Ryla is short for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, it is a five day leadership conference held at the YMCA in the Rockies eastern park, Colorado. The two Rotary districts cover Northern Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska.
Rotary the club is a group of successful businesses owners who help out the community. They help with many things around the area and the people within.
Any high school sophomore or junior can be eligible to apply prior to the summer conference. The deadline is usually April 30 or sooner, it is up to each Rotary club when they want the deadline to happen.
The entire focus of Ryla is to provide foundational leadership skills for teenagers. It has been said that leadership is not taught it is learned. At Ryla there are opportunities to learn leadership skills through experiential activities, speakers, small group discussion, large group presentations.
The children who get to go experience activities and learn new aspects they would have never expected. It has been said from teenagers in the past that “It was the best week of my life”.
Ryla is completely free to people who go, your local Rotary Club pays for you. They also drive you to your designated camp date.
“I am going to the first camp which starts on July 16, 2019. That camp works better for me and fits in my schedule” said Romey
The Ryla program also has a program for younger children that are in seventh grade. That program is just like Ryla but it is a little different. This is young Ryla.
“I went to young Ryla in seventh grade and it was one of the best weeks of my life,” said Madden. “I loved meeting new people and learning new things about how I can become a better leader.”
Each of these programs have an application process. The process includes the regular questions pertaining to health and simple questions about what honors and various activities you are involved with, a 200 word essay, and an interview with 2 members of the Scottsbluff/Gering Rotary Club.
“Going into the interview, I wasn’t too worried the only thing I was concerned about was not knowing who I would be talking to. Overall the interview was just dandy, and I found out I would be going right after,” Bohnsack
The club usually tries to pick at least five or six people to send who are at GHS and SHS. This year four was chosen from Gering.
Those going are Abby Madden, Eric Blue, Kelsey Bohnsack, and Tukker Romey.
“I’m excited to connect with people. To meet new people, and build friendships. My brother went when he was a Junior and he still talks to people he met there,” said Blue.
Congrats to all of you for being selected to go!