To be eligible to apply to serve as a Ponderosa RYLA Mentor, you must be an active Rotarian or Rotaractor. Strongly desired qualifications:
Significant experience in one or more Rotary Youth Services program (Rotary Youth Exchange and Interact) and especially recent participation at a D5495 RYLA is strongly desired.
Ages 19 through 25, though older Rotarians and Rotaractors may be needed if there are insufficient younger applicants. Because being a Ponderosa RYLA Mentor paired with a counselor or two counselors, is a near-peer relationship, one year of life experience past high school is also highly desired. Mentors may also establish a mentoring relationship with some delegates depending on the situation.
Because being a RYLA Mentor is part of the Path to Rotary, serving as a Mentor for several years is encouraged.
A total of 12 Mentors will be selected. General duties at Ponderosa RYLA camp include participating in all-camp events and sessions, including at meals; and attendance at all Counselor/Mentor meetings each morning before breakfast, at the adult “stand up” staff meeting at 7:45 am, and at the Mentor meeting during breakfast each morning. Serving as a Ponderosa RYLA Mentor necessitates strong empathy for the counselor(s) and for the delegates; ability to foster a relationship as a mentor and sometimes coach without weakening the relationship counselor(s) have with delegates, and reliance on the 4-Way Test in making decisions to support the counselor(s). Besides the mentoring (and occasional coaching) role, Mentors serve as the assistants to the Counselors when needed. There may be, on rare occasions, where the Mentor, as the adult present, may need to step in to take charge if an incident involving everyone’s safety occurs, or similar major occurrence, when it is a matter of urgency beyond the skills and authority of the Counselor(s).
8 Country Team Mentors: Each Country Team Mentor is partnered with a high school age Counselor, who may be younger or in a lower grade at school than some of the Delegates. Mentors assist the Counselor as needed, and may take responsibility for one or more delegates when the team is split up for any reason (ex: accompanying a Delegate to the first aid area in event of an injury or illness). Country Team Mentors are with the Counselors and teams at all times during program activities and classes, including for evening speakers, and in the general vicinity for meals, except for attendance at meetings and when the team must be split up.
4 Program Mentors: assisting the two Program Counselors at assigned activities such as running the Confidence Course activities (formerly called Low Ropes), assisting professional instructors at the Challenge Course (tower and zip line), and serving as the presenters for indoor classes. Program Counselors/Mentor teams assigned specific activities as a team during the day. Although Program Counselors supervise the dormitories, they are under the direct control of the three Senior Counselors in this role.
There are three required events that Mentors must attend, from start to finish:
Saturday, March 17; Sunday, March 18; and if needed Monday evening, March 19: Interviews to select country team and program mentors (your preference of day/time will be honored as much as possible for a 20-minute telephone or Fuze interview)
Sunday, March 25, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, staff training in the Phoenix metro area
Ponderosa RYLA, Thursday, April 4 – travel on delegate bus or personal transportation, through Sunday afternoon April 8
You are required to complete a Ponderosa RYLA adult application.
A background check on line form is required. The link to this form will be sent to those selected.