RYLA

June 16, 2017 Program Report
by Waste Management Student Intern Keanny Jimenez

The 2017 RYLA students did the honors of running our club meeting for the day. RYLA is a camp for teenagers to learn leadership skills and grow as a person. The camp provided activities and guest speakers that help with leadership skills. Some activities included using fake money to purchase supplies to devise a way for an egg dropped from a two-story building and not crack when it hit the concrete floor. Another example was building a firetruck from Lego’s with one person looking at the firetruck and then describing it to the other camper so they could build it sight unseen. This activity helped them keep calm under stress and frustration.
However, they didn’t only have activities they also had guest speakers and comedians. Kathy was one of the comedians who was also deaf but kept everyone rolling around in laughter. Her jokes soon turned into a motivational speech. Kathy oozed with confidence and wanted the rest of the teenagers to radiate from that. Another speaker was “Bruce Almighty” whose theme was the decisions we make affect us. He had lost his daughter in a car accident and described how the decisions we make can affect not only us but our families.
The students from Arcadia High School had strong feelings about the camp. Many were nervous on the first day, not knowing what to expect of this camp. They soon realized the camp was filled with charismatic and welcoming people. They made friends from different places and created strong bonds with them. The camp challenged them into breaking out of their comfort zone by talking about stereotypes, race unfairness, and other kinds of problems. They were surrounded by mature and understanding young adults which helped them open emotionally and mentally. RYLA helped empower and accept their vulnerabilities and view that as an advantage instead of an obstacle.