Kids at leadership camp

The Rockport Rotary Club sent five local youth to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards weekend retreat. Attendees are, from left, Laura Lee Dafft, Jade Schuler, Emily Sundberg, Trevor Guillen, and Jarrett Kernen.  Schuler was a Trailblazer for the second year.

Rotary Youth activities occur in a number of forms - recognition (Student of the Month), personal growth (4-way speech contest) and education (College and Career training scholarships). All are designed to make growing up more fun and interesting.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) weekend retreat, which was held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at Camp Zeyphr, checked all three boxes - recognition, personal growth, and education. The retreat weekend was founded and is conducted each year by the Corpus Christi Rotary Club. This year, five Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) students joined more than 150 selected students from high schools across the South Texas at the youth retreat where they participated in activities to learn more about themselves and their leadership skills, while at the same time meeting new friends. Many created a network of contacts with whom they will stay in contact throughout their college years.

RFHS students attending RYLA for the first time are LauraLee Dafft, Trevor Guillen, Jarrett Kernen, and Emily Sundberg. Jade Schuler returned as a Trailblazer to participate in more advanced leadership training.

Rockport Rotary Youth Services Director Adelaide Marlatt coordinated with high school counselors to select the students.

Marlatt, who has worked with Rotary Youth Services for several years, said there is a noticeable change in students between the start and end of the retreat weekend.

The students said the retreat was a great experience, and wondered what it will take to get to go back.

They said the weekend experience was a breath of fresh air, and they learned much about themselves and how to grow their leadership skills into something they can use.

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