Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Henley Rotary Club

Henley Rotary Club

AT a recent meeting held at the Red Lion Hotel, Emily Stoker and Perry Chappell came to talk about their experience of taking part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, which is open to any young people aged 18 to 25.

The award involves a week-long course at Rhos-y-Gwaliau, an outdoor education centre in a hamlet near Lake Bala in the Snowdonia National Park.

The centre is staffed by a small group of dedicated and talented course leaders, professionally qualified in the specialised field of outdoor leisure pursuits.

The course is designed to develop the latent talents of anyone held back by lack of confidence. Participants must be prepared to contribute to as well as benefit from the course.

It is a tough week but offers a special opportunity for them to take part in developing qualities of leadership, teamwork, initiative and problem-solving at the start of their careers.

Two days are spent team-building followed by two days learning new skills, for example, orienteering, rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing and slate mine exploration.

These skills are applied in a 30-hour group exercise in locations around the Snowdonia National Park, including a night in the open.

The young people develop a more complete personality and their new-found confidence and skills are brought back into the community.

This is demonstrated to their sponsoring clubs by way of a short presentation on their experiences as a precursor to receiving a certificate.

This is what Emily and Perry did and they gave a fascinating presentation about their week, when they both felt that they had grown and developed and had then been able to use their new-found confidence in everyday situations.

They were able to show that they had fully contributed as a part of the course is learning skills and then passing that knowledge on to their fellow RYLA attendees (under the observation of the course leaders) in order that all could take part in the activity.

Delegation, trust, communication and teamwork were some of the areas of development that were focused on during the week and that Emily and Perry benefited from.

Past president Maria Bunina gave the vote of thanks for their exceptional presentation and president Peter Thomson and vice-president Hilary Shaw presented certificates to Emily and Perry.

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