Must start off this newsletter with kudos to Past President Leah Griffith for her work organizing the December 2 holiday tree lighting ceremony. Lots of compliments were reported, including, “Leah did a really wonderful job.” Also, kudos to the Interact kids for helping to decorate. Thank you, all!
WHAT IS RYLA?
We got a great answer to that question from Geoff Gilmore and our two guest speakers last week–Dusty Binkerd and Mikayla Heineck. Geoff introduced the two by saying RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Academy) is “all about high performance leadership for youth.” He explained that once applicants like Dusty and Mikayla are nominated and approved, the club provides the fees so they can go to camp. “It’s an absolutely fantastic program,” he said.
Dusty and Mikayla attended camp at the Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett with about 30 other young people last July. Their presentation offered a day-by-day look at what they did and some of their “take-aways.”
Sensory overload! “Getting to know you” exercises and instruction in the “flow of conversation.” Wonderful group facilitators. Takeaway: “It was good to learn how to talk with strangers that you are about to become best friends with!” exclaimed Dusty.
Featured a presentation from Rotary on the “Eradicating Polio” campaign. They also had a presentation on “Expanding Your Comfort Zone,” from Jake French, a speaker who had been paralyzed and was in a wheelchair. Jake talked about his adjustment to his new way of living and forgiveness. “We had a Culture Walk, and ended up knowing more about these people than some long-time friends,” said Dusty. “The camp leaders created an environment for people to be open, accepting and vulnerable.” Takeaway: “Do what you need to do to get where you want to go,” said Mikayla.
The Myers Briggs personality test was explained and administered to the attendees, and they learned about their styles and requirements. Also learned about Life Balance.
Family Day. Had a presentation from a psychology professor at Portland State University and lots of discussion and sharing. Got together into small “color groups” of 4 or 5 people and facilitators to debrief the day. “We felt lots of love that day,” Dusty said.
Professional Day. Business owner Junki Yoshida spoke and told them about his journey to success. The topic was “Finding Your Why.” Another speaker from the Wayfinding Academy in Portland spoke on life purpose. And they heard from other business owners about personal finances, how to budget, management styles, etc.
The theme for the day was “Looking into your future.” “We did some exercises like closing your eyes and imagining you were 10 years in the future, ” said Dusty. “Where you were living, the car you were driving, etc. Some people had no idea and some had strong visions. It was interesting to see everyone’s results.”
They also got outside to play some games and had a session on “Living Your Values.”
That evening, the participants put on a talent show. “At that point, it was only 6 days, but by the time of the talent show you’re all very close. As a talent, one person walked on his hands. He inspired me to walk on my hands and I would not have done that before,” said Mikayla.
A half day and, according to Mikayla, “Definitely one of the most powerful days.” They practiced how to give and receive well-thought-out, heartfelt compliments. They received envelopes that contained written compliments from fellow attendees. It was the “warm and fuzzies,” she said. Mikayla, who is going into the military, said the week was “an amazing experience.” Dusty works in an office environment now, but learned she wants to work with more people around her. “A lot of us, our parents are in Rotary and said we should go to RYLA camp,” said Dusty. “At the beginning of the week we were not super excited, not sure why we were there. But by the end, we all learned so much.”
For more information on RYLA, please contact our club’s RYLA chair, Om Sukheenai.
The president of the Sherwood Rotary Club, Neal Brown, joined us last week.
Please try to attend this week’s meeting, as it will be Election Day and a club assembly. You will have an opportunity to vote for directors for 2018-2019, as well as join committee(s) of your choice. The club assembly will focus on: membership, club service, PR/marketing, programs, and the Auction.
Don’t forget! There will be no meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Instead, the meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 21, when we visit with the local Kiwanis. Same time–noon–and place–Cultural Center.
OUT AND ABOUT
Dale Welcome will hopefully be back at this week’s meeting after having shoulder replacement surgery.
Marge O’Connell (left) and Judy Robinson are working on a project to offer special Rotary tee-shirts and/or polo shirts for club members to purchase. There will be a price break if enough are ordered. Stay tuned for more info!
Denise Bacon reported that the Interact Club has picked its International project for this year. They will be collecting solar-eclipse-viewing glasses to send to people in Africa for viewing next year’s eclipse there. If you have some leftovers you could donate, please see Denise.
In case you missed it, Shannon Buckmaster’s daughter, Anna (left), played the lead role of Clara in the recent local production of The Nutcracker at Newberg High School. Anna was recently selected to be a Rotary exchange student next year.
Matt Stephens was spotted at the new Chehalem Valley Middle School Resource Room, labeling clothing donations that had just come in. Our club is supporting the room, which provides school supplies, food, clothing and other items for needy kids and their families. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jeff Lane.