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Juniors can apply to leadership camp by Friday

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Juniors can apply to leadership camp by Friday

After hearing the testimonials of previous students who have attended Camp RYLA, Interact Club sponsor Rodney McCall said he encourages juniors to apply to go. Juniors interested in attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), a student leadership training camp, should fill out an application and return it to the counselors' offices by Friday, Mar. 8. To get involved with Rotary, students can join the high school version, Interact Club.

After hearing the testimonials of previous students who have attended Camp RYLA, Interact Club sponsor Rodney McCall said he encourages juniors to apply to go. Juniors interested in attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), a student leadership training camp, should fill out an application and return it to the counselors' offices by Friday, Mar. 8. To get involved with Rotary, students can join the high school version, Interact Club. "Returning for their senior year, the students have taken on a variety of leadership roles around our school and around our community," McCall said.

Kester Muthalaly

After hearing the testimonials of previous students who have attended Camp RYLA, Interact Club sponsor Rodney McCall said he encourages juniors to apply to go. Juniors interested in attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), a student leadership training camp, should fill out an application and return it to the counselors' offices by Friday, Mar. 8. To get involved with Rotary, students can join the high school version, Interact Club. "Returning for their senior year, the students have taken on a variety of leadership roles around our school and around our community," McCall said.

Kester Muthalaly

Kester Muthalaly

After hearing the testimonials of previous students who have attended Camp RYLA, Interact Club sponsor Rodney McCall said he encourages juniors to apply to go. Juniors interested in attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), a student leadership training camp, should fill out an application and return it to the counselors' offices by Friday, Mar. 8. To get involved with Rotary, students can join the high school version, Interact Club. "Returning for their senior year, the students have taken on a variety of leadership roles around our school and around our community," McCall said.

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Juniors interested in attending Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), a student leadership training camp, should fill out an application and return it to the counselors’ offices by Friday, Mar. 8. The Prosper Rotary club plans to sponsor two girls and two boys to spend July 28 through Aug. 2 at Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian for RYLA.

The Rotary Club will select participants based on their application, which includes a letter of recommendation, and an interview conducted usually around mid-March. Participants typically are in good academic standing, hold offices or leadership positions and involve themselves in clubs, such as the Interact Club, which is the high school version of the Rotary Club.

“Camp RYLA is a leadership camp that is designed to help young people discover what it means to be a leader,” Interact adviser Rodney McCall said. “The camp is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of our district, which is 5810.  PHS has been sending two boys and two girls to Camp RYLA for many years.”

According to the RYLA District 5810 official brochure, selection for the award will go to more than 180 incoming seniors out of a pool of 1,500 students from North Texas schools. Groups of 10 or more campers, an assistant counselor and a lead counselor will stick together through various communication and teamwork activities.

“Rotary members in District 5810 pay for juniors to go to Camp RYLA, and the week just consists of leadership activities and working together with people that you don’t know,” said senior Nico Ray, who attended last year. “In my cabin group, there were 30 people, and none of us knew each other. Within the second day, we were all working together as a team. It was super cool.”

A typical day at RYLA consists of morning aerobic exercises, speaker sessions, educational workshops and discussion groups. Campers will also participate in team sports and competitions, plus social activities and speaker events in the evening.

“The campers are put through a series of tasks and challenges that require them to not just work as a team, but to lead their team to successful completion of various adventures,” McCall said.

According to participants, Camp RYLA also provides students with personal and professional development by honing leadership skills and connecting students to leaders in a variety of career fields. Exceptional students may even intern or shadow a mentor they connected with at RYLA. Ray will work with a sports broadcaster he met at RYLA last year.

“One of the best things about RYLA, is its networking opportunities,” Ray said. “They give you opportunities to meet with all of the previous RYLA alumni. Some are news anchors. Some are sportscasters. Some of these people are business professionals, and some of these people are advisers to the White House. So, it’s a massive network that it connects you to.”

It gives you contacts. So, I think the credibility that comes with knowing you’ve been to RYLA is fantastic. It pays dividends.”

— Nico Ray

Ray said effective communication skills and the reputation as a credible and dependable individual earned from participation in RYLA can help students succeed in college and college applications, as well as in the long-term.

“It gives you contacts,” Ray said. “One of the biggest things, when applying for scholarships and applying for school, is reference letters. These are people that can personally vouch for you and that might also be a New York Times best-selling author, so asking them for a reference is no skin off their teeth because they know you’re credible. So I think the credibility that comes with knowing you’ve been to RYLA is fantastic. It pays dividends.”

Even selection, if not participation, for RYLA will still aid competitive students who seek out challenges in their professional and personal lives by association with the camp and with Rotary, according to Rotary-Interact liaison Aaron Lemmon.

“Just being selected is certainly wonderful,” Lemmon said. “RYLA is nationally recognized as a leadership camp, and it’s something that should go on anyone’s college application, or really even a job application, because so many Rotarians know what RYLA is, and anyone who is even selected to go to RYLA is already perceived as being an outstanding leader at their school.”

Although seniors can’t apply, they can still get involved with Rotary through the Interact Club, whose service projects benefit the local community.

“Interact club is a great way to get involved in your community in general,” Ray said. “Interact is the high school version of Rotary. They are probably the best at serving the community in the different social opportunities that they put themselves into and the financial aid that they offer people, especially seniors. If you can get involved in that, there are a lot of scholarship opportunities, as well.”

At RYLA, campers exchange ideas and connect with new friends while learning to become an effective role model, team player and leader – skills they bring home to better the community.

“Upon returning for their senior year, the students have taken on a variety of leadership roles around our school and around our community,” McCall said. “Every single student who has gone returned to brag about what a life-changing event it was for them.”

The application can be found in the counselor’s office or get it here. For more information, visit http://ryla5810.org/#learnMore1.

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Isabella Abraham, Copy Editor

Isabella Abraham is the Copy Editor and Editorial Board member for Eagle Nation Online. As a junior, this is her second year on the staff. She discovered...

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Juniors can apply to leadership camp by Friday