Serving the towns of Bridgton, Denmark, Harrison, Naples and Sweden.

What is RYLA?

Posted by Cathy Sullivan on Feb 16, 2013

The Rotary youth leadership awards (RYLA) conference is an intensive 4-day program for community youth leaders from across the Rotary district. It is a program for high school sophomores who have exhibited leadership in the home, school, and community.

Its objective is to help develop the leadership skills of promising young people for the long-term betterment of their home communities. Its method is to introduce the students to leadership ideas and concepts in the context of a rigorous outdoor living and leadership experience. Although this experience is within a group, which we call a LEG -- a Leadership Experience Group -- the focus is on the individual. Learning is through activities introduced by staff and facilitators, run by the students, and reflected upon with the guidance of the facilitators.

The program includes a high ropes course, a canoe challenge, intergroup leadership and team-building activities, and a variety of physical and mental initiatives. Wrapped around the activities is living in the outdoors where the responsibility is mostly placed on the individuals, under the supervision of the facilitators.

Each facilitator team is made up of two former RYLA students. Although chosen for their leadership skills and capabilities, these people also benefit from RYLA as a leadership learning experience. This is also true for the staff, which is made up of Rotarians and former RYLA students. This means that the objective is met not only by returning to our communities better leaders for the rising junior class but RYLA also returns to the community better leaders for the senior class, for the Rotary clubs, and for universities & colleges.

it’s time to start thinking about recruiting students for RYLA! We are poised to have another great year at camp but we can’t do it without your support. RYLA is one of this district’s most popular and beneficial programs. Can you think of a sophmore who would benefit from this program?  All of the required information is on the District7780 website (Programs/Youth Services/RYLA). The deadline for submissions this year is May 1, 2013. Don’t miss out!