On August 15, Dave Boon, member of the Fort Collins Rotary After Work club and Past President of the Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Board of Directors gave an interesting presentation on the History of RYLA/YRYLA and the current status, followed by short talks by two recent awardees.  

RYLA was started in Queensland, Australia in May 1960, and brought to the Rocky Mountain region in 1987.  At a formation meeting in District Governor Charlie Peterson's house, apparently Susan Peterson, overhearing a conversation regarding who would attend said, "I think this is a fabulous idea to have a RYLA, Charlie, but you WILL allow girls!"  RYLA and YRYLA have been coed since the start, and were so 1 year prior to Rotary inducting it's first woman.  

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) includes 11th or 12th grade students; Young RYLA (YRYLA) targets students entering the 8th grade, and RYLA+ focuses on physically challenged students.  Rocky Mountain RYLA's current $300,000 budget provides camp for 372 RYLA participants, 283 Young RYLA participants, and 9 RYLA+ participants.  The three groups run 5 conferences each summer, facilitated by 143 volunteer Senior (Rotarian) and Junior (past participant) Counselors donating 20,000 + hours.