Rotary Club of Umbergaon organised RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards on 16-18th November, 2018. It was sponsored by Rotary eClub One (RID 5450) and co-hosted by Rotaract Club of Umbergaon and Rotaract Club of Sarigam. Rtn. Harshad Raveshia for every participant containing Note Pad, Books, Pencils, Colour Pencils, Water Colours, Pencil Colours, Sketch Pens, Colour Pencils, Geometry Box and Sharpeners & Erasers.
RYLA was held at THE JUNGLE FARM, adventure theme based camping site situated in the dense forest of Barada, at the foothills of Asavali Dam at Bordi, Palghar District, Maharashtra. The farm has well developed adventure activity zone, tree houses, tents, kitchen and other basic facilities for the camping purpose.
Total 32 kids participated in our RYLA, coming from different places like Ahmedabad, Navsari, Ankleshwar, Vapi and Umbergaon. Few of the participants were Interactors, Children of Rotarians and also non Rotarians. Their age group was 10-14 years.
Mr. Suryahas Chaudhari is well known conservationist and wild life activist. He has developed The Jungle Farm camp site specially to organise camps for kids. He has been organising camps since last 15 years.
Rtn Purvi Trivedi is actively involved in mentoring kids in various fields of art, science and communication. She is also chair of Interact Club of Umbergaon.
Day -1 (16/11/18)
Children reached camp site at 10:00. Upon arrival they were given general instructions about rules - regulations and safety measured to be followed while at the camp site. Afterwards they all introduced themselves and proceeded for breakfast.
The participants were then taken to adventure zone where they enjoyed various activities like Zip ling, Burma Bridge, Spider climb, flying fox, rock climb and commando training. While they were at it, they were continuously given instructions on leadership role, time management, team building, cooperation and identifying strength and weakness of self and others. This way, they actually understood important aspects of being true leader, while performing various challenging tasks.
This was followed by Lunch break, where they enjoyed healthy Indian mean. Meanwhile they were told about healthy eating habits, specially focusing on ill effects of junk and packed foods.
After lunch and half an hour of relaxation, they proceeded for their accommodation, where, boys were placed in tents and tree houses, while girls were taken to a log cabin. After arranging their luggage, they again proceeded for activity zone, this time for rifle shooting, archery, catapult, darts and other target games. This was to increase concentration, learn the art of aiming, focusing and mental strength. All the participants enjoyed these activities thoroughly.
After evening snacks, they gathered at the farm house, where mentors explained them the art of public speaking and overcoming stage fear. They were also give a very interesting drawing kit, to express their experience throughout the 3 days of camp. After dinner, they enjoyed camp fire and all of them performed various acts including songs, jokes, and riddles, even they performed street play as a whole team.
On day 2, after breakfast and quick warm up, the participants were taken for nature trail, in the pristine forest of Barada, situated at one of the major bio diversity hot spots of wastern ghats, and inhabited by ancient Warli tribe. On their track, they observed villages of Warli tribe and understood how they are living very close to nature. They also learned about various fauna and flora of this particular region, learned few tricks of nature survival and medicinal uses of local plants. The participants were divided in two groups based on their age, the younger ones completed a track of 9 km, while the older campers were taken on 15 km track, covered by dense forest. After enjoying a bath in the waters of Asawali dam, they all came back to the camp site by lunch time. The track enabled them to appreciate the hard life of the tribal people, the importance of preserving our jungles, biodiversity and ecology. They also learned about few important bird species, plants and insects of the forest. They were also informed about sustainable living and managing resources for future generations. During track, they demonstrated team building, leadership quality and cooperating with fellow campers. These are some very important attributes for being successful leader.
After lunch, they were given time for relaxation and enjoyed positive interaction with new friends. Once they enjoyed evening snacks, they gathered again for a session on anger management, effects of social media, time management and career planning. They were given guidance on alternate career paths, smart methods for studying etc. The participants showed enthusiasm and interacted actively during all the discussions.
After dinner, the children were taken on a hill top, for a session on star gazing. The kids enjoyed learning about planets, satellites, different constellations and identifying them. They remained awake till 4:30 in the morning to observe the wonderful meteor shower.
On the last day of RYLA, after breakfast, kids were again taken to activity zone, where, they were divided in to two groups, each led by one participants. This time, they were given specific task, to be completed under a specified time. They were asked to device strategy, identify best person from amongst their team and complete the given task to win the challenge. This concept actually tested all their leadership skills like team play, goal setting, performing in given time, inspiring non performers, identifying best suite talents etc. all participants performed exceptionally well in these tasks and later on, they were given feed backs regarding any improvements need, mistakes done and bettering their own capabilities.
After lunch, they participated in elocution, topics were based on gender sensitization, gender roles and future challenges. They also participated in debate on the topic “Social media and internet- boon or curse”. They also took part in poster making competition, on the topics of “Say No To Plastic” and “Save Water”. By this time, many parents had arrived and they also gave their feed backs regarding the whole program. In the end, participants were given prizes and certificates in presence of Rotarians.