Teen Leadership Program

Goal:

To educate and train young men and women to become effective and talented counselors.

Objectives:

By the end of the program, all participating Cody CITs will have:

  • Observed a variety of different activity areas
  • Demonstrated the ability to teach an activity
  • Assisted with cabin duties
  • Actively participated in discussions/meetings each week
  • Planned and executed a service project
  • Completed weekly evaluations with the CIT supervisor
  • Successfully planned and executed an all-camp event

Methods:

CITs will reach these objectives by the following means:

  • Experiential learning by shadowing and assisting staff
  • Observation of staff teaching and coaching techniques
  • Participate in activities, special events, trips, support services, cabin living, and meetings
  • Discussions/seminars with fellow CITs, mentors, and supervisors
  • Participation in the planning, design, and execution of a service project
  • Evaluation, feedback, and assessment from peers, supervisors, and self

Role:

The CIT’s role at camp is to learn about the program, Cody’s mission, and how to effectively teach, coach, and counsel children. Although CITs will sometimes participate in a similar capacity to a full staff member, they will have less responsibility supervising campers with more emphasis on learning and training.

Overview:

Cody’s Counselor-in-Training program lasts for up to two summers depending on the age at which a camper joins (either sixteen or seventeen years old).

  • Sixteen year-old CITs have a tuition of $4,000 tuition if they’re a returning camper and $5,000 if they are new to Cody. CITs receive $200 end of summer bonus for 4 weeks.
  • Seventeen-year old CITs have a tuition of $2,000 and receive a $500 end of summer bonus for the 4 week program. This option is only for returning CITs. Seventeen year old’s that have not completed the Sixteen year old CIT program are required to attend the first-year CIT program.
  • During a CIT’s participation in the program there will be a gradual and progressive focus on learning how to teach a chosen specialty, how to run a cabin, and how to work with children and other staff in many different situations. In addition, CITs will experience all areas of the camp operation, from office, program, kitchen, grounds, maintenance, laundry, sports, waterfront, individual activities and crafts, to trips and special events.

Our goal is to have a CIT finish the program having acquired all the necessary skills to become an effective and talented counselor at Cody. We firmly believe that not only does camp benefit from a successful program, but so do all our campers, and the young adult who successfully completes the training.

How it Works:

CIT Counselor

The program initially covers all aspects of the camp operation, then the focus increasingly moves to acquiring skills and experience within a cabin and an activity area.

During activities, staff will begin to spend time joining classes and learning how to teach. CITs will start learning how to teach partly by watching and assisting, and also by reading and studying the training manuals for the chosen specialty. CITs will also have their own personal coaching lessons from staff, not only to increase their skills, but also to intensify the teaching aspects of an activity. We want CITs to be good at what they do, and we want them to learn how to teach and convey skills to others.

CIT Meetings:

Meetings between all CITs and the CIT supervisor take place twice per week. Additionally, the CIT supervisor will meet individually with each CIT at least once per week to assess his/her progress and learning. Typically these meetings will take place after meal times or later on in the evening. The purpose of the meetings may vary but they are essential to the structure of the CIT program in promoting the exchange of ideas and learning amongst the CITs. Guest counselors will attend the discussion section of the meetings to share their ideas about being a counselor or offer specific guidance on topics or situations that may arise. Meetings may be about planning the all-camp event, discussing a teaching technique, or resolving a problem when one arises. Individual meetings will cover personal goals, individual performance, or personal issues. The individual meetings are important for the development and monitoring of a CIT’s growth and learning.

CIT Service Project

Service learning is a valuable way for CITs to build character, leadership and community by investing their time in a project of their design. The project can involve CITs, campers, and other staff members, depending on its scope. Service projects can range from replanting trees at camp, creating a mural (like the bike shed), sign, or nature trail.  This process includes brainstorming an idea, agreeing on it, planning how it will be carried out, executing it, and finally, evaluating the experience and what they have learned. The skills and camaraderie gained through the experience of reaching a common goal for a meaningful cause are invaluable, and it is our hope that this aspect of the CIT program will make an impression that will last a lifetime.

CIT All-Camp Event:

Similar to the CIT project, the CIT all-camp event, (CIT Day), will be another long-term planning process for CITs. This event is planned and produced for all campers as a special part of their program, lasting for all or part of a day. Through this process, CITs gain an understanding of the logistics of programming for a large group and how to delegate roles to staff members. Typical CIT days in the past have included a luau on the beach, dances, and other fun events.

Cabin Life:

Although CITs are never fully responsible for the entire cabin, they must begin to learn how to take on a leadership role and see cabin life from a different perspective.  They will be asked to help in many situations and will be given varied tasks to perform within the cabin, under the supervision of counselors. At all stages of this process there will be staff to guide and teach the CIT. During the two-year training period, progress will be evident with regular reviews of their performance by cabin staff and the CIT supervisor.

Activities:

While fifteen and sixteen year olds will be rotating through many different activities each week, seventeen-year-old CITs will spend the bulk of each week at their chosen activity. Although more responsibility will be given to CITs, at no time will they be fully responsible for the welfare of a group of campers, whether within a cabin, department or on a trip.

Activity teaching sessions will intensify between regular staff and CITs as the summer goes on. Much more focus will be placed on fine-tuning teaching skills and techniques. During the final two summers of the program, and especially during the last summer, CITs will have more opportunity to teach small parts of classes to a variety of age groups, under the supervision of full program staff. During these teaching opportunities (which will usually take place during a portion of a regular activity session), staff trainees will be able to put into practice teaching skills they have acquired during the program. This hands-on training is reinforced with training manuals specifically for their chosen specialty. CITs will also have to create lesson plans for their activity, explaining their goals, objectives, teaching procedures, as well as considerations for teaching campers of different ages and abilities.

All staff trainees will attend regular meetings with their supervisor to review progress within their cabin, activity, camp functions, and camp life in general. These meetings provide CITs with support and guidance while enabling them to reflect upon their progress. In addition, there will be special training sessions throughout a CIT’s time in the program. These seminars reinforce cabin and activity skills and familiarize CITs with a variety of camp-related topics.

Special Training:

Cody may reimburse CITs for certain courses, training, and instructor courses offered by other institutions, organizations or groups (WSI, Boating Safety, WFR, EMT, NRA, American Archery, SCUBA, USTA Instructor, etc). This will only occur if a CIT takes such courses whilst seventeen or eighteen years old, and, provided they attend camp as a full adult staff member.

Curfew:

The CIT curfew is 11:00pm which means that all CITs must be in their respective cabins by midnight on any night that they are not responsible for their cabin. The CIT program is demanding and adequate rest is a must.

Drinking, smoking, drugs:

All CITs are under twenty-one, and therefore must abide by state and federal laws which prohibit the use of alcohol or cigarettes. This should go without saying, but we cannot overemphasize the importance of these rules. Under no circumstances, for any reason, at any time whilst a CIT with us at Cody, will any use of alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs be tolerated. Parents entrust us with their children therefore we have NO tolerance for unprofessional or irresponsible behavior.

Relationships:

Although CITs are not yet considered full staff members, a certain level of professionalism is expected in their behavior while at camp. CITs should not engage in relationships beyond friendships with staff members or campers during camp. It is both against the law in some situations and compromises their position of authority.

Trips:

CITs and JCs will have special access to trips, depending on their training and camps need for additional support. Specially designed trips will be used as training for CITs and JCs to go over what is needed from our counselors to run a trip off site. CITs will join campers on “change over trips” which occur between sessions, while JCs will remain onsite to assist in this process. JCs and CITs will also have the opportunity to leave site under supervision during their time off. On these occasions camp will not cover costs acquired.

Summary:

As previously stated, this is a meaningful program with many benefits for all involved. At the end of the program, a CIT should not only be very skilled in one or two particular activities, they should also have acquired life-long skills in leadership, communication, initiative, responsibility, and teamwork, which will serve them well in whatever they choose to do. We look forward to providing a fun, memorable work experience and expect that those who decide to join Cody will maintain our tradition of excellence!

* Please note that a CIT who joins the program late will have adjustments made to their program to reflect any missed training. This could include shifting duties and activity participation/instruction or additional pre-camp reading materials and training requirements.