MIT Summer Day Camp
CIT Program (Counselor-in-Training)
Are you a high school student interested in becoming a camp counselor or working with children?
Are you looking to gain valuable work experience in a supportive, caring environment with an outstanding reputation?
Do you want to do something fun and rewarding over the summer besides just sitting on the couch and watching TV all day?
If your answer to any or all of these questions is a resounding yes, then you just might be interested in joining the MIT Day Camp Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program!
Though the experiences and lessons you learn here will be applicable to a wide range of future jobs, the primary goal of the CIT program is to prepare young adults like you to be confident, capable counselors.
The program is highlighted by four core sections: Observation, Participation, Discussion, and Practice.
For more info on each of these 4 sections (as well as a more detailed look at the program), please check out our CIT Program Introduction below. You will have a MUCH better idea of what to expect as a CIT, and I will feel much better about staying up so late to type out all that stuff.
If all of these reasons sound appealing, I hope you give us a look and apply to be a CIT at MIT Day Camp. I look forward to meeting you over the summer!
CIT PROGRAM INTRODUCTION
THE FOUNDATION OF THE CIT PROGRAM
The majority of the CIT Program experience is comprised of four core sections:
To be a great counselor, you need to watch and learn from the best. MIT Day Camp has an incredible staff (many of whom are graduates from the CIT Program), and you will quickly grow as a counselor with their guidance. Every day, you will travel with 2 of them (along with another fellow CIT) in a team of staff members. You will be treated by your campers as if you were another counselor. You’ll get to know your kids and the camp routine. And if you desire, you will be placed with the age group you’ll feel most comfortable working with.
Interaction with your group is essential to building a foundation of respect with your campers. You will socialize and play games with your campers and counselors on a regular basis. You’ll participate in a variety of camp activities and discover which games are the biggest hits. Only by being an active part of your group will you get the most out of this experience. Plus, the kids will look forward to seeing you again next year!
The CITs and I will meet regularly (in both large and small groups) to share and build upon our experiences and put our lessons into practice on a consistent basis. At first, our talks will mostly deal with building respect and discipline amongst our groups. Over the course of the session, we will cover many other aspects of great counseloring (I just made that word up), including how to create and modify activities, how to deal with different types of children (shy, emotional, etc), how to deal with various groups in the camp community (including talking with parents), and how to stay fresh and energized over the course of a counselor’s 8-9 work weeks.
Practice makes perfect (or at least better), and all CITs will be given ample opportunities to create and conduct their own activities. While you will spend much of your first week learning how clear instruction, creativity, confidence, and charisma provide the fuel for some truly memorable and engaging games, your following week will consist of at least one “official” assessment. This is an activity of your choice that you will be conducting as if you were your group’s counselor. We will discuss and prepare for them in advance, and I will be there during the assessment to provide guidance and observe your progress. Don’t stress out about it! There is always room for improvement, and you can always contact me to set up another assessment.
While these core principles of the program will remain in place, we at MIT Day Camp are always looking to improve the CIT experience. The feedback we receive from the entire camp community – campers, staff, and parents – ensure that each year’s offering is even better than the last.
PROGRESS REPORTS AND ADDITIONAL INFO
No “scored” or “graded” evaluations are handed out– rather, progress reports are conducted based on my observations of your work with your campers and staff (including your assessment). The only “marks” I will put down on progress reports are your strengths as a potential counselor and your areas that could use improvement. More than anything, the motivation to improve is essential, and you are strongly encouraged to meet with me regularly to assess your progress.
At the end of each session, most CITs who are not returning for another session will be given instructions on how to contact me for a job/school recommendation or reference, or what specific skills they should work on for next year (if they intend to return as CITs). If you have demonstrated great progress and potential as a CIT, we will have a one-on-one meeting to discuss the possibility of hiring you as a member of the counselor staff for the following summer (you will need to be at least 16 years old by then).
Our current program is highly selective, and not everyone will be able to receive a job as a MIT Camp Counselor. Those lucky few who do will be privileged to work in a supportive community with amazing kids and top-notch facilities. However, if you put in the time and effort, you will at the very least receive an invaluable introduction into the world of counselor work and childhood education. And, if you end up looking for a job elsewhere, we will gladly provide you with a recommendation letter or serve as a future reference for employment or school applications.
Must be between 14-16 years of age by start of camp
Fluency or near-fluency in speaking English (to communicate with campers and staff)
Larry Chen, Head of CIT Program
M.A. Ed. Columbia University – Teacher’s College
7th/8th grade history teacher in the Brookline Public Schools
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