Lincoln-Way East students learn leadership skills at Rotary-sponsored trip

Juniors Sean Lachat and David Purucker were picked to attend a three-day leadership camp in Lake Geneva where they participated in a variety of team-building activities.

Two students from Lincoln-Way East High School are putting the leadership skills they acquired at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program to good use.

Juniors Sean Lachat and David Purucker attended a three-day leadership camp in Lake Geneva where they participated in a variety of team-building activities and learned about the six C’s of leadership – charisma, confidence, character, courage, commitment and communication.

They reported on their experiences during a Tinley Park-Frankfort Rotary Club meeting on Dec. 13. The club paid for their trip.

“We did a lot of team building,” said Sean, recalling how one exercise challenged students to work together so they could climb a wall without the assistance of ladders.

“That was my favorite aspect,” he added.

“Thank you for sending me,” said David. “I had a really great time and made some great friends.”

Both students said they especially enjoyed RYLA’s Reality Store, which challenged them to pick a profession and then manage their finances, deciding whether they could afford a car, house and the insurance payments that go with them.

“It was a reality check,” said Sean, who chose a military career for the exercise – something he’s thinking about doing in real life.

“I didn’t know what the pay would be,” he said.

For fun, David chose a career as a diplomat. He learned diplomats don’t make as much money as he expected.

“I had to ride the bus as a diplomat,” he said.

Every year, the Tinley Park-Frankfort Rotary Club picks at least two students to send to the leadership conference. Students are selected based on their leadership potential in an application process.

“The Tinley Park Frankfort Rotary understands that developing and encouraging future leaders is critical to the success of our nation and our world,” said Rotary Club President Margaret Semmer. “That is why we support RYLA.

“The RYLA retreat in particular encourages leadership development by promoting team building, collaboration, and problem solving,” she continued. “The students who attend this retreat return from their experience with a new perspective and a greater understanding of service to others. I am proud that we are able to contribute to leadership development in this way.”

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