Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Counselors In Training

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Counselors In Training

    What are the secrets for Scout Camps to use Counselors In Training (CITs) reasonably and effectively?

    What are weaknesses in the program ----or strengths, that you have observed?

  • #2
    >> Treat them like full members of the staff. Do not segregate living quarters or off-duty activities based on CIT vs. counselor status. Everyone is "staff."

    >> Do not treat them as mere gophers, water cooler-carriers or paperwork assistants. Encourage them to teach parts of a program session as their skills and interests allow.

    >> Develop a CIT-counselor "career track." Recognize your counselors who began as CITs; this is especially helpful if the CD, PD or other senior staff members began as CITs. Make sure that there is some small financial incentive for first-year counselors who were also CITs.

    >> Recognize their limitations. Do not thrust them into the role of teaching a merit badge class on their own, as I was. (First, it will almost always result in a negative experience for campers; second, it's against the advancement rules.)

    >> Rotate them through as many jobs as possible. At my old camp, we had five weeks of Boy Scouts. Each CIT was assigned to a different program area for four of those weeks, with the fifth week spent assisting with Camp Services - kitchen, dining hall, commissary, trading post. We largely got our choices of program areas, but sometimes had to help out in an area not on our preferred list (Handicrafts was mine; I was told on Saturday that I would be teaching Basketry and Indian Lore come Monday morning).

    >> Assign a senior staff mentor/guide. This would ideally be the PD, but in some cases I've seen it done by the camp commissioner or assistant program director/camp director. This person should be helping train and coach the CITs in their new roles and responsibilities.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

    Comment


    • #3
      Short gave an EXCELLENT response.

      Only thing I would add is a "THANK YOU" of some sort, i.e camp mug, extra staff shirt, etc, once they complete their term. I had to send home 2 CITs one year, and 1 the next year.

      Also one thing once camp does is schedule some time off for the CIT to attend a class and/or have free time.

      Comment


      • #4
        We are the CIT so pity us.. We work in camp the food is hideous...

        Meatballs, what a movie...

        Comment


        • #5
          Almost forgot something. One year my camp was thinking of a HA program for the following year. Turnout that week of camp was low so we didn't need any of the CITs, and a few staffers. Someone came up with the idea of using the CITs as "guinea pigs" to test out the proposed HA program. So they did the HA program gratis and had a blast.

          Anything to say "thank you" and keep them pumped is the way to go.

          Comment


          • #6
            I was a Camp Commissioner last year.

            The CITs had their own cabin where they apparently lived pretty much on their own. I was advised no to trespass there, and followed that advice.

            But I wonder about a lack of supervision. I would expect bullying to crop up, and housekeeping is likely to be lousy without supervision.

            Perhaps some was keeping an eye on them --- I don't know.

            Shortridge's advice seems to be very good. Little if any of it was apparent among the CIT program I saw, albeit with limited abilirty to observe what was actually happening.

            It seems to me that a QUALITY CIT program would be a good Scouting experience, lead to CITs returning to be staff members and minimize negative experiences. Without adequate supervision, those positives are likely to be negatives.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah, I'd disagree strenuously with separate living areas. Back in my day, all under-18 staffers lived in large platform tents with electrical outlets. CITs bunked with full counselors. One 18+ staffer had his own tent, and was around to supervise. But since we were all together, there was no caste system - everyone was staff. Quite a few area directors worked their way up.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah, I'd disagree strenuously with separate living areas. Back in my day, all under-18 staffers lived in large platform tents with electrical outlets. CITs bunked with full counselors. One 18+ staffer had his own tent, and was around to supervise. But since we were all together, there was no caste system - everyone was staff. Quite a few area directors worked their way up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a thought---

                  I think I'd assign the best CIT who was a counselor the previous year to manage the CIT cabin. Or perhaps have that honor shared each week by a counselor with previous CIT experience.

                  I would suppose there is a need to set high standards for CITS and maintain their morale over time. That takes effective leadership.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My CIT year we were put in a cabin for Pre-camp. I suspect this was due to overcrowding in the staff area, and also a bonding exercise. Once camp began we were dispersed among the paid staff in the staff area. We were treated as "real" staff. We rotated program areas weekly. The one thing stressed was if our troop was attending summer camp, we were to be part of the troop that week, the only exception being we could use the staff showers and toilets if we wished. There will always be good natured ribbing, like being called Staff Helpers In Training. But all in all it was a great experience. I was hired for the commissary crew two weeks into the summer so I didn't have the full experience.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X