The Rotary Club in Cottage Grove has sent more students to RYLA than any other club in the district.
The camp, also known as Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, works to introduce young leaders of the community to the task of service and community engagement, developing the leaders of tomorrow. According to Rotary, the camp's mission is to teach students how to build communication, develop strategies to become a strong leader, learn from community leaders and peers and form lasting friendships.
On Thursday, March 2, the students selected for this year's RYLA camp reported back to the local Rotary club to discuss their experiences and thank the club for their efforts in sending them. No student pays the high fees associated with the sleep-away experience. Instead, the local Rotary club handles the bill.
For more than an hour, students shared the day-to-day happenings of RYLA camp with Cottage Grove's service club. They spoke of being separated into "species groups" and learning to work with students they had not met prior to arriving at camp. Each group was responsible for pitching a service project and for the local students, the projects ranged from a new take on food donation to traditional means of fundraising.
Each student commented on the camp's ability to coax them from their shell, expand their understanding of leadership and overcome their fears of public speaking.
The group told Rotary of nightly talent shows, team building exercises and other activities meant to examine leadership.