RYLA participants reflect on time at camp

From left, Rotary Club of Crowley President Mary Zaunbrecher and program organizer Peggy Sandidge welcome this year’s RYLA participants, Adam Couture and Michael Bray, and, not pictured, Nicole Taylor. The three spoke of their time at RYLA and what they learned.

3 from CHS take part in 4-day program

Jeannine LeJeune is the online editor for the Crowley Post-Signal. She can be reached at jeannine.lejeune@crowleytoday.com or 337-783-3450.

For roughly four days, three Crowley High School students joined over 60 other people (including camp sponsors) in Lake Fausse Pointe for this year’s RYLA Camp.

RYLA — Rotary Youth Leadership Awards — is a leadership development program run by Rotary.

RYLA typically includes presentations, activities and workshops that cover things such as leadership fundamentals and ethics, communication skills, problem solving and conflict management and community citizenship.

For Adam Couture, who graduated from Crowley High in 2014; Nicole Taylor, a senior at the school this year (2014-15); and Michael Bray, a sophomore at Crowley High this year, RYLA was a chance for that and more.

“After meeting with the three young people that our club sent to RYLA, my concerns for our future have greatly diminished,” said Peggy Sandidge, program organizer for Tuesday’s Rotary Club of Crowley meeting.

“Folks, we are going to be in great hands.”

All three mentioned the personality test at the camp and how it taught them much about themselves as well as how personalities work in a group structure.

Taylor spoke about funny memories from the week and talked about starting her time there homesick. But her time at RYLA quickly improved she said she learned much while attending the camp.

Taylor is a “blue” personality. She learned she is not only sensitive, but sensitive to criticism and that as a blue, she and the fellow blues in her group tended to let the red personalties take control in group settings. 

Couture remembered how his group struggled to work together in the beginning, in part due to the personalities in his group, but by the end, the group learned how to work together.

Couture, a “red,” explained that he, and his fellow reds, had to often be told to stand down and allow other opinions, but as their personalities worked, the red personality tends to want to get things done right away.

Bray’s group didn’t have many personality clashes, fortunately, and, in fact, did well in most of the activities. Bray learned that he is actually fearful of being a leader due to the fear of failure.

“If I screw up, everyone is screwed up,” he said.

Bray was the leader during the support beam activity, and quickly abdicated his leadership role to another in his group.

But Bray had a great time, giving the camp a “10-out-of-10 rating.”

“Overall, it was the best camp experience I’ve ever had,” he said.

Both Bray and Couture recommend the camp to younger students and hope that more will take advantage of it moving forward.

For Couture, the greatest thing he learned was how to work together in a group, particularly in a group of people he didn’t know anyone in while Bray said it was not only learning about leadership, but learning that the fear of failure can be a motivator as well.

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