Lydia Gainey

Lydia Gainey spoke to the Rotary Club of Mayo about her experience at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp.

MAYO — One local student that attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp shared her thoughts on the camp at the Rotary Club of Mayo’s meeting last week.

Lydia Gainey told the Mayo Rotarians at their July 31 meeting how lucky she felt to get sent to an event like RYLA, how much fun she had and what all she had learned about leadership skills while attending RYLA.

Lydia’s mother, Jessica Gainey, was also very thankful, not just for the camp itself, but for the Mayo Rotary choosing Lydia as their ambassador. She said Lydia grew into the role of a leader through the RYLA camp.

The group listened intently as Lydia explained what she thought a true leader was.

“A leader is someone who not only takes charge to bring the group together to get something done, but is also someone who listens to others suggestions to come up with the best way to do something,” she said.

She explained of the obstacles the youth at RYLA were put through, different types of obstacles to test both leadership and listening skills.

“If you don’t listen and work together, you can’t get through the obstacles,” Lydia explained.

She told the group about how some people would yell overtop of others in order to get them to listen to each other’s ways of getting through the obstacle. If someone didn’t get their attention, no one would stop talking over one another. It took several tries, until they got it right, however they all got to a point where they would work as a team, changing leaders as they went along.

Jessica Gainey said she believed RYLA was a good experience for Lydia, as she would be able to find her voice.

Lydia said she enjoyed RYLA and was lucky to be able to experience it, learning to adapt and overcome difficulties and obstacles through RYLA is something that she will be able to use throughout her life.

The RYLA camp was held in Milton along the Blackwater River. It is a yearly summer event for Youth sponsored by Rotary groups throughout the state and even throughout the country.

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