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What Is RYLA?

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a life-changing leadership training program where young people learn, develop, and enhance leadership skills and principles in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The purpose of RYLA is to encourage and assist current and potential youth leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership. Many past RYLArians have said, “It was the best week of my life!”

Rotary clubs in Rotary districts 5440 and 5450 (Central and Northern Colorado, Wyoming, Eastern Idaho and Western Nebraska) sponsor students to participate in these 5-day leadership conferences known as Rocky Mountain RYLA.

Young RYLA


The Young RYLA Conferences for 144 participants each (288 total) are held at the Ponderosa Retreat & Conference Center in Larkspur, CO. Sadly, while we will not be holding the Young RYLA Conferences in 2020, we do plan to hold Young RYLA in 2021. The dates for Young RYLA in 2021 are:

  • RYLA-1: Sunday, July 18 – Friday, July 23, 2021
  • RYLA-2: Sunday, July 25 – Friday, July 30, 2021  

Any current 7th grader may apply.



Any high school sophomore or junior may apply to attend RYLA. The two RYLA Conferences for 200 participants each are held at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. These conferences are also referred to as Senior RYLA.



RYLA Plus for physically-challenged teens is traditionally held at Easter Seals’ Rocky Mountain Village in Empire, CO. In 2020, RYLA Plus will conduct an on-line conference in July.




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