Purpose of the IT Program
The Specialist & Counselor in Training (SCIT) Program is a three-week unique hybrid experience incorporating both intensive trainings designed to prepare teens to be on staff as well as classic camper activities for the whole group to enjoy. This summer, we have our largest IT cohort ever with 56 teens: 45 Counselors in Training and 11 Specialists in Training.
While the Specialists in Training learn about departments like Arts & Crafts, Waterfront, Wilderness and Music, the Counselors in Training work specifically with individual bunks and their counselors to gain hands-on experience working with kids in the Tawongan way. By actively engaging with kids during times like meals, activity blocks, night time rituals and song sessions, these teens are for the first time in their Tawonga careers learning the “why” and “how” of Camp Tawonga through our Mission and philosophy – the core foundation of the Tawonga experience.
Building a Community
The SCIT program is also an opportunity to create a strong and loving community among these teens. Through group bonding rituals like getting gnarly, creating their own dance, an epic white-water rafting trip, campfires and so much more, creating and nurturing a cooperative community is central to the IT experience. These teens are then equipped to come back as staff, ready to help children build community within their bunks and through fun, bonding activities together.
A Transformative Experience
The IT leaders have all expressed gratitude for the relationships they’ve built with these teens as well as the work they’ve accomplished. Jack, one of our IT leaders, shared:
“The growth the ITs experience in two to three weeks is unbelievable. Every single kid has stepped up or become a leader in some shape or form. Whether it’s confidence, learning how to organize schedules, or plan ahead, they’ve grown in some way. It’s beautiful to watch kids who genuinely care about this Camp share it with the younger kids who are experiencing Tawonga for the first time.”
Meg, IT Supervisor and long-time Tawongan, said:
“They’ve been absolutely phenomenal. They’re all so engaged and are making significant contributions to the whole of Camp.”
Truly, the ITs have become a part of the Tawonga family this summer and will be missed dearly by the staff and campers. We can’t wait to have them back in future years on our staff!
Enjoy pictures from our last full day of Session II: