Gilpin students attend Rotary Leadership Camp

Peak to Peak Rotary

By David MacKenzie

“Do you have what it takes to become a dynamic leader and change not only yourself, but the world?”
This is the question that appears on the Rotary International website. Four Gilpin School students answered, “Yes!” by attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program this summer.

RYLA is an intensive leadership experience organized by Rotary clubs and districts where youth develop leadership skills while having fun and making connections with other young people from across Colorado.

The Peak to Peak Rotary Club accepted applications, then selected and sponsored four students. Senior Chad Holmes and junior Alicia Johnson attended the leadership camp. Eighth graders Hannah Donaldson and Austin Partick participated in the young RYLA leadership experience.

Three of the GCSD students gave a presentation about the impact that RYLA had on them to Peak to Peak Rotary Club members on August 9. Students each shared a number of things they learned about leadership and how to work with others.

Holmes shared with members that he learned it is the small things an individual does that has a large impact in the community. A good leader is an active listener to others, Johnson told the membership. Patrick expressed to the group to “stick to your dreams and not give up.”

Peak to Peak members asked the students questions about RYLA. Club member Anne Schafer asked the students to talk about their leadership “color” and the characteristics that accompanied their color. Schafer prompted the students to tell about their favorite leadership speaker and why the speaker’s message was impactful to them.

Peak to Peak Rotary member Anne Schafer is the liaison for the RYLA program. Student applications for participation are taken by the club in the spring. Interested students and parents may contact the Gilpin School counselor or Schafer for RYLA information.

Peak to Peak Rotary meets every Thursday at noon in Faraday’s at the Isle of Capri. “The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.” To visit the Club and attend a meeting, contact Barbara Thielemann at

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