Counselor in Training (CIT) Job Description, Skills, Interview Questions

Last updated: Mar 17, 2023

What Does a Counselor in Training Do?

A CIT (Counselor in Training) is an entry-level role in the camp counseling staff hierarchy. CITs are typically high school students who want to gain work experience, earn community service hours, and learn more about the camp’s operations before becoming full-fledged counselors. If you are interested in becoming a CIT, here is a general job description:

  • Participating in counselor-led activities and learning the ropes of various jobs at the camp
  • Assisting with program planning and implementation
  • Building relationships with campers and being a role model to them
  • Assisting with mealtime, cabin set-up, and clean-up
  • Being positive, enthusiastic, and proactive
  • Following camp policies and standards of behavior
  • Participating in staff meetings, training sessions, and evaluations

General Requirements For This Job:

  • Must be a high school student, preferably a rising junior or senior
  • Must have a genuine interest in working with children and an ability to connect with them
  • Must have good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Must be responsible, dependable, and able to follow directions
  • Must be able to adapt to new environments and handle unexpected situations with grace and maturity
  • Must be available to attend the required training sessions before the start of the camp session

Becoming a CIT is a fantastic way to gain work experience, develop new skills, and prepare for future job opportunities. If you are interested in this role, contact your local summer camps to learn more about their CIT program and application process. 

What are the Benefits of Being a Counselor in Training?

  • Being a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) provides valuable leadership experience and teaches you how to work with a variety of people
  • A CIT will learn important skills such as group management, decision-making, problem solving, conflict resolution and effective communication
  • CITs have the opportunity to make an impact on campers’ lives by being positive role models and providing support
  • As a CIT, you will gain an appreciation for nature and the outdoors through hands-on learning experiences 
  • Being a CIT is rewarding and can open doors to potential careers in education, youth development or recreation
  • The relationships you build with fellow counselors and campers are invaluable, and often last long after your time at camp

Counselor in Training Job Description and Responsibilities

Assisting in planning, organizing, and implementing various recreational activities.

Learning and practicing basic counseling skills under the supervision of senior counselors.

Role modeling appropriate behavior and positive attitudes for campers.

Providing a safe environment for campers by following camp policies and procedures.

Helping campers to develop social skills, self-esteem, and decision-making abilities.

Participating in staff meetings and training sessions.

Assisting with set up and clean up of activity areas.

Learning and following emergency procedures in the event of an accident or illness.

Helping to maintain a positive and respectful camp culture.

Being responsible for the care and well-being of campers.

Assisting with camp administrative tasks as needed.

Assisting with supervision of campers during meals, rest periods, and overnight stays.

Working collaboratively with other counselors and staff members.

Learning about child development and behavior management strategies.

Demonstrating good judgment and decision-making skills.

Communicating effectively with campers, parents, and staff members.

Maintaining accurate records and completing necessary paperwork.

Providing feedback and support to campers.

Demonstrating responsibility and a strong work ethic.

Following the supervisory direction of senior staff members.

Adhering to all camp policies and procedures.

Being punctual and reliable.

Being respectful of campers, staff members, and camp property.

Maintaining confidentiality and respecting campers' privacy.

Having fun, being enthusiastic, and creating a memorable camp experience for campers.

Counselor in Training Skills and Ideal Candidate Profile

Strong communication skills, including the ability to relate to and engage with campers and co-counselors.

Positive attitude and enthusiasm for working with children.

Reliability and punctuality.

Ability to be a role model for campers and demonstrate appropriate behavior.

Willingness to learn and take direction from senior staff.

Ability to work collaboratively with others.

Good judgment and decision-making skills.

Patience and empathy.

Creative problem-solving skills.

Good organizational skills and attention to detail.

Open-mindedness and willingness to learn and grow as a counselor.

Ability to handle stressful situations and adapt to changing circumstances.

Strong work ethic and professionalism.

Good time management skills.

Knowledge of basic child development principles.

Ability to lead group activities and games.

Ability to provide constructive feedback to campers.

Conflict resolution skills.

Physical stamina and ability to participate in active recreational activities.

First aid/CPR certification.

Self-awareness and ability to reflect on one's own behavior and growth.

Ability to maintain confidentiality and respect privacy of campers.

Cultural sensitivity and understanding of diversity.

Ability to maintain a safe and healthy camp environment.

Sense of humor and ability to have fun while taking the job seriously.

These skills and characteristics can vary depending on the specific camp and its mission, goals, and activities. An ideal candidate should also be passionate about working with children and contributing to a positive camp experience for campers. 

Counselor in Training Interview Questions

Why do you want to be a CIT?

What experience do you have working with children?

How would you handle a camper who is upset or homesick?

What are your main goals for working as a CIT?

How will you contribute to a positive and fun camp environment?

Can you describe a time where you demonstrated leadership skills?

What do you think the most challenging part of being a CIT will be?

How would you handle discipline with campers?

What is the most important aspect of being a camp counselor?

How would you handle a situation where a camper is not following the rules?

Can you describe a team experience where you had to be a leader?

In what ways do you see yourself contributing to the camp's mission and vision?

How would you create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all campers?

What are some of your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Can you describe your communication style when working with children?

How would you handle a camper who refuses to participate in an activity?

How would you handle a camper who is bullying another camper?

What would you do if a camper disclosed something serious to you?

Can you describe a difficult situation you faced and how you handled it?

How would you handle a camper who has a disability or special needs?

Can you describe your experience planning and leading activities?

How do you handle conflicts with coworkers or teammates?

Can you give me an example of a time where you had to handle a difficult parent/guardian situation?

What would you do if you observed another staff member doing something against camp policies?

How would you promote healthy habits and choices among campers?

What is your experience with crisis management and emergency response?

Can you give me an example of a creative or innovative idea for a camp activity?

How would you handle a camper who is struggling academically or emotionally?

Can you describe the most rewarding experience you've had working with children?

Can you give me an example of a time where you had to give constructive feedback?

What would you do if a camper was causing disruptions during quiet or rest time?

How would you handle a camper who is struggling to fit in with the group?

Can you describe a time where you had to demonstrate flexibility in a work or school setting?

How do you handle stress?

Can you describe a time where you had to work independently or take initiative?

How do you maintain a positive attitude in challenging situations?

Can you describe a time where you had to effectively communicate with someone who had a different perspective?

How do you handle feedback and criticism?

What do you hope to learn from this summer camp experience?

Can you describe a time where you had to adapt to changing circumstances?

How would you handle a camper with strong emotions or challenging behavior?

Can you describe your experience with time management and scheduling?

What is your approach to problem-solving in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment?

Can you describe your experience working with children with different cultural backgrounds?

How would you approach providing emotional support to campers?

Can you describe a time where you had to motivate a disengaged group?

How do you handle a situation where a camper is homesick for an extended period of time?

What is your experience with technology use and safety with children?

Can you describe a time where you had to think on your feet or make quick decisions?

How do you prioritize safety in different situations and activities at the camp?

Counselor in Training Salary

The salary of a Counselor in Training can widely differ depending upon the role and area. According to Glassdoor, the pay rate for a CIT job has been estimated between $16.88 to $17.50 per hour. Meanwhile, Indeed states that the mean hourly wage for a CIT at the YMCA in the United States is about $11.83. ZipRecruiter shows CIT occupations with an average remuneration varying from $13 to an impressive $71 an hour! Lastly, the GSSN’s listing of a CIT Director’s salary suggests an attractive daily fee of between $65-$75. 


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