‘AWESOME’ was how Narooma High Year students Laoise Penton and Katelin Donovan described the RYPEN weekend camp at Old Mogo Town to Narooma Rotarians recently.
“It’s a place where you form many friendships in a short time, where you can build your confidence and develop skills to cope in a range of situations,” Katelin said. “RYPEN has changed the way I look at situations, the way I look at people, and the way I look at myself.”
Laoise said she found it really interesting to find out how other people see themselves and see life. “I feel more confident with myself, I feel less reluctant to try new things, and overall I feel great. I have RYPEN to thank for that.”
Narooma Rotary Youth Director Laurelle Pacey explained that RYPEN is an acronym for Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment.
“It’s a great Rotary personal development program where students aged 14 to 17 years from the ACT and across southeastern NSW come together for a three day weekend,” Ms Pacey said.
“It’s run twice a year at Mogo and the kids are selected by the school.”
The guest speaker that same week was Ashley Overholt, a paramedic with the Manitou Springs Fire Department in Colorado, USA.
She gave a fascinating illustrated talk particularly about the recent Waldo Canyon forest fire in late June, the most destructive fire in Colorado's history, and her unit’s involvement when the fire reached their town.
The fire burned over about 74 sq km, caused the evacuation of over 32,000 residents from the towns of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and several other communities, and destroyed 367 homes.
Ashley and her mother were visiting their friends Narooma Rotarian Ian Thomlinson and his wife Micki.