RYLA 2017: Service is the Highest Form of Leadership

Friday 6/16/17

  They put 137 high school seniors labeled “leaders” in one camp for five days. I thought it was going to be a social disaster.

  • One student who wants to lead, so many other students who are used to leading must be followers.
  • Leaders who are not sure how to communicate with others when no “ranks” are set
  • People arguing with others who are very similar to themselves

  But instead, it was a mind-blowing success!! We were amazingly effective at communication. Whenever someone spoke a new idea, it was quickly repeated and often another idea was added to it. We very effectively set goals and met them.

  The adults regularly put us into new groups of 10-20 students so that every few hours we met new people. We were given many great teambuilding challenges which were a lot of fun! By the end of the week, I probably had worked with almost everyone there!

I enjoyed the social events, including pizza parties, an ice cream sundae social, and an evening dance party. We played many card games, made lots of friendship bracelets, ate lots of food, walked around Messiah College’s campus many times, and made some unforgettable friendships!

  There were lots of great speakers who taught us about the qualities of leadership and the best ways to truly empower people. We learned to listen, take responsibility, and value the one small change we can make (like one little starfish thrown back into the sea!). We learned to commit, act, respect, excel, and care. Oh, there is so much more that we learned, and I would love to write about it all, but of course I cannot quite fit five amazing days of learning into a small post like this!

Looking Forward to RYLA

Friday 6/9/17

Our culture values leadership very much. I am not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing yet. Next week, the local Rotary clubs are sending a bunch students who display leadership skills to a camp together. We are headed to Messiah college June 11th-15th for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA).

I am going with six other 11th grade students in the Etown area, along with many more from the Lancaster/Lebanon/York area. Four students were nominated from Etown High School and two are from Mount Calvary.

I am not quite sure what to expect, but maybe that lack of knowledge will breed additional anticipation. I know that there will be plenty of team-building competitions, music groups, lots of food, and many seminars with knowledgeable speakers. They will probably have us play capture-the-flag, make cheesy crafts, and argue over the best spirited cheers for our teams. Maybe it will be fun spending time with so many other leaders… or maybe it will be a nightmare as we figure out which of us are most capable of being effective followers!

I also know that they are splitting up the seven of us from Etown, which doesn’t exactly make semi-anti-social me so excited. I am close friends with some of them, so I was looking forward to a week with these friends. I’m sure we will begin some great short-term friendships with the people on our teams!

Anyway, that’s where I will be next week. I scheduled out several social media posts and worked quite efficiently this week in order to be prepared for this week away from my normal work/school life! For those of you paying attention to the schedule, yes, you will still see the Fun Friday video and more! “Ciao” for now!


Kids vs Parents

Friday 6/2/17

Today we filmed the first of the video footage for the #FunFriday campaign! Dennis’ granddaughters came to the office and answered some fun questions. I will be editing the video this week (in whatever free time I can find!) so that we can post it next Friday.

The girls seemed to have a lot of fun. They were a little shy at first, since my questions were not exactly themed. They did not understand my thought process as I chose questions from my list that might get an interesting or funny answer. Some questions got them more excited than others. The older of the two seemed to enjoy the spotlight, making silly faces at me and answering with smiles.

We presented the project to the girls as a “kids vs parents” game. They liked that idea. With the opportunity to “beat” grandpa in something, they were more enthusiastic than ever to take part.

Keep an eye out for these videos this summer! I can’t wait to share them with you all!


Sharing the Road

Friday 5/26/17

I once showed interest in a boy who had a motorcycle. He was one of the most respectful guys I knew, and he was always very careful to wear lots of protective gear when he rode. As soon as my dad found out that he had this bike, his first words were, “You are never riding the motorcycle with that boy”. Yes, Dad, I understand. He had good reasons for being concerned for his little girl.

According to a recent article written by the Philadelphia Insurance Companies group, motorcycles make up 14% of all traffic fatalities even though they only account for 0.7% of vehicle miles in the United States. So often, these accidents occur when a driver cannot see the motorcyclist or they misjudge the speed of the motorcyclist, especially at intersections.

As the outside temperature increases, it will be more common for bikers to ride. Those of us sharing the road with them must be especially careful to watch out for motorcycles. It is worth my while to share a few tips for drivers of cars and trucks:

  • Give them plenty of room, since their small bikes can stop faster than you can.
  • Please do not use your phone while driving. Stay completely focused so that you can see the motorcyclist. Be on the lookout for bikers!
  • Be especially cautious at intersections and make your intentions very clear with turn signals.

For motorcyclists:

  • Helmets and other protective gear have saved thousands of lives every year. It is worth it.
  • Use headlights, turn signals, and bright clothing to make yourself seen.
  • Provide plenty of space for other drivers.

I understand that riding can be quite the exhilarating ride, full of freedom. My friend once posted on his Instagram page describing a recent motorcycle excursion, “I don’t go riding to escape my life, I go riding to live it”. It’s a great activity, but it must be taken seriously and everyone must be very careful.

We all probably know someone closely who rides a motorcycle. Maybe it is a friend or family member, or a coworker or neighbor. If nothing else, you probably share the road with bikers regularly. Please be careful. According to the National Safety Council, motorcycle riders or passengers are injured or killed every six minutes in the United States every day. Please consider this when driving and help be sure that the motorcyclists around us are not part of that statistic.


PS the article described is from


Bicycles, Alcohol, and Law Suits

Friday 5/19/17

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and that means a classic American summer is just around the corner. I’m thinking the opening of the swimming pool, bringing the kid’s bicycles out of the shed, roasting marshmallows over the campfire, spotting the first firefly, and planning the details of the family vacation. But best of all, the beginning of summer means having way too much food left over from the family cookout of hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, corn, fresh fruit, the abandoned vegetable tray, cheese and crackers, and of course, beer and wine for the adults. All of these things are amazing, and they are what make summer so great, but I must caution you.

I recently read an article called “Is it against the law to ride a bicycle drunk?”. The answer may surprise you. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of fatalities from intoxicated cyclists has not declined as much as those of drunk drivers over recent years.

There was a great real-world example of this issue:

Derek rode his bike to work every day, mainly for the exercise. One Friday afternoon after a difficult project was completed, he and his coworkers decided a happy hour was in order.

After a few drinks, he decided he better ride home before he lost the daylight. As he was cycling out of town, he ran a red light in front of Heather.

Swerving to avoid him, she collided with another car and sustained a variety of complex injuries, which resulted in decreased mobility and motor function. She was unable to return to work as a university mathematics professor for several months.

Heather’s medical bills quickly exhausted the minimum coverage offered by Derek’s renters insurance, so she had no choice but to sue him for reimbursement, incurring legal fees paid in advance, out of her own pocket.

Because Derek didn’t have significant assets, he declared bankruptcy, putting Heather back to square one. Burdened by debt, unable to work and without compensation for lost wages, she too was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Rewriting the story
If Heather had a personal umbrella with $1MM excess UM/UIM, it would have covered the gap left by the underlying policies to take care of her legal fees, lost wages and medical bills.

This is important to remember as the bicycles and alcohol are both coming out for enjoyment next weekend. Now is a great time to contact us about an umbrella policy so that you are covered for the gap in your policies!

Have you ever operated a boat, four-wheeler, golf cart, or other motorized vehicle that you did not own? If so, you may have done so without any liability protection at all. In many cases like these, a personal umbrella policy would provide you with liability protection even though you did not have your own policy for that specific exposure.

A $1 million umbrella policy could cost as little as $20 per month! Request a quote for an umbrella policy today!

PS The article described was found on

Summertime Begins

Friday 5/12/17

We loved spending the afternoon with some local baseball families last weekend at the Londonderry Athletic Association opening day ceremonies! Hornafius had a table there with a free raffle, a “guess how many sunflower seeds are in the jar” game, and a clown board for fun pictures.

We saw lots of smiles from kids who put their face in the clown board, pretending to be the silly clowns with their friends. It was interesting to see the strategies (or lack thereof) people used to guess the number of sunflower seeds. One cute kid didn’t know that numbers beyond 100 existed, so his parents would encourage her to put another number, any number, after the 100 (making it 1000 instead of 100). Another girl tried to count the number of seed on the bottom then count up the side, then multiply them. Others would count the surface area of a group of 20 and guess how many groups of 20 were there. It was fun! There were 2002 sunflower seeds in the jar, and a girl named Olivia won with a guess of 1500 seeds.

The festivities included each of the teams being introduced as the kids ran onto the field, each with huge smiles. The coaches seemed so proud of them before the season even started! The kids had a hitting contest afterwards, and they had time to take part in some of the raffles and silent auction activities too. There was even a competitive game of tag going on at the playground!

It was a busy, warm, fun day. Hornafius Insurance Agency loves to take part in community events like this. We look forward to more baseball games and community festivities as summertime gets closer!

 These two clowns are ready for baseball season!

 What would be your guessing strategy?

 Val and her daughter are silly clowns too!

 Dennis and Julia pose by the Hornafius sign in the outfield.