Three years of RYLA families
Idyllwild Pines camp was again the site for RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) where nearly 300 of the top high school juniors in District 5340 gather for a weekend of fun and new friendships.  Each RYLA features inspiring speakers and a chance for these students to meet others who share their service-oriented mindset. This year, Alex Montoya told about overcoming physical challenges to achieve life-long goals, Fary Moini of Rotary Club of La Jolla Gold Triangle talked about the school she helped found in Afghanistan (we connected with these students via Skype), Edwin Oketch told the story of rising from the Kibera slums in Kenya to become a social worker helping orphans like him, and mountaineer John Beede shared how he achieved his goal of completing the seven summits and how students could use goal-setting techniques to reach their goals. 
All RYLArians are divided into 8 member “families” that are designated by colleges.  Family members bond quickly, and often develop lasting friendships. These students are inspiring and their enthusiasm is infectious.  Many go back to their schools and share the knowledge they gained at RYLA with their classmates.