Summer camp with a leadership twist is what Counselor In Training (CIT) Camps are all about. CIT Camps help foster the transition from camper to staff member. CIT campers get hands-on training to becoming a staff member at the Iowa 4-H Center. CITs participate in experiences that cultivate responsibility, leadership, communication and time-management.
“To be a CIT camper you must be in high school,” said Abbie Parker, Iowa 4-H Center program specialist. “Anyone who is interested in being a CIT for the summer must attend one of the CIT training camps, which are in May and early June.”
Parker explained that to qualify for CIT camp, applicants must be a current high school freshmen to enter the CIT 1 program, then as a current high school sophomore or junior they are classified as a CIT 2. The CIT training camps are held May 1-2, May 15-16, and June 4-5.
Prior 4-H camp experience is not necessary to register for this camp. An application and interview is required for all CIT participants. The Iowa 4-H Center will return an application and letter describing the interview process to those sending in registration forms.
“We are searching for youth who want to make a difference in a child's life. Our goal is to foster the spirit that camp is for all generations,” said Parker. “We want the traditions that we have created to carry on from generation to generation. It is also a great experience to learn and grow as a leader.”
Those interested in participating in the CIT training camps can register online at: www.extension.iastate.edu/4hcenter/summercamp/index.php. Applicants can register for CIT training until June 4. The CIT camps are held prior to the summer with three options: May 1-2, May 15-16, and June 4-5.
Successful completion of CIT camp qualifies participants to serve as counselors in training the rest of the summer. CIT fieldwork is held during the remainder of the summer.
After training and an interview process, participants choose which summer week or weeks they would like to participate in fieldwork sessions. During the summer fieldwork, the CITs help supervise cabins of campers and assist with various camp programs including hiking, swimming, crafts and many other opportunities.
“The CIT program helped me make my decision to major in education, and minor in dance,” said Leslie Chalfant. Chalfant has participated in summer camps at all levels from camper to CIT and will serve as a junior staff member in 2010.
Chalfant continued, “I fell in love with children after attending camp as a CIT. I hope to eventually make a difference to many children's lives as a teacher.”
“Camp was a wonderful place for me, and I want to make it that way for as many campers as I possibly can,” said Chalfant.
About the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America with programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. One in five Iowa school-age youth are involved in 4-H. In Iowa, 4-H Youth Development is headquartered at the Iowa State University campus in Ames. 4-H is supported by federal, state and county funding, private grants and donations, and fees. For more information about joining 4-H, contact your Iowa State University Extension county office at www.extension.iastate.edu/content/county-offices/ or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/4H.
Kassi Williams, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9915, firstname.lastname@example.org