The Counselor in Training (CIT) program at CSL is for anyone who was a Tusc camper at CSL and is currently a Junior in High School. Those who apply and are admitted to our program will live and work alongside their peers in single gender living spaces. This summer CIT participants will be at Camp for part of staff training in late June, and then stay for the July session and August sessions.
The CITs are considered part of the staff team at Camp, and share the same responsibilities and privileges that staff have. The primary difference between the two is that CITs are learning on the job, and will be guided and mentored by the staff at Camp. While CITs learn on the job, there are opportunities for group learning and discussion throughout the summer. Camp has developed a specific curriculum for those accepted into our program. Additionally, CITs are mentored by their director, much like the rest of the staff are at Camp.
So what are the differences between a CIT and Counselor? Age is one thing. The New York State Department of Health has very strict rules in place about the age of overnight camp staff and without this program, Camp would not be able to provide this devoted age group with the opportunity to spend another summer at Camp to aid in their transition from camper to staff member. CITs have the unique opportunity to “audition” for a paid job the following summer at Camp and are held in higher regard during the interview process than others their age who have not gone through the program.
There are a few more important distinctions about the CITs. First, they serve at Camp as volunteers. In this capacity, they do pay a weekly food charge. Second, they are able to earn up to 84 hours per week of volunteer time for school requirements and need only ask Lori Field to complete the paperwork provided by the school. Third, as minors, they are not allowed to leave Camp property during their time off at night unless their parents have signed Camp’s release form. Fourth, they will be allowed to have cars at Camp this summer as long as there is sufficient room for their vehicles in the main parking lot.
We know this experience will be a wonderful one for the CITs. They’ll work hard and learn a lot about what it means to be a staff member at CSL and community leader. We look forward to seeing the future leadership at Camp this summer, participating, contributing, and soaking it all in.