August 7, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – RYLA
In 1959, the state government of Queensland, Australia, invited local Rotary Clubs to help plan an event to help celebrate the upcoming centennial of the state. Princess Alexandra, who was in her early 20s was due to attend the celebrations, so activities were planned specifically for the princess’s age group. The gundoo, an aboriginal word meaning “festival” or “fun together,” was deemed successful with more than 300 men and women between the ages of 17 and 23 attending. Encouraged by the event’s popularity with the young attendees, Rotary saw potential to create an annual youth program based on Gundoo. The governor of the then District 260, Art Brand, approved the project and on 2 May 1960, RYLA was an official Rotary project. Australian districts 258 and 260 established a committee together that developed the official framework of RYLA: to train youth ages 14-30 in character, leadership, personal development, and good citizenship. These guidelines helped RYLA expand to all Rotary districts in Australia and led to its approval as a Rotary International program by the RI Board at the 1971 Convention in Sydney, Australia.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a program that originated with Rotary International and has subsequently been specifically designed by Rotary District 7360 for the students in Berkeley County and the rest of the district. RYLA encourages servant leadership in youth by recognizing and rewarding deserving 11th grade students who are chosen to attend RYLA as an “award” for their past and present leadership and service activities. These select young people attend an all-expenses-paid camp where they are inspired by a diverse group of exceptional speakers, make life-long friends through fellowship activities, and discuss the ethical and social issues of today. These activities are conducted in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The result is that these students return to their schools and communities motivated to take on additional leadership roles and to find additional ways to serve. RYLA is not a camp intended to teach leadership skills (it is assumed that the students in attendance already possess those skills), however the following topics naturally arise in the course of RYLA activities and discussions:
- Fundamentals of leadership
- Ethics of positive leadership
- Qualities of a “servant leader”
- Importance of communication skills in effective leadership
- Conflict management and problem solving
- Building self-esteem and self confidence
- Elements of community and global citizenship
- Rotary’s purpose of service to the community and world.
We will learn more this week from the students we sponsored.
President Chris held her first club assembly last week and it was super organized. It began with a PowerPoint presentation of District Governor Jason Piatt’s goals for the district in the upcoming Rotary year, and then went into the goals for our club. Chris would like for every board member to participate on a committee (done). She also wants participation from every active member on a committee or committees. Our membership is down to 130. Chris wants a net increase of 16 new members. Toward this goal we may be experimenting with spouse memberships (the spouse pays dues and for each meal he or she eats), and corporate memberships. Chris also wants us to get a global grant and a district grant for club projects. In addition, we learned the dates for ongoing projects as well as the goals for them.
Overall, it was a well-organized and extremely informative assembly. It will be interesting to listen at the final club assembly of the Rotary year to see how we’ve done.
Answer to last week’s question:
The most famous Rotarian to visit our district, and our club, was none other than Paul Harris who visited here in the early 40s. Rotarian Ralph Burkhart drove him all over the county to show off this part of West Virginia.
This week’s question:
What is the 4-Way Test?
Darla Gaige, co-owner of Growth Media, a marketing company specializing in web design, was a guest of Tom Geiermann. Elaine Bartoldson brought Mark Jones, EPTA employee and resident of the Eastern Panhandle for seven years.
The golf tournament is rapidly approaching. It will be held September 15th at The Woods and is an open tournament. Cost is $100/person, $360/team (must pay in full by September 1st), or $425/corporate team which includes a tee sign. Prize sponsorship is $250 and special event sponsorship is $500 which both include a tee sign. Contact Mike Hite to register.
Penny Porter is collecting school supplies to donate to Burke Street School. Her daughter collected 250 books for the last project for Burke Street School.
We also need canned goods and boxed food. The larders are getting bare at Loaves and Fishes.
The Charles Town Rotary club has changed its meeting time and place. It is now meeting at the Epic Buffet at the Hollywood Casino on Wednesdays at 12:15. Park in the east garage if you go to do a make up.
Labor Day breakfast tickets are now available for sale. I assume that tickets are $25 in advance. Several Rotarians will have them for sale. Contact Buzz Poland if you want to buy tickets or sell them.
The United Way Day of Caring project is to repaint the dining room at Berkeley Senior Services. This will be on September 9th. This will be an afternoon project as it is in use before then. Let Kathy Mason know if you can help.
The Bob Elmer Sports Breakfast is rapidly approaching. It will be held on October 18th as part of the Apple Harvest Festival.
Our exchange student, Clara Opdebeeck, will be at our meeting on August 14th. Be sure to give her a big welcome.
Elaine Bartoldson will sell 50/50 tickets this week.