By Sophie Latta
Through school, I applied for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The interview panel believed that I had ‘leadership potential’ and granted me a place on the first course in the summer of 2012. In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived, I was rushed from my Rotarian’s car to a series of ‘icebreaker’ games, designed to help awardees get to know each other.
We were then informed of what we had ‘signed up to.’ The course is run by ‘Awesome Adventure,’ a team of predominantly ex-military staff. The selected outdoor activities on the course are all based on elements of problem solving, communication, organisation, delegation and teamwork. The personal development side of the course is based upon the ‘Kolb’s Learning Cycle’
The course was the busiest week I have ever experienced, so here are the highlights…
o We learnt to work in a team, using delegation effectively
‘Bell-boating’ – working as a team to travel along a canal in a canoe, delegating roles to manage the opening and closing of the locks.
o We became more effective communicators
‘Murder Hunt’ – completing mini tasks, to earn money to purchase clues to solve a murder. This involved lots of organisation in the briefing and debriefing of tasks.
o We learnt problem solving skills
…And we had a lot of fun learning all of the above!
My team (‘Dudes of Hazard’) won the competition that ran throughout the week, based on points earned in tasks.
We performed RYLA themed ‘Would I Lie To You?’ at the talent show at the end of the week,
To conclude; from my week at Hebden Bridge, I met some great people and the experiential learning style of the week has equipped me with leadership techniques and a developed range of skills that I hope to apply at Cadets, in sport and in my future career.