RYLA 2017 a Great Success!

The 2017 Rotary Youth Leadership Award was again highly successful.  Over three weeks at Storey Arms Outdoor Activity Centre, 91 young people took part, drawn from all parts of Southern Wales.   This year was a particularly wet one.  For the first time the Gorge Walking, in the second week, had to be moved to a different section of the Glyn Neath river system.  The river was just too full and powerful to be safe in the area normally used.  

Many would say that, if you were born in South Wales then a bit of rain is hardly unusual but the enthusiasm and good humour of the students in poor weather is quite remarkable.  The first evening of the first week saw strong winds and driving rain, but the students set off on the Moor crossing nonetheless, and there are photographs to show that they are actually smiling! [More pictures HERE]

An unusual feature of this year was the visit by the 16 international students on the Youth Exchange Camp.  Getting to know others is always an important part of RYLA and, as one of students pointed out, it's a surprise to find how different experiences are even within South Wales.  So it was particularly good to have the company of students from Taiwan, India, USA and several European countries for a couple of days.  There were 54 students in total for those two days so the centre was very crowded and very noisy!  The visit caused an upsurge in interest in Youth Exchange from our students so who knows, maybe some future globe-trotting has been stimulated.

It has been hard this year to get schools as involved as usual in recruiting students, due to the pressures on staff caused by the major revisions to exams and curricula.  As a result we are working on new ways of communicating direct with potential students via Presentations and material such as that in the RYLA Information drive which can be accessed through this link ........ My thanks to 2017 students for their comments and suggestions on this material.

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