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Four Kirkcudbright Academy Pupils Took Part In Rotary Youth Leadership Award

The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is a scheme which takes small groups of teenagers and challenges them to face their fears, maybe of heights, water, meeting new people or simply being outdoors in the cold and wet. With support and encouragement from professional instructors the groups face a series of challenges, negotiating a high ropes course, rock climbing, mountain walking, gorge climbing, canoeing and raft building.

RYLA courses take place all across the world and is regarded as key part of the Youth Programme offered by Rotary International. Here in our District of Southern Scotland RYLA takes place at Abernethy Ardeonaig, in the dramatic setting of the south shore of Loch Tay at the foot of Ben Lawers, in Perthshire. An important part of RYLA is that it is fully sponsored by the Rotary Club who select individuals to take part.

This year Kirkcudbright Rotary sponsored four students, recommended by Kirkcudbright Academy, two girls Shannon and Anna, two boys Connor and Finlay. In the nearly three months between selection and going, there were admitted doubts but all stuck the course and on meeting them all were excited about RYLA, had had a great week and made many new friends. One comment “It did you said it would”. But one last hurdle remained to be jumped, to visit a Kirkcudbright Rotary meeting and present their experiences of RYLA to Club members.

On Tuesday 7th August 3 of the RYLA group joined us for a meal and were the after-dinner speakers. Each described different stages of their RYLA week and how they felt it may have changed them. All gave their talk in a calm, relaxed and self assured way that impressed Club members, one was heard to say “RYLA is worth every penny!” We were joined by James Gibbons, RYLA Coordinator and his wife Katrina, who is lead mentor for the girls. President Gordon presented each RYLArian with their award certificate.