To:      Parent(s) of Young RYLA Students

From:  Young RYLA Chairs

Re:      Preparation for Young RYLA Camp

We are pleased that your child will be attending Young RYLA! RYLA, sponsored by Rotary International, stands for Rotary Youth Leadership awards. Rotary is an organization of 1.2 million business and professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world.

Rotarians throughout our area have been providing the RYLA leadership training experience to high school juniors and seniors since 1987, and started the Young RYLA program for middle school students in 2001. We plan to provide these young people with a leadership training experience that they will enjoy telling you about for a long time to come! You should know that they will be in excellent hands (our ratio of adults to students is approximately 1:4) and that their safety and well-being is our utmost concern.

Objectives of YRYLA 

  • To provide an effective training experience for youth leaders and potential leaders

  • To encourage leadership of youth by youth

  • To publicly recognize young people who are rendering service to their schools and communities as leaders

At this camp, we also focus on certain “developmental assets” that researchers have identified as building blocks of health development for young people: Caring, Integrity, Honesty, Responsibility, Resistance Skills, Peaceful Conflict Resolution, Personal Power, and Self-Esteem. We believe that young people who develop these values and skills have a better chance of becoming successful leaders.


Your child will NOT be allowed to attend the Camp unless you have completed, signed, and submitted the online forms per the email you received.  Your email has a link that is unique to your child.  These forms must be completed to attend Young RYLA. 

In addition, the YMCA has a separate mandatory form which must be submitted on their website in order to participate in the Challenge Low Ropes course. Click Here for the YMCA release form found online at



The student must arrive at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado on Sunday between 1:30 and 3:00 pm. They will be directed to drop off their gear at Twin Sisters or Rainbow Lodge, check in at Willome meeting Hall, get settled in and meet with other campers on their team at 3:00 pm. Click here for directions to the Camp and transportation instructions.  Pickup on Friday is same location as drop off, at 11:30am sharp.


Meals are served at about 7:30 am, noon and 5:30 pm in the Dining Hall. 


Students are encouraged NOT to bring their cell phones, there will be very limited ability to use them, and students should limit as their use would distract them from full participation in camp activities. We take pictures and videos that are shared with you and your child about a week or two after the conference ends.

Please contact the YRYLA Chair or the YMCA, if you need to reach your child. Your child will have limited to no opportunities to communicate with you during the conference unless there is an emergency.  To reach the YMCA, call (970-586-3341 or 303-448-1616) and ask for RYLA or the Rotary conference.

Click here for the Welcome Page, which contains more information, and was sent to participant.

More about the Camp


If you are not familiar with a Challenge Course, a complete description of it is below. Students will be encouraged, but not required, to participate in these low ropes activities. We believe this is a very safe activity that will build your child’s self-confidence, but it will not be a mandatory exercise.


We would also like you to know that we will show and discuss a movie, like “Wonder” or something similar.


  • Wonder: – Wonder is the story of Auggie Pullman who is born different. Home schooled, his mother feels it’s time for him to enter mainstream education and he joins the 5th grade. People can be cruel and kids can be cruelest of all and Auggie struggles in a world where everyone stares and whispers and even bullies. It’s not only Auggie who struggles however, as the film progresses, we are told the story from different angles, that of Auggie himself, his sister, his sister’s friend and his own new friend. All have issues which are both affected and unaffected by the way Auggie looks. This is a heartwarming tale, based on a New York Times bestselling book. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play the parents who love their son fiercely and ache for his anguish and rejoice in his successes as he finds his way in the world of the 5th grade.  


Our intention in showing and discussing this movie is to talk about the difference that just one person can make. This fits with the theme of our conference (The Power of One) and supports our discussion of leadership characteristics like caring, integrity, responsibility and personal power


Challenge Course


Low Ropes Elements


This course consists of eight elements which are made up of a system of cables, logs and ropes. These elements range in difficulty from simple to complex. Group participation is essential in achieving these goals. Only through unified teamwork can the group succeed and move on to the next element. As group members work together, they develop trust, caring, decisiveness, determination, cooperation and communication. This is where they discover the true meaning of teamwork.


Various warm up exercises and initial team building games are used prior to work on the actual course to prepare the group for the more complex events ahead. These exercises are geared to promote unity, confidence, team building, leadership and problem solving.


We look forward to greeting your child at Young RYLA this summer!

It is our sincere belief that they return home as better students and leaders – in their families, their schools and their communities.



Rocky Mountain RYLA Team