It seems as though the biggest challenge in the transition from childhood to teenager is change–changing attitudes, bodies, and especially interests. Former interests are no longer “cool” and parents might be at a loss of how to fill up their teens’ free time, especially during the summer. So how do you find productive activities to keep teens busy during the summer?
A popular option for teens that have outgrown summer camp is a counselor-in-training (CIT) or leader-in-training (LIT) program. Many camps offer CIT/LIT programs to teens as unpaid positions or at low fees to parents. Think of it as an apprenticeship or internship to becoming a camp counselor. Best of all, once teens finish the required training time, they have a job opportunity lined up for them. So how can you set your teen up for success in a CIT or LIT program? Here’s a few tips to help get teens into a CIT/LIT program this summer:
What do CIT/LIT programs look for in candidates for their programs?
Many CIT/LIT programs seek candidates that are 13 & older who have experience working with kids such as tutoring, babysitting, or coaching kids in sports, academics, or the arts. They are looking for teens with lots of energy that show enjoyment in working with kids and a desire to receive training and spend time outside.
What can I do to make sure my kids are prepared?
Help them put together a resume and a list of contacts–teachers, babysitting references, anyone that can give your child a good reference. You may also want to bring some letters of recommendation and school transcripts. Also, make sure your child will be able to meet the availability requirements that the program demands.
What can parents expect from a CIT/LIT program?
Certain camps offer the CIT/LIT program as an unpaid position while others require a fee to register for the programs. If the program is offered at an overnight camp, kids may be required to spend the entire duration of the camp in the program. Some programs allow CIT/LIT teens to go home on the weekends. Some CIT programs also offer retreats or trips which might come at an additional cost.
What personality traits are best suited for a camp counselor?
Responsibility, trustworthiness, creativity, the ability to give discipline, and knows how to have fun!
What experience is needed to become a paid camp counselor?
Many camps require a CIT/LIT program completion and hire paid counselors that are 18 and older. Some camps may also look for extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, or scouts.
What are other options for teens during the summer who aren’t interested in CIT/LIT programs?
Other popular options for teens are camps that offer an opportunity to travel, such as overnight trips or overseas trips. Another popular option for teens is a camp retreat at a college campus. Competition camps and sports camps also prove to be popular among teens.
For more information on CIT and LIT programs in your area or to find camps and classes for teens, visit ActivityHero to find the latest listings!