My Experience at RYLA Returns, ’09

“The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into your mind, but….how to get the old ones out”

-Edward De Bono

I am amazed. I am stunned. I was filled with energy and a strong desire to do something new. I registered myself for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and got the best output and response. I got motivated and I eventually learned how to become and work as a team leader. People! RYLA is over now and we are back but we are back with a change, a change which was promised by Nayel and his team, a change which will probably provide the best I have wanted, a change which is the need of the society and a change which will always remind of the excellent speakers, entrepreneurs and youngsters I met.

While I was packing for the conference; a lot of questions popped up in my mind as how would be the conference? What would we be doing for the next 3 days? Would we be getting time to rest and sleep? What kind of projects will we be designing and most importantly how we gonna do all this in just 3 days? Who will be the speakers? And blah blah….Finally the RYLA day was there when we reached Country Side Chalet with heavy bags hanging on our shoulders. We were shown our Chalet where we stayed for a while and came back to the conference hall for the opening ceremony which was a bit boring. Opening ceremony was followed by the team introduction and fellowship. I was introduced to my team with the name of “Parrot green” which is also my favorite color and to the facilitator Mr. Aqeel from RCKM. Later on; two excellent motivational speeches gave us the required energies to pull out 3 days of intense learning and hard work. First day; which was later followed by various dirty games made all of us dirty too?. They included bucket balance and human foosball. I actually escaped two times from that dirty water bucket by quickly getting out of that circle where most of my team members suffered. The amazing fragrance from that crystal clear lake water made all of us much more happy and excited. And yes; that shaving cream on our backs can never be ignored.

Finally, the very first day came to an end and we were told that the dinner is at 9 pm. Considering our pathetic conditions, we all decided to go back to our chalet for a bath. The dinner was served which was I guess my favorite ‘Daal Chawal with kabaas’. I also liked that ‘Tang’ style after every lunch and dinner. After dinner? After dinner; it was the time for music, dance and everything you can imagine…!! Fellowship was once again on the urge. Youngsters literally dance on the music beats and made the best of that night (by the way, I broke my new sandal as well during that wild dance).Third day was much more tougher than we have imagined which started with a unique game of ‘RYLA ball’. We made the rules and really enjoyed. That morning exercise was really an appetizer. And then the breakfast of “Halwa poori” was like yummmyyy!!! And then it was mostly a boring day (as far as first 2 speeches are concerned) but after lunch Mr. Google Pakistan startled us with the ways as how to promote our social causes on Facebook, You Tube and Linkedin. Later on; we had our business plan meetings and other social activities at our base camps. 2nd day turned totally a different look with other games including the “Mustard Tank”. We all broke our bones and you know what…the pain is still there!! I still can’t understand that Navy game which was over confused by our facilitators (I am not going to mention the name, I guess you all know). And how can I forgot that phadda which broke out between us (team parrot green) and team black which decision is still pending. We then got busy planning for our stage performance skits which turned into an exciting experience. There was hooting and clapping all around. We all enjoyed a lot and our team got the 2nd prize…yahoo!! Teams then got a bit busy preparing for their presentations the next day. Then there was dance and dance and dates (oh sorry, I mean socializing).

Third day appeared to be very tiring one. People were sleepy and were looking less interested in games. We quickly finished our presentations before we presented them. Presentations were done and RYLA was almost over when all of us gathered inside the conference hall and start performing comedy skits and songs. Special applause for Zeeshan, Aun Zaidi and Zain who gave excellent performances. The most emotional moment of RYLA was when Zeeshan start singing RYLA song which was I guess extempore and mind you, he did a great job. That song became the identity of RYLA returns 09. Conference would have been uncomplete if there would be no “Rung” which actually lifted all of us into our top sprits and gave a marvelous end to the event. That red red swimming people which was more acting as a dye bath almost dyed all of our faces and clothes with red for free:-). Closing ceremony was also worth mentioning where team grey got the first prize, sky blue got the second and we (parrot green) got the third one. Zeeshan was given the award of best RYLArian. The best facilitator award was given to Azka. I would personally like to congratulate Nayel, Taimoor, Salman, Shabana, Azka, Aiman, Shayan, Saad, Faizan and every cosmo member for pulling put out an amazing project. And how can I forgot my team; Nadia, Aun, Tahir, Umair, Asma, Madiha, Sumayya, Hira, Komal and Shehzad…love you all. Leadership, to me, is an art and that art is surely very difficult to achieve where in most cases it is in born. From Rotary Youth Leadership Awards; I picked two very important points:

1) If someone likes to lead from the front; he must have proper knowledge about the system he works and he must have a bunch of ideas to throw and become a thought leader.

2) I learned that how important and critical is to work as a team. If you are an entrepreneur or simply a manager; you must have the ability to lead and work as a team.

During a time when Pakistan has been declared the epicentre of terrorism and whole world is pointing towards us for every act of terrorism that happens around the globe. We have threats internally and externally. We are at war and that war has taken us very back. We are not moving forward. We are stuck or better say going back to stone age. Bad governance, corruption, suicide bombings, political instability, economic downfall, downsizing, brain drain, heavy unemployment, increasing negativity, decreasing patriotism and what else bad we can think of. In these tougher times; RYLA was organized to prepare our youth for a change. A change which will help society. We all heard excellent speakers from leading corporations. We went through various team building games. We prepared our projects for a good cause. Now the question remains same..how we gonna change the things? Will we keep alive that passion to do something different? Will we be helping society after RYLA? Will we be acting upon the acessories for success by Mr. Farhad Karamally which are; 1) Fantasize 2) Comfort in discomfort 3) Positively emotional 4) Possibilities in problems and 5) know your worth. Society will only change when we will start beleiving in our selves and our abilities. We all are great. The only last thing required is that energy, passion and D E S I R E 🙂 for which RYLA was organized!

Cheers!!!

4 Replies to “My Experience at RYLA Returns, ’09”

  1. i have the oppertunity to go there this august, though i have no idea what so ever is going on. what exactly do you do there? they haven’t told us yet.

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