RYLA 2011

This year we  had 13 juniors from San Clement High School attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp.  We also had one of last year’s SC students, Brennan Clinebell, return as one of the alumni who are in charge of planning and running this year’s camp.

One of the highlights for Rotarians every year is to get a visit from the RYLA kids in the weeks after their return. It is an inspirational meeting filled with teenagers opening up about the changes that the experience had on them both in the short term from 1st time attendees, and in the long term, from alumni who return during their senior year to serve as camp counselors. Year after year we get to see once introverted or clique-ish high school juniors gush about how their perspective has changed and how they are more filled with understanding and compassion for others as a result. This year was no different and included the following activities.

The students were driven to the bus in Orange where they were assigned to a family.  This year the families were categorized by countries.  Upon arriving at the camp in Idyllwild, the buses were met with loud music, beach balls being thrown at the buses, and many shouting alumni and adult volunteers.  The first day was filled with “ice-breaker” games, a talent show, a campfire, and a speaker who shared her experience of her seven-year battle with cancer.


Saturday was spent at Boojum, a high-adventure ropes course, where students were physically and mentally challenged.  Some of the challenges were as follows:  Leap of Faith; Pipe Dream; Spider Web, plus more.  At night there was another speaker and a dance for the students to let off steam.


Sunday, the closing morning had another excellent speaker and a wrap-up session that included some very heart-felt stories as to how RYLA impacted some of the students.


For more info visit http://ryla5320.org/