Rotary Club of Reading

Gabby & Tom - Our RYLA experience at Rhos-y-Gwaliau

Gabby Tom

They were assigned rooms on arrival and all reconvened next morning. Their first day was spent in a classroom environment, where they were divided into three teams, Goats, Cows and Sheep. They discussed theories of learning, group dynamics and leadership. The discussions and learning that took place indoors were crucial to the development of them as individuals and as a group. They also learned about three emotional/mental zones they could find themselves in during a challenge: comfort, learning and panic zones. The need is to recognise which zone someone might be in and being careful not to push them into their panic zone. The learning was interspersed with various mini team-building tasks which were great ice-breakers for meshing the team.

Many other tasks were completed and they realised how important the discussions they had earlier were. A truly unique part of their experience was how they were given the opportunity to reflect on attitudes and actions after the challenges.

The skills day consisted of navigating through an old slate mine. Their first challenge was abseiling, the next involved teams leading the Tyrolean task and included a 3-hour navigation exercise, sailing, and finally camping. Their experience from the previous navigational exercise on how to work better as a team proved a valuable help on this latest navigation exercise. All teams managed to find all their checkpoints, despite having a few near misses.

In conclusion, Gabby and Tom thought it was a brilliant experience with great people; they learned a lot about themselves and look forward to seeing how the skills learned continue to help them in their future careers, at the end of their presentation they were both handed their Course Certificates by our President Eric Moyse