What is RYLA 5400?
Every summer, 100 teenagers from around Idaho share a long weekend at the College of Southern Idaho for an intensive four day leadership camp. High school students who are incoming juniors to outgoing seniors are sponsored by Rotary clubs to attend the camp. The Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp, RYLA, is “For Youth, By Youth”, meaning the camp is planned and lead by students who have previously attended.
The camp is experiential; activities are engaging and interactive both physically and intellectually. The leadership training focuses on practicing tangible leadership skills; some of which include guiding a group to make smart decisions, and identifying a problem within a community and having the tools to make a difference. The RYLA experience is focused on guiding the students to discover a strong sense of confidence in oneself and expressing empathy for others, which is driven through the strong supportive environment created during the camp.
At RYLA, we believe that in order to lead we must have confidence and feel a sense of pride about our own talents. RYLA allows these one hundred teenagers to identify and celebrate their abilities through various activities, from small group challenges to conquering the high elements on the largest ropes course in the Northwest. Other camp activities focus on compassion, understanding, and acceptance of the diversity that makes us all individuals. This diversity of thought and experiences is the group’s strength. Leadership is harnessing that strength. At the end of camp, each student knows “We are RYLArians and we are powerful!”