Summer Camp options for Teenagers

It’s no secret that the transition from childhood into the teenage years presents a lot of changes–changing bodies, attitudes, and interests. Things that were interesting before are no longer “cool” and parents may be at a loss of how to fill up their teens’ free time, especially during the summer. So how do you find productive activities for teens during the summer?


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One option for teens that have grown out of summer camp is a counselor-in-training (CIT) or leader-in-training (LIT) program. Many camps offer these programs to teens as an unpaid position or at a low fee to parents, sort of like an apprenticeship or internship to becoming a camp counselor. The best part of all, once they finish the required training time, they have a job opportunity lined up for them! So how can you set your teen up for success in a CIT or LIT program? Here’s a few tips to get kids into a CIT/LIT program this summer:

What do CIT/LIT programs look for in program candidates?

Many CIT/LIT programs look for candidates who are 13 & older that have experience working with kids such as babysitting, tutoring, or coaching kids in academics, sports, or arts. They are looking for lots of energy, enjoyment in working with kids, and a desire to receive training and get outdoors.

What can I do to make sure my kids are prepared?

Help put together a resume and list of contacts–babysitting references, teachers, anyone that will give your child a good reference. You may also want to request some letters of recommendation and possibly school transcripts. Make sure your child will be able to meet the availability requirements that the program demands.

What can parents expect from a CIT/LIT program?

Some camps offer the CIT/LIT program as an unpaid position while others require a fee to register. If the program is offered at a sleepaway camp, kids may be required to spend the entire duration of the camp in the program. Some programs allow kids to go home on the weekends. Some CIT programs also offer retreats or trips which may come at an additional cost.

What personality traits are best suited for a camp counselor?

Someone that is responsible, trustworthy, 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 a CIT/LIT program and hire counselors that are 18 and older. Some camps look for extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, or scouts.

What are other options for teens during the summer who aren’t interested in CIT/LIT programs?

Some popular options for teens are camps that offer an opportunity to travel, such as overseas trips or overnight trips. Another popular option for teens is a camp at a college campus. Sports camps and competition camps also prove to be popular among teens.

For more information on CIT and LIT programs in your area or to find camps and classes for teens, visit ActivityHero to find the latest listings!

About ActivityHero

I am blogging on all things summer camp.
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