Leadership Students Brief Rotary on Experiences


Robbins, Tefertiller, Camp and Renkin


Several high school students from southeast Colorado, selected by the Lamar Rotary to participate in a leadership training event, related their experiences and impressions from the three day event held at Colorado Mountain College earlier this summer. The meeting took place at Las Brisas Restaurant in Lamar on Thursday, August 25th.

The Lamar Rotary has funded annual groups for the conference, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, using proceeds from past events such as the annual Ducky Dash. Usually from five to eight sophomores and juniors are selected which allows the students to use their new communication and confidence skills through the rest of their high school years, according to Rotarian, Judy Turpin. She added that Rotary selects students for their potential to develop and move into leadership positions, just not necessarily those students who are best athletes or achieve high academic grades.

Some students, such as Maddie Thompson from Wiley, are returnees from an earlier conference. She and Tess Camp from Lamar and Kristin Tefertiller from Holly offered their insights into what they brought back from the conference and how they were able to augment their leadership and communication abilities.  There are usually 90 students from around the state who attend, a mix of kids from large, Front Range schools to more rural areas where sometimes one student from one town will attend.

All agreed it was somewhat unnerving to be put into groups where no one knew each other during the three day conference, Thompson said, “You really don’t know who is who or what they’re like until you start to talk and act with each other, so everyone really is starting on an equal basis.” Some activities involve public speaking, a type of ‘getting to know you’ as the participants describe themselves and other activities, such as a confidence course are more physical where team participation and reliance are developed.  Each student said it was surprising how they were able to take part in a way they had never considered before.  One Lamar student, Drew Chamberlain, participated in the conference, but was unable to take part in the presentation due to an accident.  Jon Rink from Granada also took part in the conference.

Rotarians Rick Robbins and Mike Renkin volunteer to transport the students to and from the conference with Renkin developing the program for Lamar which was held as the host city for the first RYLA conference in Colorado.

By Russ Baldwin



Filed Under: City of LamarEducationFeaturedSchoolYouth


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