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CIT Counselor in Training

CIT Counselor in training Camp Ondessonk

When the Ondessonk leadership team decided not to have summer camp this year, we started thinking about how we could offer our CIT Counselor in Training program virtually. Michael Steele and Shannon Sonderman developed the online CIT lesson plan.  Sonderman stated, “We still wanted campers to interact with each other and to learn what it could be like as a Camp Ondessonk staff member.” To allow the CITs to interact Ondessonk staff conducted two zoom calls per day. In these zoom calls, the team leaders put the CITs into breakout rooms to talk about different scenarios. Then came back together to discuss their findings.

On the first day, the curriculum focused on Leadership. The virtual Counselors in Training team learned about different leadership styles. As a staff member, it is essential to remember that in any situation, you might have to step up and be the leader. Ondessonk staff-led discussions with the CITs, explaining the leader is not only the person who is in charge of them, but a leader is someone willing to step up in a situation and lead by example. 

Day two, the focus was on Compassion, Communication, and Conflict Resolution. Sonderman stated, “We wanted to help CITs realize that their campers are going to come to camp from all different paths and that we need to treat each camper with compassion. We might be the comfort that is needed if a camper is homesick. With compassion comes communication, campers all want to be heard, and we can be the listening ears.”

The final day of the program focused on Being a Camp Counselor. For this day, group leaders talked with the CITs about the little things that camp counselors do to make their campers experience at camp incredible. The training covered activities that could be done to help campers have a good time, along with how to help a homesick camper. The program also included duties that staff members complete and how to use those tasks to get to know campers. 

The goal of this three-day CIT online program is for our CITs to get a taste of what it could be like for them as a staff member in the future. The CITs were also able to learn from each other because each person brings different experiences to the CIT program. Participants will receive a certificate of completion.   To learn more about Camp Ondessonk’s leadership programs click here.



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