One of the goals of Rotary is to help young people develop their leadership abilities and self-confidence to the fullest. To accomplish that goal, Rotary clubs around the world prepare thousands of young leaders through RYLA programs each year.

Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a five-day camp which strengthens leadership skills and capabilities of high school students through physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual challenges.  There is an emphasis on problem solving, teamwork, and interaction with other outstanding students and volunteer counselors and presenters.

Who can attend?

About 100 high school students are selected each year from southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin by their local Rotary Clubs which pays the tuition for the camp experience.

What are the benefits?

At RYLA, students gain insight into:

  • Leadership basics
  • Communication
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Conflict management and resolution
  • Personal strengths
  • Community and global citizenship

When and where?

Traditionally, Camp RYLA is scheduled for the last week in April. Our conference is held at YMCA Camp St. Croix near Hudson, Wisconsin on the St. Croix River. The closing session and award luncheon takes place at the St. Paul Rotary's Tuesday Lunch Meeting (location TBA).


What does RYLA offer?

From Friday evening through the following Tuesday morning, RYLA participants

  • Gain exposure to issues and exchange ideas with thoughtful people through presentations and group activities.
  • Discuss creative approaches for resolving family, social and professional conflicts.
  • Participate in outdoor and indoor team challenges and fun, recreational activities.
  • Expand personal development by learning more about problem solving, communication, being leaders and followers, trusting, risk taking and supporting others.
  • Explore behavioral strengths and how to interact with others.
  • Learn how to engage others in service projects in your community.
  • Get to know Rotary and Rotaract decision-makers and find out more about other Rotary programs for young people.

What is the history of Camp RYLA?

Camp RYLA has helped build leaders for more than 60 years. The primary sponsor has been the Saint Paul Rotary Foundation, and additional support is provided by local businesses and Rotary clubs.

Where are sponsoring Rotary Clubs located?

Participating Rotary Clubs are in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Rotary district 5960 comprises south eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, and Rotary district 5950 covers southwestern Minnesota.

What is Rotary and Rotaract?

The Rotary Club in your area is one of 32,000 clubs found around the world; see our international website: Rotarians are business and professional leaders who have accepted the ideal of service as a basis for attaining success and happiness in their personal and business lives. This includes community service like Camp RYLA, here at home, and global efforts, like the eradication of polio.

Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored club for young adults (ages 18 to 30) also for the purpose of developing leaders and service-minded citizens. Members of Rotaract also serve as volunteer counselors at Camp RYLA. See the Twin Cities Rotaract club's website at

More Questions - email us at