In-person RYLA Ponderosa is back!  New dates April 7-10, 2022!

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District 5495

Arizona Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Senior Counselor

  1. To be eligible to apply to serve as a Ponderosa RYLA Senior Counselor, you must have been a country team or program counselor (or Junior Counselor or Youth Corps staff for Pinerock RYLA) in 2018 or 2019.  All Senior Counselors must still be enrolled in high school on the last day of Ponderosa 2021 RYLA, October 11, 2021.
  2. Two-three Senior Counselors will be selected. Duties involve overall operation of the Ponderosa RYLA camp, including: oversight of country team counselors and program counselors; all-camp events and sessions, including at meals; attendance at all team counselor or program counselor meetings; serving as judges for competitive events; supervision and leadership of dormitories; and a host of other duties.  Note that the Senior Counselors are in charge of much of the daily operation of Ponderosa RYLA, which necessitates strong leadership, problem solving, flexibility, planning when unexpected things occur, empathy, and reliance on the 4-Way Test in making decisions.  The three Senior Counselors will divide duties among themselves.
  3. There are three required events that Senior Counselors must attend, from start to finish:
    • Interviews for Team and Program Counselors  First week of September
    • Staff training Saturday, September 25, 2021, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, in the Phoenix metro area
    • Ponderosa RYLA, Thursday, October 7 – Senior Counselors and Counselors leave from Fountain Hills Tractor Supply Co or at a restaurant in Payson, returning Monday afternoon, October 11 to the same locations.
  4. Application instructions: 
    • Application deadline is midnight, August 22.. No applications will be accepted after that date.
    • On-line applications only are accepted. When so marked, the application for Senior Counselor also serves as an application for Team and/or Program Counselor, which then do not require submission of a separate application.
    • You are required to complete a health history form, the same one as for Delegates. This health history form follows the Counselor application form. 
    • If you are 18 years of age, or will be 18 before or during Ponderosa RYLA, an adult background check on line form is required. The link to this form will be sent to those selected who are or will be 18.
    • Attach a current JPG picture where indicated in the Counselor application, labeled with your name. Please submit a picture only of yourself, not a picture of you with your friends, neighbors, etc.
    • You should receive an email copy of both your completed application and health form. Please save these for possible future reference.
    • You will be contacted by phone or email for your on line interview time.
    • Please check your email regularly and reply in a timely manner – all communications related to Ponderosa RYLA are done only by email. If you do not respond to email requests, we will assume you are no longer interested in being considered for a counselor position.
    • Following your interview, applicants selected to attend RYLA as a team or program counselor will be notified via email.
    • If selected to serve as a Ponderosa RYLA counselor, you commit yourself to:
      • Participate in every on-line interview of counselor applicants, 
      • Attend the full day of staff training on Saturday, September 25, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, in the Ph oenix metro area
      • Attend the entire five day Ponderosa RYLA, starting Thursday afternoon, October 7and ending Monday late afternoon October 11. Note that counselors arrive at RYLA one day earlier than Delegates.
      • Arrange your own transportation for both the all day staff training on Saturday September 25, prior to RYLA, and Thursday, October 7 to the Fountain Hills pickup point at 3:00 pm (or to the restaurant in Payson at 5:00 pm). You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the staff training day, and to and from the pickup points on Thursday before RYLA starts and the Monday it ends.
      • If you cannot be present for both the staff training and the five days of RYLA, or arrange transportation to both, please do not apply.
  5. Please contact John Wintersteen, cell (602) 390-3124 and email; or Larry Horton,, if you have questions.

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