RYPEN is a Rotary International youth program held at Camp Bernhoffen in the Gold Coast hinterland. Anyone who has been lucky enough to make the trip into the Numinbah Valley will attest, this is indeed a breathtaking location.
The camp is intended to assist young people to challenge themselves, extend their boundaries, and develop positive behaviours in a supportive environment. The program has been running for a number of years and is held in Rotary districts all across the world.
The RYPEN schedule is a mix of guest-speaker sessions, team-based activities and physical activities. The value of teamwork and the importance of taking part rather than winning is emphasised in all activities; the team establishes an atmosphere of fun where it is hard not to have a great time!
The program is for 14 and 16-year-olds who would love a weekend packed with activities, entertaining speakers and opportunities to make new friends. Each participant is sponsored by a Rotary Club.
Two of our Year 9 students, Preston and Jack, were lucky enough to be chosen and accepted to attend this year’s camp. Here is Preston’s reflection.
I completed the RYPEN 2017 camp with many memories I will take with me for the rest of my life. The camp was held at Natural Bridge in the beautiful rainforests, with an amazing view of all the mountains and trees.
When I got there, I noticed that there were a lot of people and all of different ages, which made me a little nervous. However, straight away we played an icebreaker game ‘Bingo’ with our names. In the first 30 minutes I had learnt everyone’s name, which made me feel like we knew each other. All of the names I put down for the 'Bingo' were the friends who I stayed with throughout the camp.
I looked at my nametag and it said orange, so I went scanning for people who had an orange name tag. I said to myself, “They look like a good bunch of kids.”
Throughout the camp, we did many different activities in our group Zesty Oranges. This group was full of creativeness and humour throughout the activities. Our first activity we did was the making of the banner for our team name. We decided to create this banner with lots of orange colour to suit our team. This banner was presented at the talent show with our war cry. The talent show was on the Saturday night with a magician doing his magic tricks for the group. This talent show was very enjoyable to watch.
Also the mini Olympics was up there too, with all the activities that I loved to do. The camp was so amazing; I met new friends, stepped out of my comfort zone and made memories that will last me a lifetime.