Counselor-In-Training Program

CIT’s are selected by application, enrollment is limited


Overview:

The goal of the CIT program is to train and prepare participants to: 

  • Become some of Bishopswood’s strongest counselors.
  • Become future camp leaders.
  • Gain knowledge of personal strengths and how to use these as leaders in their schools and communities. 
  • Learn important 21st Century skills that make youth successful.  

However, it will also be time-consuming, draining, and demanding both physically and mentally. Instead of just participating, you will be facilitating games, activities, debriefs, and more.

Think about it in these ways:

  1. Being a CIT is like a multi-week job interview for the following summer.
  2. The difference between working at Disney and going to Disney.
  3. The best summer of your life.
  4. Lots of hard work, but worth it.

Who this program is for:

  • Rising leaders who want to make a difference in the lives of children and make the world a better place.
  • Applicants who possess a genuine interest in youth development and in working with campers.
  • Applicants who are willing to commit their required energy, enthusiasm, and positive attitude to all aspects of the training program.
  • American applicants who are between the age of 15-17 at the start of their CIT session.
  • International applicants who are 17 years old and proficient in English.

How long is the program?

  • There are two different CIT Sessions. Session 1 is the first four weeks of the summer season, and Session 2 is the last 3 weeks of the summer session.
  • Often, the exceptional CITs are invited to stay at Bishopswood and join the staff as a Counselor Assistant (CA) with no salary and no expense for being at camp. See FAQ for more information.

CIT Outcomes:

  • Develop an effective variety of communication styles
  • Learn about safety and risk management practices
  • Experience group management principles
  • Understand how to be responsible for themselves
  • Practice good decision making
  • Develop the technical skills necessary to be an effective, competent, and compassionate leader
  • Learn about the ages and stages of youth development
  • Become role models who develop positive relationships & rapport with campers
  • For an additional small charge, participants who want can be certified as an ARC Lifeguard. This depends on your swim ability and Bishopswood having a person certified to teach the class.

Cost:

The cost of the program is the same as our per-week camper rate. This can be expensive for some families. Like all of our programs, we never want the cost to prohibit you from being enrolled in the program. We are committed to providing any level of scholarship for approved candidates.

Process:

  • Your parents will register you to be a CIT. This part is just like any other camp registration. They will not be charged anything at this stage. Ideally, this occurs by early February at the latest.
  • You will complete the CIT application under “Forms & Documents” on Camp InTouch (your parents will need to log in for you). Please have three references (with their names, occupations, addresses, and phone numbers) at the ready. You will also need to spend 15-30 minutes on short essay questions.
  • Stephen will email you to set up an interview date with Lacey, our CIT Trainer.
  • Final decisions will be made in early March and contracts will be sent out.

CIT Frequently Asked Questions

If I’m asked to be a CA (Counselor Assistant), what changes? 

  • You are still considered a camper, but there is no fee for those weeks.
  • Curfew is extended till 11PM.
  • No daily CIT meetings.
  • You can help yourself to “hot beverages”.
  • You can help yourself to the staff fridge. 
  • You can use your cell phone in the Great Hall once campers have gone to bed.  
  • A pre-arranged 2-hour family visit can be set up with CA guardians and the Executive Director.   
  • Kitchen duty is divided between CAs and other people (POOPs, helpers, etc.).
  • You will help the second CIT class with cabin duty Mondays and Saturdays, and get to hang out with them during their designated Friday time.

When will I be able to shower?

In the mornings between 6:45 – 7:00, during a period off, at night after unit 2 campers – if it does not interfere with devotions, cabin coverage, cabin duty, or your curfew.

When and where can I use my cell phone?

Your cell phone will be stored in the Resource Room and can only be used when CITs are off camp.    

When do I get to cover cabins?

CITs will supervise the cabin area either by staying in your own cabin or by sitting at a picnic table outside your cabin after your kids are asleep. 

  • On Sunday nights, all counselors and CITs are at their cabins. 
  • On Monday and Saturday nights, CITs will cover the cabins without counselors. 
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, CITs and counselors will trade off supervising the cabin. 
  • On Fridays you will have the opportunity to hang out in the Great Hall with other CITs until 10:30.

If I don’t have to cover my cabin or supervise the cabin area at night, where can I be and what can I do?

You may be in the Great Hall, hanging out or planning with other CITs and counselors, until 10:15. At 10:15 you must go back to your cabin.

Can my family pick me up or take me out on weekends?

This is an extremely busy program.  There will be one Saturday each CIT session that parents can come to visit.  Other visits need to be approved by the Executive Director.  


The CIT program helped me grow in almost all aspects of my life. The program builds a huge amount of trust between all of the CITs so quickly which allowed me to explore my weaknesses and expand my strengths in a safe and loving environment. I had the chance to understand the responsibilities of a counselor without the pressure of “messing up”. I learned how important it is to work and live in a community and how well that builds trust. It gave me the confidence to be a leader and a change to explore my own style of leading. It was by far my favorite year at camp growing up.

The Bishopswood CIT program provided the next step my daughter needed to have the confidence to move into a counselor role. As a camper for many years, she looked up to the counselors and had hopes of one day moving into that role.  The CIT program helped her become an effective leader, learn conflict resolution, and plan activities that could run smoothly.  Being a CIT showed her how much it takes to run a summer camp. Having a chance to shadow in all aspects of camp was great. She already knew about the fun stuff from being a camper but learning everything from how the kitchen works to how to perform small maintenance and cleaning jobs gave her a new appreciation for the staff. The teamwork, leadership, organizational skills and conflict resolution she learned as a CIT have been invaluable to her as a young adult trying to find her place in the world.

Bishopswood’s Counselor-In-Training program was definitely a beneficial experience for my child. As a former camper, it helped bridge the transition to counselor — strengthening his problem-solving and leadership skills and building his self-confidence in the process. His most valuable takeaway though are important, long-standing relationships forged with his cohort.

Being a CIT was the first safe, guided working environment that I had as a young adult. I observed and learned how to lead kindly and efficiently, direct peers, and work collaboratively. It’s a wonderful stepping stone with new responsibilities, constructive feedback, and team building, all while entering a new phase of thinking beyond oneself. If you were a camper beforehand, It’s also a unique look ‘under-the-hood’ giving you insight into how things at camp actually get done. Even without previous camp experience, you see that nothing just magically happens, it’s hard work and commitment. 10/10 recommend. Not to be hyperbolic or anything, but I truly would not be the person—or business owner—I am today without this experience.