Barton Community College will host the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp July 27-29 at Camp Aldrich. The RYLA program provides future leaders the opportunity to expand and hone their leadership skills and enables them to debate issues of professional responsibility and human relations, improve leadership and communication skills, and meet Rotarians while having fun and making friends.
The camp is sponsored by Rotary District 5670 for high school juniors and seniors within the district who are nominated and sponsored by their local Rotary Clubs. The district is comprised of 31 clubs, located in the northwest quarter of the state.
Barton’s Workforce Development Training Coordinator Krystall Barnes helps organize the event and said it is very beneficial for the kids who attend.
“It brings kids with different backgrounds and hometowns together so they are with a group of kids they primarily don’t know, but they are immediately immersed into this leadership experience which really brings out the best qualities in all of them,” she said. “They learn how to work as a team and what their strengths and weaknesses are.”
During the camp, participants will hear from special speakers, and learn from volunteers as well as interact with other RYLA participants. In addition, campers will participate in team building activities on the ABLE course and get to take advantage of the other amenities that Camp Aldrich has to offer such as the swimming pool.
Barnes said Camp Aldrich is the perfect place to host the camp.
“Camp Aldrich is a beautiful place, and provides a great opportunity to be outside and get some fresh air and sunshine,” she said. “A lot of adults and students don’t get outdoors as much as they should. “They have to leave their cellphones in their cabins and really interact.”
Barnes added that the camp also helps build lasting friendships.
“It’s really a wonderful weekend and a lot of times the kids in the group really become good friends that keep in touch after the experience is over,” she said.
Students who wish to become involved can talk to local Rotarians or their school counselor.