Posted by Peter Woodcock on May 16, 2018

Demonstrating remarkable degrees of aplomb and confidence in what for most was probably a fairly intimidating setting, four students from Pakuranga College and three from Edgewater College gave their reports on the Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment (RYPRN) camp, held a few weeks ago. 

The commonality in all reports was clear – the camp experiences made personal impacts that have changed their lives in many different ways.  For one (Zoe) the deprivation of a cell phone ‘sucked the soul’ out of her but the positivity experienced in the few days without it has encouraged her to set goals to go phoneless for long periods of time. For another (Shelby – already in a leadership role at her school) this deprivation led to meaningful face-to-face interactions resulting in far better understandings of what others are thinking and developing new personal relationships. More than one spoke of their deeper understanding of what leadership means – not being a director but being a facilitator and encourager being among the qualities required.  Team building exercises helped this process. Lionel relished the change in personal relationships – the ‘ghost bus’ on the way to camp became the ‘party bus’ on its return! Songyan found immense value in exposure to the variety of cultures represented at camp. 

The quality of visiting speakers was such that students were exposed to new ways of approaching social issues such as mental health, impact of drugs and alcohol, aimlessness, the importance of goal-setting etc.  Even a politician provided input which was appreciated!

Over an enjoyable evening, the audience was treated to just a small taste of how our sponsorship has impacted on the lives and outlooks of these young people and could not but be impressed by their demeanour, their maturity, and their genuine gratitude for the gift of sponsorship.

Bill Boyd summed it up well and reinforced the value of this kind of Rotary programme for young people who are our future.

The students presenting were:

From Edgewater College - Lionel Schwenke, Sia Santaweesuk and Zoe – iee Saal.

From Pakuranga College – Shelby Sparks, Sarisha Claassen, Songyan Teng and Samuel White