Becoming a Counselor in Training (CIT) is the first step in a lifelong journey with Camp Ondessonk. While still a camper, a Counselor In Training enjoys the privileges and responsibilities of a staff member. Campers become eligible to be a CIT when they are 15 years old. Counselors in Training spend their first of two weeks at camp learning all about the skill it takes to be a counselor. “The CITs arrive on Sunday and throughout the first week of the program they immerse themselves in learning what is most important about being a camp counselor.” Counselor Anne Rutledge comments. “They practice different scenarios throughout the week and learn about understanding certain situations and how to deal with them such as homesickness. They also participate in a survivor challenge which includes a race throughout camp. They learn a lot about teamwork through these activities.”
During the second week of the program CITs learn the ins and outs of what it’s like to be a camp counselor. In this immersion week they spend mornings in an activity area and afternoons and evenings with their unit where they learn to balance their time working within both areas. Alongside seasoned staff, CITs learn all aspects of counseling. Plus they also teach camp songs, tell stories, and play games with the campers. To learn even more about becoming a Counselors in Training and to register for next year, click here.
Why did you become a Counselor in Training (CIT)?
Alex K: I’ve been coming to camp since third grade and I really just enjoy camp. [Becoming a Counselor in Training] was the next step to becoming a staff member, so I was really eager to try what it feels like to be a counselor.
Amelia F: I became a CIT to develop leadership skills and learn more about how to be a good leader. The Camp Ondessonk CIT program has made me a better leader by showing me the things that are necessary and things I need to know.
Jesse H: I’ve been coming to camp for four years now. It’s just one of the things I’ve always wanted to do. Camp gave a lot to me [as a camper] and I want to give as much back, so I’d love to work here.
Emily W: I became a CIT because my older cousin really encouraged me to come to camp for the first time. When it came time to apply for being a CIT I thought, let’s just do it! I really love camp. I like the fact that I get to learn team-building skills, and I get to interact with the campers.