Posted on Feb 06, 2018
 
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is a leadership development programme run worldwide by Rotary. The programme is designed to help young people develop their teamwork and communication skills and fulfil their potential as leaders and is an opportunity to connect, exchange ideas and take action in their communities.
For Southern New Zealand in 2018 over Waitangi weekend, a camp for 18-26 years olds was organised by Rotary Club of Balclutha in Waihola, South Otago.
 
RYLA Day 1
 
RYLA was kicked off on Friday with Ruth Ratcliffe, Clutha Youth Manager from Dunedin based youth development Malcam Charitable Trust.
Ruth and Jean Proctor from Clutha District Council have organised the full day experience on 5th and 6th April 2018 "Be Motivated Be You". As well as providing motivation, the intent is to improve understanding of, and belief in the value of what can be achieved by them in Clutha District.
 
Participants were tasked with a photography project to present their RYLA experiences to the meeting with Milton Rotary on the final night, many of their favourite photos are included below. We had a skills session with talented local Hayden Campbell of Blacklabel Photography.
 
photo by Orange Team
 
 
 
  Dusk was spent geocaching around the stunning CYC
  Waihola property.
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo by Orange Team
 
RYLA Day 2
 
Saturday morning we were pushed in our first fitness session before hearing of an incredible journey after traumatic injury from Paul Skipper of Pro-fit Ltd Balclutha Fitness Centre.
 
photo by Blue Teamphoto by Blue Team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After catching our breath, we got to know Lesley Elliott and Bill O'Brien founders of Sophie Elliott Foundation and Loves Me Not programme for violence prevention through education, awareness & empowerment.
 
We heard about meeting the Queen from Ashleigh Smith of Sticks ‘n’ Stones promoting taking positive action, online and off, to stop bullying.
 
 
The afternoon was spent in the sunshine at the Pan Pac site outside Milton planting over 300 trees with Glen Riley, Sinclair Wetlands Coordinator as part of the project to restore the wetland ecosystem. You can visit Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau Sinclair Wetlands for walking, water activities and bird watching or stay and volunteer to do tree planting, maintenance and research work.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo by Green Team
photo by Orange Team
 
 
 
 
 
 
Back at camp, we hosted a magical evening for locals and were all stunned by a hilarious show by Magician Jonathan Usher.
 
 
 
 
RYLA Day 3
 
There was no rest from Skip's morning training sessions at camp, then we were away to Balclutha to experience the Cross Recreation Centre, one of our community's biggest projects with Project Manager Irene Mosley. We met Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan and another Clutha District Councillor Rachel Jenkinson who is also a St John Clutha Area Executive Officer and founder of Operation Sugar.
 
 
 
 
photo by Yellow Teamphoto by Blue Team
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We cruised alongside the Clutha River out to the beach where Kaka Point Surf Life Saving Club hosted us for a delicious lunch before we got to explore Nugget Point and watch dozens of seals and birds including albatross!
photo by Green Team
 
photo by Yellow Team
 
photo by Orange Team
 
photo by Orange Team
 
photo by Orange Team
 
photo by Yellow Team
 
photo by Green Team
 
photo by Orange Team
 
photo by Orange Team
 
photo by Yellow Team
 
RYLA Day 4
 
On Monday morning we met Robbie Francis, Co-founder of The Lucy Foundation, a social enterprise working in collaboration with local communities to develop a culture of disability inclusiveness through environmentally, economically and ethically sustainable trade.
See Robbie’s story and her work from page 10 Issue 3 Autumn 2017 In Gear Rotary District 9980 Magazine.
 
We were then joined for a discussion session with Nick (from Phillippines), Dody (Indonesia) and Khin Khin (Myanmar), scholars on PhD programme at University of Otago National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
 
We were also joined by a graduate from Peace and Conflict Studies, Sakhr Munassar who is now in what he described to us as his dream job as Youth Coordinator at New Zealand Red Cross as well being involved in many projects as Past-President of Rotaract Club of Dunedin.
 
The rest of the day was spent in Milton first for a factory tour with Peter Stewart, Managing Director of Calder Stewart. From humble beginnings in Milton in 1955, Bruce Stewart and Lance Calder have grown their business into a leading construction company.
 
At Tokomairiro High School library we met Lucy Hardy, Community Development Worker leading Project Bruce, a community-led development project for the people of Milton-Tokomairiro, Waihola and Taieri Mouth.
 
For the evening, Rotary Club of Balclutha and RYLA joined in on a Milton Rotary meeting where the four groups of RYLA participants presented their incredible photos. A lot of hard work had gone into the photography and presentations over the weekend, and Hayden from Blacklabel Photography was really impressed by the techniques used and the effort put in to tell stories with the photos. Congratulations to the Blue Team who were voted by the meeting as the winners for their stunning video slideshow.
 
 
RYLA Day 5
 
For our final morning at RYLA, we heard from Karen Purdue, Rotary Club of Invercargill Sunrise about their internet safety programme, the successful Cyber EQ-IQ Project.
After some very competitive rounds of archery tag at CYC Waihola, we were farewelled by Bruce Cowan, Rotary District 9980 Governor 2017-2018.
 
Rotary Club of Balclutha thanks all the RYLA participants for their enthusiam and contributing to such a positive weekend. Thanks to all the local community groups who got involved to ensure a wonderful RYLA experience, including Rotary clubs of District 9980, CYC Waihola for hosting us and organising activities and especially to all our fantastic speakers who travelled from all over the country to share their stories and encourage discussion about making a difference to our own communities and to the world. We really appreciate all the support!
 
photo by Green Team
photo by Yellow Team
photo by Yellow Team
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