With a Youth Services Grant of $600 AUD to sponsor 2 RYPEN candidates in NSW, Australia, only one student was selected to attend earlier this year, with the next student to attend in September.
RYPEN, The Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment, is for young people aged 14 to 16 years and caters for teenagers who have shown qualities of decency, courage, persistence, sincerity and application in everyday life, which deserve further development.
RYPEN uses the common bonds of learning, co-operation and friendship to design activities which facilitate trust and self esteem. RYPEN seeks to broaden each participant’s horizons culturally, socially and academically, providing the inner foundations for a strong future.
The student that eClub One sponsored in conjunction with Rotary Club of St George Next Gen (a suburb of Sydney) was Gita Kumar who attended the Club to give a Presentation of her experience at RYPEN.
The following is the email recently sent to us by the President of the Rotary Club of St George Next Gen, Vimla Hayman:
Thank you so much for your support for RYPEN. On behalf of Rotary Club of St George Next Gen I would like to thank you and Rotary eClub One for supporting our RYPEN student Gita. She has benefited a great deal from the weekend long course which is evident in her presentation. Our next RYPEN student will take the benefit of your support in September from 9th to 11th. We shall update you of the progress.
Rotary Club of St George Next Gen.”
Please see below Gita’s speech and her PowerPoint presentation, which she gave to the Club in April 2016.
President Vimla (exchanging Rotary Banner)
President and RYPEN student Gita Kumar.
By Gita Kumar
(sponsored by Rotary eClub One through its Youth Services Grant 2015-2016)
My name is Gita Kumar and I will be speaking about my experience at the RYPEN camp. Before I begin, I would like to thank The Rotary Club of St George Next Gen and Rotary eClub One for giving me the opportunity to attend this weekend camp. During the camp, we learned what it means to be a leader of the future and ways that we can enhance our leadership skills. We were taught beneficial skills that will assist us in daily life and in the future. The most important skills that I learned was teamwork and co-operation.
Before arriving at Teen Ranch, I was unsure of what to expect and the things that I will learn while I am there. I felt nervous as it was going to be a different environment with people I had never met before, but I was also looking forward to it as I could take a break from my schoolwork and experience something new.
Upon arrival, I was nervous and after being greeted to each other I, became comfortable with my surroundings. I met various people from different schools and ethnic backgrounds. It was nice to meet new people who all had unique interests and hobbies. We went to our rooms to organize ourselves and get to know our roommates.
We played a game where a person stands in the center of the room and says something about themselves. People that have that in common with the person in the middle run to find another seat, and the person without a seat goes in the middle. This activity was an effective way of learning a bit about everyone.
Once we finished this activity, it was dinnertime. We communicated with the people at our table to make new friends. Everyone had positive attitudes and fun personalities, which made it easier to make friends. I liked the fact that there were so many like-minded people, with whom I could discuss various issues and topics.
The next morning, our first speaker was Sean Redmond, who spoke about perspectives of life, positivism, and overcoming challenges and fears. The most important lesson that I learned from the seminar was looking at other perspectives of a situation and staying positive.
The next seminar was presented by Dean Williamson, who talked about inner strength and overcoming fears. I learned that most importantly, inner strength is built up over time and is something that helps us get through tough situations.
The highlight of the weekend was the Teen Ranch activities which were centered on using our inner strength and overcoming fears. It was a great accomplishment for me and I felt stronger as a person after successfully completing it.
The hike and campfire was another fun and memorable experience that I’ll never forget.
The next day the main task for the day was to create an artwork based on a topic that relates to leadership, which we learned during the camp. In my group we decided to use the topic ‘Perspective’ and ‘Dreaming Big’. The concept of ‘Dreaming Big’ relates to what all adolescents like myself do. We come up with great ideas for the future that can make a change, which plays an important role in leadership, especially for the youth. We used ‘Perspective’, as everyone sees things in different ways, some positive and others negative. I personally think that the key to success is by looking at as many perspectives possible to any idea, and then choosing a suitable perspective and working out a solution, for the best outcome.
In the artwork, there are three young people standing and dreaming of a better functioning, more positive and equal future. The world they are currently in is dark and miserable, yet the world they dream of is bright and joyful. We incorporated darker tones to represent the current world and vibrant colours to represent their dream future. The scenery that the three people are standing on is the deck of the ‘Teen Ranch camp’, and the leaves and bark are from the camp as well. It took most of the day to complete the artwork and we were proud of what we had created.
Once we had finished the artwork, each group presented their artwork, whilst explaining the meaning behind it. Overall, I feel that this was a unique experience and a memorable one. I made new friends that I am in contact with and learned the true meaning of leadership. It’s all about teamwork, encouragement and persistence. Leadership is a life-long learning journey. This is a summary of what I learned at RYPEN camp and I believe that it will benefit me immensely in not only school, but in life and the future. I would like to join Rotary in the near future to help the community.