Why Being a CIT is One of the Most Rewarding Summer Camp Experiences

Out of all the experiences your teenager could have, which sounds more fulfilling: scooping ice cream at a local sweets shop, playing video games, or learning how to be a leader while experiencing the joys of summer camp at the same time?

The last one, right? Congratulations, you’ve picked “being a CIT at Pali Adventures Summer Camp.” 

They’ll get leadership training, one on one experience with campers, First Aid and CPR certifications, and the experience of summer camp in the afternoons. It’s pretty much the best gig any young teen can come by. 

kids learning CPR

Do you (or they) need more convincing that spending time at summer camp in the mountains of California is a good idea? We’re outlining the rewards and benefits, below. 

You Get Multi-Use Certifications 

If your teenager is interested in any job that has to do with childcare or being around people, they’ll need a First Aid and CPR, and AED certification. This goes for babysitting, nannying for established companies, being a lifeguard, volunteering with some organizations, and more. 

These trainings, alone, easily cost $50-100 and are only held a few times a year, usually on a college campus (read: not easy to get to). 

When you sign your child up for the CIT program, these costs are covered in their tuition. They’ll get personalized attention, while these on-campus workshops easily have 20-50 people. 

And if your child is eligible for a paid position when they get home from camp, age-wise, having this certification looks great on their resume.

Along with their certification looking good on their resume, going through our CIT course can count as volunteer hours, which are critical for those looming college applications.  

It Teaches Concrete Leadership Skills 

Is your child a leader? Are they the one always suggesting or guiding what their friends do when they come over? Are they taking the lead on projects at school? 

That’s great – but it’s not something you can prove on applications or in interviews. Being a CIT (and then being a counselor) is. Getting this concrete proof that your child has leadership experience and capability will help them for the rest of their life. 

Even if your child isn’t applying to jobs where it’ll matter anytime soon, they can use their newfound leadership skills in schools and sports. Maybe their teacher put them in a group project group where there are too many ideas and suggestions, and the project is going nowhere. 

girls at CIT program

Using the organizational leadership skills they learned as a CIT, they can take charge of this project, designate tasks, and get them all on track to an excellent grade. 

Or, maybe your child is on a sports team, and the coach gets mad at them for messing around during practice, or not committing to learning a new skill. Your child could lead and suggest an extra practice or meeting where the team can improve, so they learn and impress the coach. 

In essence, part of teaching leadership is teaching kids to take the initiative, which is an essential skill for getting ahead in the world. 

They’ll Learn Conflict Resolution

How much more peaceful would your household be if your child knew how to solve conflicts in a calm and structured way? If they have siblings, it could be the thing that changes their relationship from a challenging one, back to the loving one you know is hiding deep underneath. 

As a working adult, you know how often conflict comes up in the workplace, even if it’s only small issues. Learning the basics and the strategies of conflict resolution young will give them experience when they’re ready to start their first 9-5. 

It could also keep them safe at school, by being able to help diffuse heated conversations between themselves and someone else or in a group of other students. 

Parents say that they see these skills in action when their child comes home from camp “overjoyed, matured, and super confident with himself.”

They Get to Plan Activities 

When was the last time your child played an imaginative structured game, like “school,”  or dolls with their friends? Since they’re teenagers, it’s probably been a few years. 

But their experience playing those games, though long ago, will help them when it comes to planning activities for other campers. 

You can read about the benefits of imaginative play online, but in essence, it teaches kids planning skills and how to adjust when things come up or change. 

And while they won’t be leading younger campers in playing dolls, they’ll use those imaginative skills to come up with more age and camp appropriate activities. Then they’ll get to help lead them – putting the aforementioned leadership skills in motion. 

boys on harness at camp

They Can Move on to Be a Counselor 

One of the avenues to become a counselor at Pali Adventures, which is a paid position, is to go through our CIT program. Being a counselor is even more rewarding than being a CIT, as you’re one-on-one with campers 100% of the time. It’s like being paid to go to summer camp – what could be better than that?

While your child will age out of the CIT program, they won’t age out of being a counselor, at least not for a long time. If you’re interested, get in contact to learn more about the application process, or visit our website

It’s Fun, Rewarding, and Good Practice for the Real World

Hopefully, by now, we’ve convinced you that attending our CIT program is the best use of your child’s summer vacation. Instead of spending those two weeks playing Minecraft or watching YouTube videos, they could be furthering their school performance and getting ready for a future year: all without feeling like they’re spending their days learning.

You (and they) won’t regret it.