Our candidate for RYLA 2017 was Jade Rein and here is her report on her experience:
We all arrived bright and early on Sunday the 15th January where we were welcomed by the Mentors and the Committee. Our first order of business was to get settled into our bunks and start to get acquainted with our fellow RYLArians. We started by having the mentors run a few ice-breaking activities and then we got straight into the program. Our days ran from 7am until approximately 9pm and they were all packed full of speakers, presentations, activities, workshops and exercises.
We quickly moved straight onto our first speaker Tony Tucker who is an associate professor at the University of Canberra, he spoke with us about Leadership theory and the fundamentals and concepts of Leadership. Working in teams we were instructed to build a straw tower and we would be judged on three things height, strength and how creative we can make a story about the structure. This challenge helped us to develop an understanding of how the different styles of leadership work.
Another task we completed involved us getting dressed up as if we were to attend an interview for a job of our choice. Once we were all dressed up we headed to the main building where we learnt about how to present yourself in an interview, general questions you might be asked and how to best prepare for an interview. One of the key points I will never forget is that is only takes someone seven seconds to form a first impression of you, so the way you dress to the way you conduct yourself through your body language is very important.
Another great activity we conducted was an online questionnaire called the HBDI framework, this was done before we attended RYLA. The HBDI is brain framework model that helps understand the different mental processes and how different types of people prefer different kinds of thinking.  While we were at RYLA we received our results we were split between the four categories in the model. We were then given the task to write a newspaper article being the opposite of what we are. So for example I was in the Blue area meaning; the way I think is logical, analytical and factual. So the opposite of myself was the red category being people who think more emotionally and expressively. This helped us develop an understanding that people do think in different ways and there is no right way of how people think and the way they process and express information is different between people and you if you can work out the ways different people think it will help you get along away if you’re in a leadership role. 
The whole RYLA experience from arriving until departing was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The speakers, presentations and activities we completed helped us in many ways to gain confidence, learn to what makes a great leader and that you will fail and you need to just keep your head high and push though the challenges that may come your way. The RYLA program is a very personal growth experience and I am certainly grateful to the Berrima District Rotary Club for sponsoring me to attend RYLA in January 2017.
Jade Rein
February 2017