The goals of RYLA are listed on the Rotary International webside:
RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to
- Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth
- 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
Rotary District 5280 RYLA camp was held this year on Catalina Island from Friday April 15th through Sunday, April 17th. Lauren said that when all the students arrived on Friday morning it was a time of orientation and meeting people. There were about 200 students from the greater Los Angeles area, and Lauren said that by the time she left on Sunday, she had met most of them. Besides the immediate groups that she was assigned to, each meal had assigned seating in a different place, so your table mates at meals were always different, and you had a chance to meet new people at each meal.
Leadership and team work were part of each exercise. They emphasized three Cís: Cooperation, Creativity and Communication. There were various contests and games. Some examples included being given an object and to be creative with it in the shortest time. There was also an element of trust. In the RYLA Olympics partners had to fall back on a towel held in the air by other people, trusting that these people would catch them . There was a workshop that allowed students to discover their own and other peopleís personality styles. Of the various types of personalities Lauren said she herself had an analytical personality. Another exercise the students participated was called visioneering. They were given pictures to cut out and put on poster board to represent their future goals.
In addition to the events that the students participated in there were motivational speakers during the weekend. One that made an impression on Lauren was a young person in a wheelchair who had a very positive attitude about life.
The RYLA campers also learned the Rotary 4 Way Test and its value in making decisions in the things we do.
Leaving the camp on Sunday each RYLA student had a RYLA t-shirt, more Facebook friends to keep in touch with, and leadership skills to use when they return to school.
Typically the RYLA students are high school juniors, and Malibu Rotary Club President Elect Kevin Boling asked Lauren to consider starting an Interact Club at Malibu High School in the fall.