Counselor In Training

Back to "Leadership Camps"
Grade: 10-11Location: Camp SealthDate(s): VariesCost: 900


Counselor-In-Training (CIT) is a four week long, in-depth leadership program that fosters independence and builds skills to work towards being a camp staff member. CITs join a long tradition of spirited, dedicated high school youth that love camp and want to work with kids. As a group, you’ll create unforgettable memories and lasting friendships. As individuals, you’ll grow in confidence, make a difference in kids’ lives, and be on your way to joining the talented Camp Sealth staff.

CITs must be entering grades 10-11 in fall 2019, have a high level of maturity and be able to live and work closely with peers and adults. Previous experience with leadership and/or work with children is highly recommended. There is an application process for the CIT program (see below), and it can be competitive.

Dates & Cost

There are three “Crews” of CITs each summer; each Crew runs for four weeks. CITs go home during breaks between camp sessions (Saturday/Sunday), except for one of the session breaks. The cost of the program is $900 and financial aid is available to eligible teens.

  • CIT Crew One: Sessions 1-4 (July 3 – 27)
  • CIT Crew Two: Sessions 3-6 (July 15 – August 10)
  • CIT Crew Three: Sessions 5-8 (July 31 – August 24)

Note:  The CIT program has a maximum capacity for each crew. To maximize your chances of acceptance, you may need to keep your availability flexible.

What to Expect

The CIT program combines many different elements to give teens a well-rounded experience and develop skills in multiple areas. Leadership workshops focus on areas like goal-setting and decision-making. CITs will also get trained in kid skills such as behavior management, working with special needs, and handling emergencies. Hands-on experiences include job shadows with counselors and activity specialists, planning and leading an All Camp Event, and doing a full week “live-in” – assisting with one cabin group for a whole session. Other program components include a service project, a trip to visit other local camps, as well as some time to just relax and enjoy some camp activities.

CITs work closely with RSITs (Riding-Staff-In-Training), who focus on working with horses as well as working with kids. CITs and RSITs live together and do many of their activities together. When CITs work with cabin groups, RSITs work alongside the horseback riding staff.

How to Apply

There are three parts to the application – all parts must be submitted by one of the two deadlines in order to be considered. Acceptance is based on the criteria listed below. You can increase your chances of acceptance by applying before February 15, although there are two application deadlines. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status within two weeks of either deadline. We recommend that CIT and RSIT applicants register for another camp program as a back-up option; if accepted, you’ll be automatically transferred (along with any fees you’ve paid) into the CIT program.

Part One: Online application

Part Two: Personal Statement. Write a personal statement (400+ words) describing why you want to be a CIT this summer. Detailed guidelines for this statement are included in the online application. Submit your personal statement to within one week of completing your application.

Part Three: Personal Reference. Send this link to someone who can speak to your suitability for the CIT program, such as teacher, advisor, supervisor, coach, clergy, neighbor, or family friend (no peer friends or relatives). Only one reference is required, but you may submit more than one if desired.

Criteria for Acceptance

Application for the CIT program at Camp Sealth is competitive. Pay close attention to the application requirements listed below. Applicants do not need to have been a previous participant at Camp Sealth or in Camp Fire programs, although we do strongly recommend participating in Camp Fire’s school-year Teen Programs, or similar/comparable programs to increase your chances of acceptance.


  • Entering grades 10-11 in fall 2019
  • All parts of the application completed on time, with thorough and thoughtful responses:
    • Online application form
    • Personal statement
    • Personal reference


  • At least 20 hours of participation in Camp Fire’s school-year Teen Programs during the 2018-2019 school year, OR comparable leadership and community service experience

Characteristics we look for

  • Demonstrated experience with leadership and community service
  • Interest in personal growth and a willingness to accept feedback
  • Interest in working with younger children
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team
  • Ability to commit to the entire program
  • Willingness to learn

Application Deadlines

February 15: Early decision deadline (all applicants who have completed their applications by February 15 will be notified of their acceptance within two weeks of this deadline)

April 15: Final deadline to apply