RYLA 2020 was held 2 weeks ago 9 - 14 February at the Lakeland Park Camp, Kelvin Heights. 
28 young leaders from around the Rotary District attended and they experienced a full-on week of speakers and activities. 
There was a fantastic turnout by supportive club members at the Rotarians BBQ which kicked things off on the Monday night.  Thank you all for your support at this event.  Thank you also to all of the members who volunteered each day.  Knowing you were there to help if required was a relief for me and you helped make everything run smoothly.  The grocery items everyone brought helped to make 3 hampers and these will be given to the Queenstown Women’s Refuge.
We were extremely fortunate to have 2 amazing counsellors who dedicated their week to RYLA.  Eden Skipper and Simone MacKenzie, are both ex-RYLAians and both are from Christchurch.  Their RYLA experience was invaluable and they added so much extra value to the programme.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially when I got them up at 4.40am to go on a hike to watch the sunrise led by Steve and Tracy McLean!!  Although not too thrilled at the time, especially when I may have mentioned they could have a sleep in, they did enjoy the view and watching the sun rise over the Remarkables.
Another highlight for them was the food!  Darren and Debbie Rewi catered all week and continually amazed and wowed us with the meals.  Outstanding.
Everyday there were 3 or 4 speakers on a wide range of topics and they enjoyed a few hours behaving like kids again at the ‘The Playground’, out by Arrowtown and also challenging themselves on the climbing walls at Base Adventures Remarkable Park.
To cap off the week, we had the Gala Awards Dinner at the Holiday Inn.  They presented their Community Service Project, “Natural Disaster Management Plan” to us.  This project was in conjunction with the Emergency Management Otago (Civil Defence).  We also enjoyed a laugh watching their entertainment skits.  Another feature of this night was the announcement of who received the most nominations to be their “RYLA 2020 Representative”.  This is the person they thought best embodies the values of RYLA.  They voted, unanimously for our very own Huia!  Our girl did really good and we should be very proud of her.
The weather was brilliant all week and they enjoyed a lake swim most days.
We have now caught up on our sleep and I have been in touch with them.  They are still buzzing and keen to visit their sponsoring Clubs.  Our Club will hear from (fellow and now RYLAian) Huia Ackerman and Jamie Robertson, a lawyer and sponsored by Mitchell Mackersy. They will speak on March 17th.  Be sure to come along and hear them.
I am now already thinking about 2021 and have booked the camp!  I am looking for people to join me on the committee.  As I will be Club President for the next camp, I need at least 2-3 people.  Please call me to discuss and find out more.  Ph 021 343 506.
Monday 10 February - BBQ with Queenstown Rotarians
'Mocktails' and BBQ cooking for our Rotarians
RYLAians hosting Rotarians - Derek & Margaret Bulman with RYLAians
Thursday 13 February - Gala Awards Dinner
Some of the activities
Erecting Shelter Boxes Challenge
'The Playground'
Early morning sunrise hike
Friday 14 February - Farewells
Kaumatua and Rotarian Darren Rewi making a
Poroporoake (farewell and blessing)
Lee-Ann concluding the week's activities