The transition from childhood into the teenage years presents a lot of changes–changing bodies, attitudes, and of course, changing interests.
Things that your kids might have found interesting before are no longer “cool” to teenagers which may leave parents at a loss as to how to fill up their teens’ free time, especially during the summer.
So how do you find productive activities for teens during the summer?
One of the most popular option for summer camps for teens is a counselor-in-training (CIT) or leader-in-training (LIT) program. Many camps offer these training programs to teens as an unpaid position or at a low fee to parents, sort of like an apprenticeship or internship on the road to becoming a camp counselor. Best of all, once they finish the required training, your teenager will have a job opportunity lined up for them!
So how can you set your teen up for success this summer in a CIT or LIT program? Here’s a few tips to get teens into a CIT/LIT program:
What do CIT/LIT programs look for in program candidates?
Many CIT/LIT summer camps for teens are looking for candidates that are 13 & older and have experience working with kids such as coaching, tutoring, or babysitting kids in sports, academics, or arts. They are looking to recruit candidates with lots of energy, that show enjoyment in working with kids, and a desire to receive additional training and get outside.
What can I do to make sure my kids are prepared?
First of all, make sure your child will be able to meet the availability requirements that the program demands. If you have any big trips planned, this summer might not be the right time to sign up for a training program.
Help them put together a resume and list of contacts–babysitting references, teachers, and anyone that will give your child a good reference.
You may also want to request some letters of recommendation and possibly school transcripts.
What can parents expect from a CIT/LIT program?
Some summer camps offer the CIT/LIT program as an unpaid position while others will require a fee to register. Some CIT programs also offer retreats and trips which may come at an additional cost.
If the program is offered at an overnight or sleepaway camp, teens may be required to spend the entire duration of the camp in the program, although some programs do allow them to go home on the weekends.
What personality traits are best suited for a future camp counselor?
A camp counselor is someone that is responsible, reliable, creative, has the ability to give discipline, and knows how to have fun!
What experience is needed to become a paid camp counselor?
Most camps require the completion of a CIT/LIT program and will hire counselors that are 18 and older. Some camps may also look for extracurricular activities such as sports, scouts, or clubs.
What are other options for summer camps for teens who are not interested in CIT/LIT programs?
Some other popular options for teens are camps that offer an opportunity to travel, such as overnight or overseas trips.
Another popular option for teens is a camp at a college campus that they might be interested in attending.
Sports camps and competition camps also prove to be popular among many teens.
For additional information on CIT and LIT programs in your area or to find classes and summer camps for teens, visit ActivityHero to find the latest listings!
Written by Sarah Antrim