Organize a RYLA Event

Energize the next generation of community leaders with a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event. RYLA gives your club the opportunity to develop young leaders while inspiring them to connect, exchange ideas, and take action in their schools and communities.

What is RYLA?

RYLA is a leadership development program that is organized at the club, district, or multidistrict level. The format of your event depends on what you hope to accomplish, your resources, and your audience – it could be a one-day seminar, a three-day retreat, or a weeklong camp.

While participants can be any age, most events focus on secondary school students, university students, or young adults. You can use RYLA to engage at-risk youth, motivate Interact or Rotaract club officers, reconnect with Rotary alumni, or mentor young professionals to become responsible leaders.

Getting started

You can find complete details for organizing a RYLA in the RYLA Handbook. As you begin planning your event, consider the following questions:

  • Who is our audience?
  • What are our goals? How will we measure our success?
  • What type of program do we want to host: a camp, workshop, seminar, or something else?
  • Who will organize the event: our club, district, or several districts?
  • How will we pay for the event?
  • Where can we find counselors and volunteers?
  • How will we find participants?

Develop your program

Once you’ve decided what type of event to hold, begin planning your program. Consider the interests and ages of your participants and talk with past RYLA participants to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Find a complete list of topics recommended by the RI Board for all RYLA programs in the RYLA Handbook.

Youth protection and risk management

The safety of young people is a top priority for any Rotary-related event. All committee members and volunteers should attend a youth protection training seminar in advance of RYLA. Learn how you can keep your participants safe and minimize risks in the RYLA Handbook.

Will young people be traveling outside their local community to attend your RYLA event? Follow Rotary’s youth travel policies, which include special provisions for long distance and international travel.

Find our Statement of Conduct for Working with Youth and more information on student safety and risk management in the Rotary Youth Protection Guide.

How can I participate in a RYLA event?

Contact your local Rotary club to find out about RYLA events in your area. Follow RYLA on Facebook to learn about inspirational events happening around the globe.

Resources & reference



Rotary support

  • District RYLA chair

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