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Teen Leadership: In-Training Program

Tawonga’s Specialist and Counselor In-Training Program: Three weeks of leadership development training and team bonding for rising 12th graders 

The 2019 Teen Program Application will be live on November 28, 2018.


When

Three Weeks: June 16 – July 5, 2019

SCIT Program Overview

The Specialist and Counselor-in-Training (SCIT) program is a selective leadership program for teens entering 12th grade who want to learn about Tawonga’s approach to working with kids. This program requires an application and interview with one of our directors.

Many teens, after they age out of their traditional camper years, find this program to be an invaluable personal and professional growth opportunity. It is also a good first step to one day becoming part of the highly acclaimed professional Tawonga staff, which includes many former SCITs.

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Three Week Snapshot

The SCIT program takes place during the first three weeks of the summer, coinciding with both the  “Taste of Camp” and Session II programs. The first week of the program is training and group development for the teens. They learn from veteran Tawonga staff the ins and outs of working at camp and the overall philosophy that staff brings into their work to create the Tawonga experience. The first Shabbat and weekend of the program is spent on a group rafting trip along the beautiful South Fork of the American River, just a few hours north of Tawonga. Here, the group gets to bond further before returning to camp for work!

In the second and third weeks of the program, the teens spend about 1/2 to 2/3 of each day working with kids, alongside counselors and specialists. Here, they get to have a firsthand impact on young campers’ Tawonga experiences in the same ways that staff had on them. Teens learn what it means to be a leader and role model 24/7 and get supervised, evaluated, and coached by veteran Tawonga staff to further their growth and development.

Counselors in Training (CITs) join bunk and unit counselors to lead activities while creating and facilitating effective cabin groups.

Specialists in Training (SITs) learn the ins and outs of different specialty areas at camp, including arts & crafts, programming, waterfront, wilderness and drama.

SCIT FAQs

As an SIT do I work everywhere or just in one specialist area?

Teens in the Specialist-in-Training (SIT) program will receive training in all specialty areas during the training week of the program. After receiving training in all specialty areas, SITs can choose their three favorite departments, and a custom schedule will be created for them. Every effort is made to accommodate SITs’ preferences, while allowing flexibility for them to help out wherever needed.

What is the difference between SIT and CIT?

The two programs run simultaneously, overlap often, and share many similarities. CITs have some of their training week tailored specifically to learning the role of the counselor. SITs learn how to be specialists in all different camp programs, including arts and crafts, programming, wilderness, and waterfront. During the final two weeks of the program, teens in both programs spend approximately 2/3 of the day working with younger campers in either their specialty areas or with specific bunks.

Do we work the whole time as a SCIT?

The three-week program is broken into two different pieces. The first week of the program is a training week, where the group learns the specific skills and responsibilities of counselors and specialists in various training sessions. The final two weeks of the program is spent working with campers in support of the Tawonga staff. During both training and working weeks, about 1/3 of each day is spent with just the SCIT group, enjoying camp activities and bonding as a group.

I registered for the program; why am I on the waiting list?

Everyone is placed on the waiting list for the SCIT program—pending the receipt of an application, the completion of an interview, and the receipt of a reference. The application process opens up in December, and a first round of decisions is usually made in late January. Applicants will be notified by mail.

How are SCITs chosen?

The SCIT program is selective. We are looking for teens eager to learn about working with children and ready to put that knowledge into action at camp. We take teens who are ready to transition out of their camper years and take on more responsibility and leadership at camp. The merit-based selection process consists of a written application, an in-person (preferred) or phone interview, and a reference. Experience working with younger kids (babysitting, coaching, tutoring, etc.) and leadership positions should be highlighted on applications.

Spotlight on ITs: On the Blog!

readhereCheck out this IT Spotlight blog post from our 2016 Summer!

Also, read 2015 SCIT Julia-Rose Kibben’s thoughtful reflections on her experience in the program

 

Questions?

Feel free to call our San Francisco office at 415.543.2267. Thank you!