Counselor-in-Training Program details
Outline of the CIT Teen Leader Program
Counselor-in-Training Focus Camp
for Teens Only (ages 13-16)
Objectives The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program at The Colorado Mountain Ranch offers teenagers the summer opportunity to work and play with other teens in an upbeat, wholesome, active and fun outdoor setting and within a supportive community. The objectives of the program are for each teenager to gain personal competence, confidence, resilience, and a sense of responsibility in today’s world. Goals for the CIT are to compare and contrast various leadership styles, to learn how to interact with others in a positive way, to train to become a children’s group leader, to develop skills in teaching various activities by assisting, and to feel the satisfaction of community service.
Teen Group Counselor An experienced and mature senior staff counselor with a "teen-friendly" personality supervises and guides the group of teenagers. This counselor is both a specialist in working with young adults and an instructor in nature immersion, outdoor living skills, and team enhancement. Through exercises and games in sensory awareness of nature and environmental appreciation, the teenagers become more comfortable in their places in the natural world. The counselor serves as facilitator in team-building ropes course activities and goal-setting and evaluation. There are also weekly workshops in leadership skills development, values clarification, and the experience of real community.
Mentoring Every week, each CIT works directly with a mentoring senior staff member. The CIT learns to assist either with a group of younger children or with teaching an activity. New CIT’s usually orient to the camp and programs by beginning with a group counselor mentor. This involves working with a consistent group of younger children, experiencing the whole variety of camp activities, and meeting the whole staff. During subsequent weeks, the CIT’s choose their mentors and areas of assistance. The week culminates with feedback and assessment of individual performance and growth. The CIT program brings young people a step closer to taking on job responsibilities and moving into the future with purpose.
Time in Nature Teenagers benefit from the balancing effect of less-structured time in nature as they maintain trails and go along on the mountain hikes and optional overnight campouts each week. Hiking challenges their physical and mental abilities while they enjoy activity outdoors with peers. The campouts give experience of a community working together to pitch tents in the woods by a stream and cook over an open fire or using camp stoves. Benefits include practicing safety and survival skills. Games, stories, music and friendship around the evening campfire are highlights.
Connection with Horses For those teenagers who mentor horse program personnel, experiences in relationship with horses offer insight to self and to insight to real-life interaction with others. Many CIT’s discover that horses are unique in how they mirror human feelings and characteristics.
Community Service At the end of each person’s participation in the program, all CIT’s receive a documentation of community service hours for Tuesday morning’s service project and time spent assisting mentors.
Daily Camp Schedule
- 7:45-8:30: Check-in time and games at North Boulder Park
- 9:15: Busses arrive at The Colorado Mountain Ranch for the Morning Gathering Introductions, flag raising, songs and announcements
- 10:00: Activity Period
- 11:00: Activity Period
- 12:00: Lunch with peers in the Main Lodge with senior staff (CIT’s bring their own Lunches.)
- 12:30 Open time for visiting, the camp store, games, music, stories and gymnastics
- 1:00: Activity Period
- 2:00: Activity Period
- 3:00: Afternoon Meeting for sharing, acknowledgments, songs, skits, flag-lowering and announcements
- 3:45: Bus leaves The Ranch
- 4:30-5:15: Games and Check-out at North Boulder Park
FOR CIT’s ONLY
- Morning CIT counselor facilitates introductions, orientation, goal setting, team-building and recreational activities, and discussion of mentoring options
- Afternoon Assisting with mentors
- Morning: Service project of choice, assisting with mentors
- Optional full day excursion or assisting with mentors
- Overnight Optional, overnight mountain campout
- Morning Campout or assisting with mentors
- Afternoon Assisting with mentors
- Overnight Optional overnight with in-camp evening special event
- 10:00 Recreational activities with peers
- 11:00 Team-building Challenge
- Afternoon Meeting for end-of-week processing, leadership workshop, values clarifications, feedback, evaluations, and future planning
- End-Of-week Honoring Gathering