Rotary Youth Leadership Awards - RYLA Photos
RYLA 2020 is being held January 31-February 2, 2020 at Camp Zephyr. Rotarians can personally sponsor HS sophomore or junior students they know that qualify for this leadership training weekend. Cost is $300 per camper inclusive of room and board. Applications must be submitted by December 9, 2019. See Christine Wisian 361-779-6190 or Jim Villaume 361-688-1987 or visit for qualifications and application form.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary’s leadership training program for youth.  Program activities focus on development of communication, critical thinking and problem solving, and team decision -making skills all through experiential learning. RYLA also highlights and rewards the kinds of character traits demonstrated in positive, effective leadership. RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to:
  • Demonstrate Rotary’s respect and concern for youth
  • Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
  • Encourage continued and strong leadership of youth by youth
  • Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities

This year RYLA will be held January 31-February 2, 2020.

The Rotary Club of Corpus Christi organizes and hosts the RYLA program for the District 5930 Rotary Clubs. RYLA Camp has multiple levels of leadership training.  First year attendees are “Campers”.  This level is open to high school sophomores and juniors.  The Rotary Clubs from throughout the South Texas area award full scholarships to selected students sponsored from their area high schools. See your school counselor or contact your local Rotary Club for sponsorship possibilities.  These clubs pay the $300 tuition for each camper they sponsor as part of their commitment to the development of youth in their communities.
Campers who demonstrate aptitude for leadership within the RYLA program can be considered to return the next year’s RYLA as “Trailblazers.” During the Trailblazer year, participants continue their leadership and personal development as well as having leadership and facilitation roles during RYLA Camp. This is a new level of leadership development for RYLA started in 2015.  Trailblazers will attend an expanded RYLA Camp with a full day and ½ of training. Trailblazers are generally junior and seniors in high school. Currently each Trailblazer is responsible for their tuition of $300 which covers lodging, food, and supplies for the 4-day leadership camp.
Junior and Senior Counselors for RYLA are selected from previous year counselors and those Trailblazers who demonstrate interest and aptitude to be a leader and mentor for campers. A team of one Senior Counselor and one Junior Counselor co-lead each group of 12-15 campers as they progress through their leadership training activities and projects. Counselor tuition for the 4-day RYLA Camp is covered by the RYLA program making this extended leadership training free to the counselors.
Rotary Club members can personally sponsor their children, grandchildren or worthy students to RYLA. The student must meet all requirements being a high school sophomore or junior and showing leadership skills to be further developed; pay $300 per student with complete applications and payment to be received or applicable late fees will apply. All forms/applications are on website at or contact Lysa Chapman at 361-882-8672.

Listen to what past students and parents have said about the RYLA Leadership Training Weekend!!

“Words cannot express how thankful I am for having a blessed opportunity…RYLA is more than a camp; it’s a life-changing occasion that has truly made me think more about my life.” 2014 Senior Counselor
“Going to RYLA gave me the energy I needed to appreciate live and not give up. Two days before (RYLA) I was going through such a hard time…I almost made the stupid mistake of taking my own life…When you stated that we were all there for a reason and it was a blessing, I started to cry…I knew then and there God wanted me here for a reason…RYLA taught me to be a more open person, be happy, better myself, work with others, believe in myself and enjoy the small things in life…I left with the best memories ever… Thank you so much.” 2014 Camper
“My daughter Taylor attended your conference this past weekend. Her first comment tome as she got off the bus was, ‘That was the greatest experience of my life.” Needless to say I was taken aback for a moment.  She mentioned that she had never had opportunities to reflect on the past/present while systematically and purposefully planning for the future. She absolutely loved this retreat. I just wanted to say THANK YOU to you, your staff, and your organization for creating such a meaningful, insightful and focused youth leadership experience.”- -Mr. John Gray, Principal, Jo Nelson Middle School, Santa Rosa
All Clubs are encouraged to sponsor high school sophomore and junior students from your local high schools to attend the RYLA weekend! You can allow the school counselors to select the student or have the counselors nominate student candidates for your club to interview and select the finalist and alternates for these scholarships provided by the clubs. There should be at least one or more alternate student/s selected in case one of the sponsored students cannot attend the weekend. Registration information is required for each student being sponsored for RYLA. Registration deadlines should be noted by all RYLA Coordinators and applicants. There are additional fees for late registration information or payment.