THE ROTARY CLUB OF ALGOA BAY– DISTICT 9370
RYLAP (RYLA FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL LEARNERS) – 2013 CAMP
As part of Rotary Youth Service, the Rotary Club of Algoa Bay decided to spread the awareness of Rotary amongst young school-goers by offering a Leadership course by way of an Outreach experience for Grade 6 primary school learners from Port Elizabeth. This was the second such camp and once again, all costs were sponsored by the club and this year, 20 primary schools were invited to each identify two Grade 6 learners whom they thought would benefit from the experience of attending a 2-night, 3-day camp, offered by Bushpig Adventures, a company that runs professional school and corporate development programmes in a wilderness setting just outside Port Elizabeth. The coeducational schools involved were asked to nominate one girl and one boy for the camp.
The camp last year was a pilot project and it turned out to be an excellent programme which was well received by the participants and the schools. Consequently the 2012 programme was basically retained with only the addition of a formal one-hour module on Leadership. This proved to be an excellent activity. The programme required that all activities took place as teams and included Lateral Thinking challenges, Survivor Puzzles, Swamp Crossing, Orienteering, Flag and War Cry design and many other activities that all encourage team work, cooperation, communication, delegation, conflict resolution, awareness of others’ and one’s own strengths and weaknesses. This year the weather presented some real challenges, but the Bushpig Adventures’ staff are to be complimented on the excellent way in which they adapted to the circumstances and still managed to present an excellent programme, well-suited to the aims and objectives of the course. Naturally one of the main objectives was to allow young learners to meet, live and work with others whom they previously had not known and to interact with children from other cultures and from different and diverse backgrounds. The learners were asked to evaluate the programme at the conclusion and the analysis has indicated quite clearly that it was an undoubted success.
Some comments from the evaluations are:
- The camp was awesome despite the rain. The food was great. Too short though, as 3 days is not enough. (Several comments like this.)
- Bushpig is the greatest and most amazing camp I have ever been to.
- I absolutely loved the camp. It was a great place to learn to become a better leader.
- It taught me lots about leadership.
- Even though I got a bit frustrated and angry with my team, I enjoyed myself and learned some new thing about myself.
- It was fun and enjoyable. Thanks to the Rotary club.
- It was lots of fun and I made lots of new friends (many similar comments).
- I enjoyed the facilitators who were very nice to us all. They were awesome.
- It was a life time experience. Very kind facilitators. I’ve learned a lot.
- The bean system works very well. The camp was nice and comfortable.
- It was fun and I would like to come again.
- I thoroughly enjoyed this spectacular camp, with its warm and friendly atmosphere as well as the kind and lovely people that ran the camp.
- It was so much fun since it’s my first time to a camp. I learned how to work in a team and listen to others.
- This is the best camp I’ve ever been to (many similar comments).
- It was a fantastic experience and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to come.
Evaluation of this project by the different stakeholders indicates overwhelmingly once again that this model works and it is the club’s intention to continue with the programme and if possible, to investigate how it can be expanded or extended to touch more young lives and grow an even greater awareness of Rotary.
Report submitted Dr Jeff Ilsley