RYLA weekend from a counselor’s perspective


Senior Jadyn Stack was asked to be a counselor at RYLA.

Jadyn Stack

With 2020 starting, there are many exciting new things happening in people’s lives around the world. For me, the start of 2020 meant that RYLA was just around the corner and it was almost time to go back to one of the best experiences I’ve had. Being given the opportunity to be a counselor for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award was one of the most enjoyable adventures of my life! 

After the opportunity of being a participant at the 2019 RYLA leadership conference, I was one of 24 chosen participants to come back as a counselor this year. Though I was ecstatic for the chance to come back the following year, I had no idea what to expect.  

RYLA is an inexpiable experience; it’s exhausting, exciting, and emotional all in one. Throughout the weekend, I spent most of my time around the group of seniors that were chosen to come back to act as counselors. I learned, danced, and sang chants with them during every assembly, dinner, and lunch, and I also spent a lot of time planning out the weekend for the participants. The group of counselors grew so close together, and I consider every one of them a part of family to me.  

As a counselor, the most exciting part of RYLA was meeting the participants that would be a part of my “squad,” or group. The students were all so kind and worked so well as a team; it was surprising none of them had ever met each other before the weekend at RYLA. Through multiple leadership and team building activities, the participants learned that they were stronger together and as a team than separate. I was so glad to have such a great group of students to lead and had so much fun with each one of them. 

Overall, RYLA was an amazing experience as a participant and as a counselor. I wouldn’t trade the opportunities given to me for anything. My only regret is not giving everyone one more hug before we went our separate ways.