pass or fail on this course.


The staff on RYLA are a mixture of Rotarians, professional instructors and mentors, many of whom are past RYLA candidates.  All of them have a lot of experience in leadership roles in either the public or private sector and they are all there to assist with development of your leadership skills.

During the week you will be in a team of about 7/8 and will work with a mentor. Your mentor will be there to support you throughout the course, to deal with any issues that may arise within your team, and be the link between yourselves and the rest of the staff, should the need arise. They are not there to supervise you or to instruct you or to be a team leader, but to give you the benefits of their vast experience.

Your mentor will see your development in your leadership skills over the course and will do their best to make sure your whole team benefit from the experiences that you will all go through and provide continuity of your development through the programme. 


You will be challenged during the course, you will be tired, you will feel that you are sometimes being pushed to your limits but you will enjoy it – honestly!

Here is what former RYLA candidates have said: -

Transformative ● Invigorating ● Inspiring ● Enlightening ● Invaluable ● Motivational ● Life-changing ● Uplifting ● Fun

Your local Rotary Club will sponsor your place on the course in full and arrange for you to be transported to and from Nethybridge. They are also available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our aim is that each awardee leaves the course with a clearer understanding of their role as potential leaders and managers of the future, no matter what their chosen career paths.

Rotary Clubs will be able to download further information and forms once these are available.

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