Troy Rotarians host RYLA participants

TROY — Members of the Troy Rotary club were pleased to welcome Lauren Garlow and Jessie Welker to the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, April 25. Garlow and Welker attended the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) the weekend of April 21-23 at Camp Kern in Oregonia. The club sponsored their participation and the students returned to the club to update the members on all the activities they experienced.

Beginning on Friday, all RYLA participants got involved in group activities, discussions and networking focused on leadership and Rotary involvement. The camp facilitators made sure each student had the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends while they were together. Ninety-nine young women and men took part in the District 6670 event.

Garlow and Welker explained that each team took part in several activities, including a blindfolded obstacle course. All exercises were designed to make the students think on their feet, innovate, and find ways to meet the challenges without consulting with the adult coordinators. Team classroom activities included creating a theme, mantra, and slogan. They completed a balloon structure with the goal of it being self-supporting. Several speakers presented topics on leadership and their personal experiences, including a Vietnam-era Paralympic athlete. District 6670 Governor Mike Kelly offered personal insights about his upbringing, which was very challenging as well. In addition to the leadership concepts they learned, they recognized in their team how relaxed they became with each other and how to compromise with one another as the challenges got tougher and the deadlines tighter. To close out the weekend’s activities, each team was assigned a community service at the camp on Sunday morning to help keep the grounds in good working order.

Rotary Youth Leadership Academy is a global program that offers an opportunity to recognize, encourage and educate youth leaders. The Troy club sponsors two students to participate who will join up to 98 other students from District 6670 clubs. For more information on RYLA, visit the club’s website at Click on the “Programs & Scholarships” tab and scroll to the RYLA program information.

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