After finishing up on the Challenge 2000 Gap Year I stayed on to do a bit more work during the holidays and just before I went back home, I was sponsored by the Johnsonville Rotary Club to attend Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), a week long camp.
The week was full of very interesting speakers, challenging activities and fun. I had the opportunity to visit parliament and government house giving me the chance to meet the Governor General and a speaker from each government party.
The theme for this week was “unleashing your leadership potential” which I found extremely relevant for me after a very full on year of gaining a whole range of life and leadership skills with Challenge.
It was very comforting to meet a large group of people around my age who were motivated and passionate about leading and we all had differing ideas on how to go about it. My views and values were challenged by the speakers and challenged by the other participants, which I found to be quite an awesome experience. I am extremely thankful to Challenge 2000 and the members of the Johnsonville Rotary for giving me the chance to attend R.Y.L.A2014.
Because of it I have realized how much of an impact Challenge has had on me and I had the chance to learn a bit more about how that fits with being a leader in today’s world.
Makahika Outdoor Centre was the place to be in the second week of the school holidays, as six lucky Challenge 2000 staff facilitated a leadership camp for young leaders. With Andy Murray as team leader – we knew we were in for a fun and challenging camp- we were not disappointed!
We were met with rain the first two days, hot milos and a spot by the fire were in high demand, not to mention badminton racquets- as a week-long competition started up.
These first two days were focussed on looking at who we were- what makes us who we are? In the hectic society that we live in today, it’s easy to go through life and neglect to spend time asking ourselves these important questions. Life is so busy, and its easy sometimes to ignore them.
We reflected on our lives so far with several sessions throughout the two days which included an art activity, group work and sharing. We were really proud of how willing and respectful the young leaders were with each other over these two days.
The third day saw us embark on a day long tramp. Our young leaders took turns leading the group along the way. Obstacles along the track meant the group really had to work as a team to make sure everyone was alright- it’s important to remember that asking for help is ok, and that with a supportive team around you- you can achieve big things!!
The fourth day brought a new challenge to the young leaders…high ropes activities!! The day was filled with: Flying fox, Team-building activities, Rock climbing, Abseiling and high ropes at the end of the day. It was awesome to see the young leaders practise the skill learnt so far, support each other, overcome fears and celebrate success!!
The Leadership Camp finished off with a bonfire (and a few packets of marshmallows) as we looked forward to what the next step was as young leaders of our families, schools, communities, iwi, country, and beyond!
On behalf of everyone that attended, thank you to the Mana Community Grants for your support and helping to make this happen. Thank you to those that stepped up and joined the camp – you are leaders today, your family and your country looks to you.