Welcome to Iowa RYLA (Rotary Districts 5970 and 6000)!

RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a life-changing leadership training program for youth where leadership skills and principles are taught in an atmosphere of trust and respect.  The purpose of RYLA is to assist potential youth leaders in methods of responsible and effective leadership.  A subtext of the RYLA program is the development of confidence and self esteem.  Many participants have said, “It was the best week of my life!”

These pages were updated March 1, 2021.  

Continue to watch these pages for changes in information about Iowa RYLA 2021.

Iowa Rotary clubs in Districts 5970 and 6000 sponsor students to participate in this 6-day leadership conference. RYLA is for high school sophomores and juniors (during 2020-21 school year).   

RYLA 2021 will be held July 18-23, 2021 at Coe College.

High school sophomores and juniors (2020-21 school year) may apply.   Generally, applicants selected have excelled in one or more areas of high school involvement, have proven leadership experience or have shown leadership potential. Applicants must be able to stay for all 6 days of the conference.  Click on the About RYLA page for instructions and the student application to apply!

COVID-19 Considerations: Coe College recently decided to host outside summer camps/conferences. They said it was based primarily on recent campus experience and where they anticipated COVID to be this summer. Currently, they have one student quarantined. What precautions would Coe and Iowa RYLA be taking for RYLA 2021?

  • Italicized text here and below was added May 28, 2021
  • RYLA will be following CDC Guidelines in place at the time of RYLA as well as any guidelines imposed by Coe College. Thus, the guidelines communicated below will be re-evaluated closer to RYLA and more specific information will be communicated with the information packet in early July.
  • With a vaccine available for high schoolers, we urge conferees to get the vaccination prior to RYLA as a way to not only protect themselves but to protect others.
  • Consider testing everyone prior to or upon arrival.
  • Take temperatures daily.
  • Pursue possibility of having all Rotarians vaccinated prior to RYLA.
  • Wear masks except when eating and sleeping or follow CDC guidelines in place at time of RYLA.
  • Observe social distancing.  Small groups would meet in rooms that are large enough to observe social distancing markings.  Large group meetings would be in a large venue allowing social distancing.
  • Emphasize washing hands and using hand sanitizers often.  Hand sanitizers are available in many locations throughout the campus.
  • Limit the size of the conference to 200 students.
  • Assign two students per room, with a contingency of one per room if the COVID situation dictates. (Two communal bathrooms on each residence hall floor.)  Coe has been using this configuration successfully.
  • If someone becomes ill:
    • Quarantine the person immediately,
    • Contact parent and make arrangement for person to return home,
    • Ask college to do contact tracing for need to quarantine other students.
  • If COVID spikes in the early summer, consider cancelling conference and possibly revert to a shorter, virtual conference.

If you are looking for information about Young RYLA, please visit the website


Rotarian Application and Application Process – click here.

(High School students apply here.)

RYLA 2020/2021 Head Counselor Application — Application period closed September 30, 2019.

RYLA 2021 Team Leader Application — Application period closed November 30, 2020.