Rotary hears RYLA student report

Published 7:17 am Thursday, November 20, 2008

Katie Monson and Kylie McGlincy told Bainbridge Rotary of their experiences at the summer Rotary Youth Leadership Award conference held June 21-24 at South Georgia Technical College in Americus.

Monson and McGlincy joined about 400 Georgia high school students selected by other Rotary Clubs to attend the leadership training sessions.

The two told how individual personality profiles developed from information each supplied prior to their attendance demonstrated their individual strengths and leadership styles, dependent upon how they react under pressure, as opposed to when they are in their comfort zones.

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The students were separated into teams and participated in a number of leadership training sessions designed to develop communication skills, and build trust and teamwork.

McGlincy told an amusing story of one game that demonstrated problem-solving skills. It featured an item in the middle of a circle, supposedly surrounded by shark infested waters. The object was to retrieve it by swinging on a rope, without letting your feet touch the ground. McGlincy said her team had a student who was a double amputee and wore titanium prosthesis. They came up with the idea that sharks can’t eat titanium and that team member became the best asset on her team, as he could walk into the “shark infested waters” to retrieve it.

The students also participated in rap sessions, where they could freely express their views on any number of controversial subjects.

Inspirational speeches and activities were interspersed between the team activities.

McGlincy demonstrated the power of an open hand as told by “Camper Bull,” who taught that extending an open hand can even change the nature of combat. He had the students write their dreams and aspirations on one side of a board, and their fears on the opposite side. Then he taught each one how to break through their fears, striking the board with an open hand and breaking the board.

The two students thanked Rotary for sponsoring them at the leadership conference and said they learned to see the best in others as well as in themselves.

Monson and McGlincy will be bringing their experience to work with the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Youth training this year.