Riding Staff In Training

Back to "Leadership Camps"
Grade: 10-11Location: Camp SealthDate(s): Sessions 5-8


Camper with horseRiding-Staff-In-Training (RSIT) is a four week long, in-depth leadership and horsemanship program that builds confidence in working with kids and horses, and develops skills to work towards being a camp staff member. RSITs work closely alongside Counselors-In-Training (CITs), but focus on working with horses as well as kids. CITs and RSITs 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.

RSITs must be entering grades 10-11 in fall 2020, have extensive Western or English riding skills, 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 RSIT program (see below), and it can be competitive.

Dates & Cost

RSIT is offered just once each summer, during “Crew 3” of the CIT program. RSITs go home on the breaks between sessions, except for the last break. Financial aid is available to eligible teens.

  • RSIT Crew Three: Sessions 5 – 8 (July 29 – August 22)

Camper grooming horseWhat to Expect

The RSIT program combines many different elements to give teens a well-rounded experience and develop skills in multiple areas. Some of the activities and workshops are done in conjunction with the CIT training; RSITs separate from the group to work with the riding staff on horse-related skills.

RSITs will work directly with the riding staff to hone riding skills, learn the basics of lesson planning and teaching, and get the chance to shadow and assist with riding lessons. With the CITs, participate in leadership workshops focusing on areas like goal-setting and decision-making. Gain hands-on experience through planning and leading an All Camp Event and camp activities. 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.

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 14, 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 RSIT program.

Part One: Online Application

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

Part Three: Personal Reference. Send this link to someone who can speak to your suitability for the RSIT 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.

Application Note: The CIT/RSIT programs foster independence and leadership in teens. All parts of the application must be completed by the teen applicant, not by their parents/guardians.  If we determine that an application has been completed by a parent, the applicant will not be accepted.


Criteria for Acceptance

Application for the RSIT 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.

We also highly recommend that the teen applicant, rather than the parent, communicate with camp staff during the application process.


  • Entering grades 10-11 in fall 2020
  • All parts of the application completed on time, with thorough and thoughtful responses:
    • Online application form
    • Personal statement
    • Personal reference
  • Significant horseback riding experience over several years (horse camp or lessons)


  • At least 20 hours of participation in Camp Fire’s school-year Teen Programs during the 2019-2020 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 14: Early decision deadline (all applicants who have completed their applications by February 14 will be notified of their acceptance within two weeks of this deadline)

April 10: Final deadline to apply