Camp Airy and Camp Louise Counselors-In-Training (CITs) are campers who have completed 11th grade prior to the start of the summer.
The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for the participants to master a defined series of job skills related to child care in a residential camp setting. CITs will also spend some time participating in and learning about specific components of the operations of camp. CITs who successfully complete the program have the opportunity to apply to be a fully-trained member of the staff of Camp Airy and Camp Louise following their graduation from high school.
The CIT program includes, but is not limited to, the following components:
Bunk Experiences : to gain a working knowledge of children in this setting.
During this experience, CITs will:
- Participate in bunk routines (clean-up, meals, games, evening activities, etc.)
- Observe counselors in their leadership and teaching roles
- Assist in planning special events and programs at an age appropriate level
- Assist in the supervision of campers
Department Experiences: to learn and teach specific camp activity skills. CITs participate in all aspects of leading, teaching, developing, officiating and supervising a wide range of activities during the course of their Department Experience.
Service Projects: to learn from a range of experiences that "giving back" is an essential part of who an Airy/Louise staff member is. CITs work within the camp community and with outside organizations thoughout the summer.
Reviewing, Debriefing, and Discussing: key components of the CIT experience. CITs will have the opportunity to review the day's events, activities and/or experiences with the intent of learning from each part of their participation. Both positive and constructive input is reviewed with the intent of learning from both experiences in order to enhance their base of knowledge regarding the role of a counselor at Airy and Louise.
Evaluation: to give CITs feedback as well as clear guidelines where improvement is needed. Evaluations take place on a regular basis, both informally and formally. CITs participate in at least two formal evaluations during their seven-week experience.
The camper component of being at camp during this summer is still of key importance to this seven-week experience. CITs enjoy activities and programs geared to their age group as well as participation in camp-wide programming.
Participation in the CIT program also includes several special events and activities that are designed to recognize the extensive time commitment and energy participants have made to the program. Some will be at camp's expense and for some our CITs will assume the added expense.
Some school systems accept CIT program participation towards Community Service Hours. Participants are advised to check with their guidance counselor prior to camp if this is an additional goal for summer.
Finally, it is important that individuals who are considering participation in the CIT program enter with the mindset that they are seriously considering becoming a member of the camp staff. While camp offers an excellent social component, this is not always the focus of an individual participating in their CIT Summer. Our goal for participants in the CIT program is the acquisition of a clear and unmistakeable understanding of the position of a counselor as the caregiver of children.
CIT Program Attendance Policy
In order to successfully complete the Counselor-In-Training program, candidates are required to attend for the entire CIT session. This includes a portion of the staff orientation week and the entire seven-week experience. Exceptions to this attendance requirement will be made on a case by case basis for personal illness, family emergency, or participation for a nominal period of time in a pre-approved leadership training program or an Israel experience. Pre-approval will always include the successful completion of an activity that will connect the alternate program to the goals of Camps Airy and Louise as a whole or to the specific objectives of the CIT program.
The CITs spend the summer as community within the greater camp community, relying on each other to grow through the training process. As they learn from one another, their counselors, and the many staff members, they develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of a staff member. Throughout the summer, the CITs work though an extensive training curriculum, featuring hands-on training as well as group projects and specialized training sessions. Due to the rigorous nature of the program, it is imperative that CITs commit to the program for the full 7-weeks of the summer. Exceptions to this attendance policy are made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the camp director.