This is a counselor in training program designed to be used at a YMCA Day Camp. The target ages are 14-17 and recommend a 1:10 staff to camper ratio. This is a 2 week training program followed by a minimum of one week of field work. Instrumental to the success of the CIT program is to educate camp staff (using “what CIT can and cannot do”) while in the program and making sure staff understand that while CITs are taking a leadership role in camp, they are still considered campers. It is also important to ensure that the camp leaders chosen to be CIT mentors understand their role as a mentor and coach for the CIT. The goal of the CIT program is to equip teens with the skills that they need to be successful youth workers and day camp counselors when they are of age to hire. The CIT program is a pass/fail program and it is important to meet with parent/guardian up front or do an orientation to go over the code of conduct, dress code, and expectations for the CITs while in program. Parents/guardians need to understand that this is a pass/fail program and that CITs who do not meet the minimum qualifications and maturity level will not be allowed to enroll and participate in the fieldwork program. It is suggested that CITs complete this programming annually, just as staff attend staff training annually. This is meant to be a living document – add games and activities that are successful at your camp. Add trainings that make sense to prepare CITs for your camp.
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