CITs Impact Camp As They Grow As LeadersPosted by Alicia Theriault on July 31, 2017
The CIT (Counselor in Training) Program at Fernwood Cove is a unique opportunity for former campers to be engaged in the camp community. In this new role they participate in camp in a way that they never have before. In this new role CITs impact camp in a variety of ways. Fernwood Cove CITs develop life skills through Fernwood Cove’s experiential program where they play a vital role in all aspects of the Fernwood Cove program.
CITs are bunk cousins (Buzzins) to a specific bunk family throughout the summer. They eat dinner with their buzzins and help with clean-up. CITs hang out in their buzzin bunks during rest hour, and lead bunk circles at night. Campers and counselors alike rely on CITs for endless support, hugs, and laughs. CITs are seen throughout the camp community assisting to teach focuses, sitting OD, and leading Evening Programs. A continuous cycle of Learn – See – Do – Reflect ensures CITs not only develop skills related to communication, leadership, time management, and collaboration. They put these skills into practice daily.
Through a verity of experiences and intentional moments of reflection, CITs are able to learn more about themselves and one another. Subsequently they learn more about how, as a whole, they are able to positively impact the camp community. Ultimately creating positive and meaningful moments for each member of the Fernwood Cove community. This idea of growing the self, other, and collective, originates from Social Emotional Learning. This occurs when CITs apply their new knowledge, attitudes, skills, awareness and language to
- understand and manage emotions,
- set and achieve goals,
- establish and maintain positive and meaningful relationships,
- and make responsible, well thought out decisions.
Development of Self
Personal growth through experience and reflection is one of the foundation pieces of the CIT Program. Through leadership workshops, intra-personal activities and structured reflections CITs learn more about themselves as people. And as leaders. Additionally, they learn about their own strengths and the qualities that make them individually unique. They are empowered to use these strengths and qualities. When they are with their buzzin bunks. And when they are at focus activities. CITs contribute all of their strengths as a leader to the camp community. CITs impact camp as they become the best versions of themselves. In the end through their development of self they give a part of themselves back to the place that has given so much to them.
CITs Impact Camp Through Understanding the Needs of Others
The CIT experience begins with a multi-day team building program. CITs spend time working with facilitators from High5 Adventure Learning Center where they learn about the group and the group process. During their time with High5 they learn about the needs of the group as a whole. Additionally they learn about the needs of each individual in the group. This is often the first time these girls have actively considered the needs of others ahead of their own. Developing this new perspective helps set the foundation for CITs to plan and lead activities for other members of the camp community.
CITs also spend a portion of their time at camp learning about the different developmental stages of the campers at camp. After they learn about the needs of the various age groups they are able to apply this knowledge during their focus activities. Thus CITs create meaningful lesson plans that are age and skill appropriate for the campers they are working with. CITs come to camp with a wealth of experience in life at Fernwood Cove. With a stronger understanding of the needs of campers they are also better prepared to help their buzzins throughout their time at camp.
CITs Impact Camp By Creating the Magic For Campers
Until they enter camp as CITs, these Fernwood Cove girls have only ever been campers. They have benefited from the magic of the Extraordinary World that was created just for them. During their time as a CIT, they are able to start creating this magic for campers. They pass on traditions and lead by example. They show their loyalty and passion for camp daily. CITs are a key piece of what makes Fernwood Cove truly extraordinary. They are able to contribute to the collective greater good of the camp community. CITs grow to understand how their presence is significant. And how it impacts the entire camp community.
At the end of the summer CITs return home with a greater understanding of self, others, and the collective. They return home having honed skills they can utilize as leaders in the world. They return knowing how their presence can impact the lives of others. And how they continue to grow as individuals through their awareness of the needs of others and the impact they have on the world.