Note: All Rotarians working with youth under the age of 18 must complete bi-annual Youth Protection training.
What is RYLA?
RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.
It is all about Rotarians working with youth in leadership development. It is an intensive training program for High School Juniors who are chosen for their proven or potential leadership abilities. Students attend an all-expense paid camp in Idyllwild Pines, California for three days in the spring. Camp is organized by Rotarians and facilitated by RYLA student Alumni. The RYLA event is sponsored by District 5320 and the 45 local Rotary Clubs. Students are joined by talented young people from communities throughout the district. RYLA provides a memorable opportunity to learn, grow, have fun, and make new friends.
What RYLA Offers
The core curriculum for RYLA includes the following:
- Fundamentals of leadership
- Ethics of positive leadership
- Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
- Problem-solving and conflict-management
- What Rotary is and what it does for the local community and internationally
- Building self-confidence and self-esteem
- Elements of community and global citizenship
Camp RYLA combines speaker programs and team problem-solving sessions with cooperative games and competitions. All Camp activities are designed with the objective of providing an atmosphere where student campers will experience learning situations to help develop their own unique strengths and abilities to become future leaders.
Working together to create unity
Each student is assigned to a “Family” Group of 10 kids with 2 Rotarian leaders (l male and l female). These groups are the vehicle to process the day’s events, build teamwork, and integrate the positive examples of leadership, ethical behavior and constructive group dynamics.
By investing in our youth today, the RYLA committee believes that we have an insurance policy for our future. Enthusiastic students return to their schools and their communities with an increased sense of self confidence and self esteem and better equipped to implement the fundamentals of leadership in their every day lives.
Who Sponsors RYLA Students
The Rotary Clubs give scholarships to the students from their local High Schools. A representative from each Club will coordinate with school administrators in order to interview and select the students.
RYLA Team Assistants
Rotarians can provide a vital role model as “Facilitator” and “Mentor” during the RYLA camp experience. Rotary International has a clearly defined mission statement: “The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service.”
Those words are the essence of the role of “Facilitator” and the definition of a Team Assistant (T.A.) for the RYLA camp.
There are numerous skills needed to succeed as a facilitator including:
- Conflict management
- Group problem solving techniques
- Listening skills
- Team development and dynamics
- Individual style assessment and debriefing
- Decision making skills
- Meeting Management skills
- Understanding and guiding organizational change
Interested Rotarians and other youthful, energetic volunteers will be trained. Come have fun and be a part of a miraculous process while future leaders are being developed.