Thoughts on… RYLA 2018

“When you shine your light you allow others to shine their light too”

Even weeks after returning from Mt Evelyn it is hard to articulate just how much RYLA has done for me. 

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award is a leadership camp for 18-25 year olds which “focuses on personal growth, leadership development and community”, but after my week away I know that RYLA is so much more than that. 

In just seven days I learnt more about myself and how I want to live my live than I have ever been able to understand. RYLA provides a safe space for you to explore who you are and open your mind to new understandings of what it means to be a leader.

I won’t go into detail about what actually happened during the week, as for anyone interested in going, the less you know before hand the more you will get out of the week. What I can say though is that everything you do each day is carefully picked out and designed to benefit you, but that your experience with something will be completely different from the person next to you. You can only get out of this camp what you put in, and in that way, the lessons you learn aren’t just for that week, they are forever.

While the lessons I learnt about life, leadership, and myself are important to me, something I have really taken away from this experience is a bunch of the most beautiful, and inspiring people, each one of whom enriched my experience and will stay in my heart forever (apologies for the cheese, but it was unavoidable). I really do love these people so much. We laughed a lot, we cried a lot, but most of all we supported each other through a new and challenging experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people.

To everyone on RYLA 2018 – if you are reading this – thank you so much for everything. You are the most beautiful people and I absolutely loved the week we spent together. Your friendship, support, and the lessons you’ve taught me are something I will value for the rest of my life.

If you’re looking for more information on RYLA here’s a link to the website:

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