Thanks to Camps Caribou, Runoia and Wyonegonic for contributing to this blog.
Maine Camp Experience camps have provided amazing growth experiences for youth for over 100 years. For older teens, some camps offer a training program where leadership skills are emphasized and taught, preparing teens for future roles, careers and jobs.
“Counselor in Training” or CIT/CT or LT (Leadership Training) Programs
These are typically for teens ages 15-17, depending on the camp, where they learn from A – Z about being a camp counselor. Some camps offer Lifeguard Training, Junior Maine Guide program or sport-specific certifications like Archery Instructor Training or Certified Horsemanship Association levels. These marketable skills are great resume builders and moreover, they are great confidence builders.
Self esteem increases through building skills in public speaking, working with a group of children, practicing teaching, planning and organizing special events, evening programs, organizing community service opportunities and making the difference in a child’s life. Over and over again for a summer of life learning.
Why become a CIT?
Because the experience can be life changing. You gain a sense of yourself and what you want to do with your life. You grow as a leader and experience responsibility in a new way. Immersed in the camp community you learn time-management skills, planning and organizational skills. Being around positive adults you develop your own sense of responsibility, and learn from them. You feel a sense of accomplishment like never before – your confidence increases and your life skills develop. You have a better chance of being hired at a camp after successfully completing the program, too. And it can open doors to future careers.
The biggest value you get is what you learn about yourself as an individual as well as a team player in a group. The self-reflection is priceless. As one CIT stated when interviewed, “everyone should do it!”
Some Questions to Ask Your Camp* About Its CIT program:
- Is it open to the public or did you have to be a prior camper?
- Is there full tuition or a reduced cost for the program?
- Do CITs live as a group with a counselor or do they live in the camper bunks and meet with their director on a regular basis?
- What skills and certifications should you expect to get from the CIT program?
- Does the day consist solely of CIT skill-based teaching activities; or does the CIT also get time to participate in regular camper activities; or both?
- Is it a full summer or can you attend part of the summer as a CIT?
- Is there an application process?
*Check with your Maine Camp Experience camp for specific details on how their CIT program works.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.