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RYLA is a five-day, four-night camp held at Central Oklahoma Christian Camp near Guthrie that allows high school sophomores and juniors to explore their leadership qualities and to understand those of others. Attendees learn how to most effectively utilize everyone on the team and how to stay sane in this crazy, busy world. Students participate in a challenge course, explore character qualities and learn the ins & outs of how to start/run organizations successfully. We accomplish all of this in unique and fun ways. We do not have a bunch of guest speakers and students will not need to know which fork to use at anytime.  

At 29 years old, District 5750's RYLA has quite a long list of elite alums, some of whom have gone on to win pageants, go to law school, join the Peace Corps and more. Attendees tend to stay in contact long after the camp, helping each other succeed in college, graduate school and business. Besides having lots of fun hanging out! Each year, about 120 new attendees and 40 returning staff members (former attendees) come together from the northwestern quadrant of Oklahoma (Rotary District 5750).   For additional information, please contact RYLA Director, Bridget Markwood at campryla@yahoo.com.      

RYLA by the numbers
  • 29: The number of years our district has had RYLA, as of the 2016 camp.
  • 5: The number of camp days. 
  • 75-100: The number of 1st year campers we host each year.
  • 36-40: The number of 2nd year campers/helpers, also know Trailblazers.
  • 24: The number of 3rd and 4th year students, serving as Junior Counselors.
  • 12: The number of 5th+ year students, serving as Counselors.
  • 8: The number of 6th+ year RYLArians, serving in administrative roles (Uur Asst. Dir. will be celebrating his 11th year with us in 2016 and is now the Program Director at Central Christian Camp.)-- RYLA truly is for youth, by youth.
  • 40: Number of chili batches entered into the 2015 Annual Rotarian Chili Cook-off (next one: July 16, 2016)
  • 60: Number of Rotarians that came out to visit RYLA during the 2015 camp.
  • Around 20: Number of RYLA Alumni who came to the reunion on Saturday night (in conjunction with the cook-off), bringing their families with them!
  • 0: The number of lectures our students have to sit through about leadership. We are experiential learning camp.
For District 5750, Rotary Youth Leadership Award is an opportunity for students to disconnect from their world and reconnect with each other.  Phones, ipods, personal cameras, etc. are not allowed and frankly (after the first day), not missed. Students get a rare opportunity to experience a world of trust, hope, motivation, and love.  The staff, made up primarily of former attendees, expects each person to be themselves and bring what only they can bring to the camp.  Then, we expect each person, in their own way, to go out into the world and give their time and talent, if not yet their treasures, to others.