Division Leader Alison’s Top Tips For CITs At Frogbridge Day Camp
Being one of our Counselors In Training (CIT) is one of the most rewarding and exciting groups you can be in at Frogbridge Day Camp, the best summer camp in NJ. You learn from the best team leaders how to take charge of a group, handle any situation, and had to leave a lasting impression on your campers. Our CIT division leader, Alison has been with us for 6 years and has shaped the CIT program into what it is today. She’s trained some of our best team members and taught them everything they know about being a team player, attentive counselor, and a compassionate leader. We asked Alison what advice she has for future CIT’s and what makes a CIT standout among the rest!
Frogbridge: Please Explain The CIT Program.
Alison: The CIT program is made to teach upcoming 9th and 10th-grade students how to be successful future counselors. They are assigned to two groups throughout the summer to be exposed to multiple age groups and truly find which level they like best. During their time in their groups, they will learn from their teachers and counselors what the lofty expectations are for working at Frogbridge Day Camp. They will learn how to balance being a friend while still being an authoritative figure for the campers. Halfway through their time there they will be evaluated by both the group’s counselors and the CIT leaders. This evaluation is to have them learn areas they need to work on or also to see what they are doing well. They will also receive a final evaluation and a recommendation for hire by the CIT leaders. Every week the CITs get to enjoy an off-campus trip and upcoming 10th-grade CITs get to go on one overnight as a thank you for a job well done!
Frogbridge: What Do You Think Makes A Great CIT?
Alison: The top characteristic of a CIT that has them stand out from all the rest is the ability to be flexible in any situation. This includes being moved between two different levels of campers and going where they are needed, sometimes daily. When they are finally placed, we love to hear how interactive they are with the campers. It’s important to find a good balance between being the fun playmate who is always involved with the campers, while also keeping in mind they are learning to be a counselor and should listen to what the teachers and counselors of the group need from them. We want our CITs to have fun, but most importantly, to learn how to take on more responsibility.
The best CITs build strong relationships with campers and counselors!
Frogbride: Why Do You Enjoy Working With The CIT’s
Alison: I have always loved my work as a teacher. This group [CITs] is a favorite of mine because I am growing the next group of counselors. They are of the age that you can really teach them how to be young adults and good leaders. The conversations are more mature and we are really assisting in molding them to be great young men and women!
Frogbridge: What Are Some Of The Things That Make CIT’s Stand Out?
Alison: When we sit down to choose our CIT of the week and CIT of the year we look for a combination of qualities:
1. Performance as a counselor: Do they interact with ALL of the campers or just a few?
2. Activity participation: Do they engage in all activities or just the ones they enjoy?
3. Relationship building: CITs are expected to build relationships with their counselors AND campers.
4. Interaction with other CITSs & groupmates: Are they being respectful to all others? Can they handle constructive criticism?
All of this is important to gage their future performance and capabilities as fulltime counselors.
Frogbridge: What Is Your Favorite Moment From Working With The CIT’s?
Alison: There are a few! One of my favorite moments is seeing their faces when we announce CIT of the week! Another is to see them the following year as actual assistant counselors. It makes me extremely proud to see them succeed!