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Camp Ondessonk New Counselor in Training Program

New Counselor in Training Program

By Rusty Parker

Since its inception, Camp Ondessonk’s CIT Program has successfully developed generations of Ondessonk staff members, and this summer marks the unveiling of an exciting new look to the program. Designed to fulfill the mission of instilling and cultivating qualities of integrity, compassion, hard work, and selflessness in emerging lifetime leaders, Camp’s new CIT Program will take on a slightly different structure consisting of a guaranteed full two weeks of programming for all CITs, with a third week being offered to a small number of CITs who will be selectively invited back based on performance. While the first week of the previous program was devoted to training within a specific activity area, the first week of the new program will instead engage CITs in creative programming designed to contribute to their leadership development through the cultivation of those qualities most necessary for strong leadership and effective camp counseling. Having developed in these capacities throughout the first week, and having received an orientation to their assigned activity area at the end of the first week, it is our hope that CITs will be better prepared for successful participation in their activity area training during week two. The second week, then, will offer CITs the opportunity to learn the hard skills and teaching techniques of a particular activity, and CITs will be tested and evaluated on their performance. While most of the CITs in a given session will complete their program at the end of this second week, a handful of select CITs will be offered the opportunity to closely shadow a Unit Leader in a bonus third week, which will allow those select CITs to live in a unit and be trained in the activities and responsibilities of a unit counselor. While the CIT Program at Camp Ondessonk has always been one of Camp’s most successful and popular programs, we are excited about the new additions to the program and feel strongly that these additions will contribute meaningfully not only to the development of future staff members, but also to the development of future leaders. The CIT program staff can’t wait to implement this new program and are looking forward to working with another outstanding group of CITs this summer. Heepwah!

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