Strong leaders are made, not born.  Leadership skills are learned, not inherited.
Rotarians in our Rotary District 5040 are dedicated to helping young people develop leadership skills to their fullest.  Evidence of this shone under Rotarian Kristen Riley's leadership at this year's RYLA Lakelse.  Kristen is the past president of the Rotary Club of Skeena Valley
With tents setup on the shore at Lakelse, the location was perfect.  The camp involved students in Grades 8 to 10 with teens, one from far away Vancouver, Prince George, and communities closer to the lake, Quesnel, Prince George, Smithers, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat come to mind.  There were plenty of challenges, exciting activities, high energy, smiles galore.
Our club sponsored three honor roll Grade 8 students for the 4 day camp, July 5th to 8th.  And what a plus they were!  -- Kemper Weightman, Mia Anthony and Shaunhnessy Archibald.  Left to right - Mia, Kemper, camp leaders from Kitimat, Chelsea and Brodie, Shaunhnessy.
Meeting a challenge!
Watching them brainstorm with their team members was impressive.  Here's the exercise.  What challenges do you see in your school or community?  What is the cause of the problem?  What might you do to fix it?   Each member gave their answers.  The problems were significant, bullying, the split of a school to a different school tied into class size, disrespect for others. 
And then there was seeing teens walking up from the lake, those that paddled the boats back, shivering after everyone had tried Dragon Boating.  Other campers walked back.
Promoting Peace
Member of our District 5040 Peace Committee. Eleanor Kendell presented the teens with her story, Rotary's Promoting Peace, (geared to the young teenagers).  Peace starts with each of us, in our homes, hers and Malala's story, the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner at 17. Peace in our communities at home and around the world, September 21st, the UN Peace Day, dancing and singing for peace, football, boxing, basketball for peace.  Sakako's story in Hiroshimo.   Then Peace through Rotary.   Rylarians made warm fuzzies with wool to share kind thoughts with a piece of the wool from their 'pom-pom', jotted down their thoughts, what would they do for peace? finishing off by making their own human peace sign.
Saturday's BBQ
Invitations went out to parents and families of Rylarians, Rotarians, everyone that helped to make RYLA a success.  Come out for a friendly BBQ evening followed by RYLA style entertainment.  What an evening.  Great food, delightful entertainment.
Here we have Mia, 'twins' dancing, Shaunhessy doing a Ted talk, Brodie's team dancing, and Kemper with his cool shades, chillin' and watching.
In no time at all it was time to leave, driving with a Rotarian, being picked up by a mom or dad.  Rain or shine by the reports heard, once again RYLA was AWESOME!