Counselors in Training

Summer campers navigating outdoor ropes course.


Teens can gain valuable work experience while still being part of the fun at summer camp as Counselors in Training (CIT). CITs work alongside staff assisting campers in camp activities and demonstrate some of the responsibility and commitment it takes to be part of the Kzoo Parks Summer Team. A stipend of up to $500 is given at the end of camp.

Space available in this year's CIT program will be based on the number of CITs we have returning from last year. Anyone who is interested in joining us this summer as a CIT is encouraged to apply!


The Role of the Counselor in Training (CIT)

At your assigned site you will be required to:

  1. You are an assistant to the Recreation Leaders
  2. Be accessible to at all times during regularly scheduled work hours.
  3. Follow Site Supervisor/Program Assistant/Program Director directions and fulfill duties requested by them.
  4. Follow all policies and rules outlined in the Recreation manual and implemented at staff meetings or during the course of the program session.

As a As a CIT you must keep the following in mind:

  • You represent the City of Kalamazoo and the Recreation Division in all that you do and say.
  • Warmth of manner towards and sensitivity to another person’s situation will be a reflection of the atmosphere
  • you create on all assignments.
  • Profanity, lewd terms, and discourteous speech are out of line under any circumstances, including discussions
  • with co-workers. Good speech is part of good manners.
  • Your watchwords must be: courtesy, friendliness, honesty, cooperation, productivity, and sympathetic
  • understanding of every situation.

Campers on Site

As a mentor of children and youth, you are in a position to influence the attitudes and conduct of the participants in your program and activities conducted. Because children are great imitators, they tend to reflect the actions of the leader. Therefore, it is very important to set good examples and be a positive role model.

The program offered has to be made interesting by having a variety of activities available, as well as, freedom of choice for the participant. Children should be encouraged to participate but not be forced.

On the other hand, some children need more help than others in adjusting to the situations that occur. They have to learn to get along and play with other children by sharing equipment, working together on projects, or playing as a team.

Sometimes their actions require disciplinary action. Be sure to inform the staff of what you saw as accurately as possible and then let the staff or supervisor determine the consequences.

You should be willing to try new activities or ways of doing them to role model “trying something new”. Be their example. Like any organization, there are certain activities or methods that have proven to be successful over a period of years, and therefore, are used as the best way of doing a certain program.

However, individual thinking and incentive is encouraged. If you feel that you have an idea that would work better, discuss it with your supervisor.

Feel free to discuss, question, or make suggestions that you think might be helpful in improving the program. Even though your supervisor is the one there to guide you and help you out with any problems in the program, you are the one directly working at the site, and your comments are important.

Working with Children

Meet and greet them as they arrive! This will help to ease their anxious/nervousness. Children are great judges of character and emotions. It is your total involvement with the activity at hand that makes the program interesting and popular to a child. Be vibrant, alive, and creative! Give the children the opportunity to become really excited about something. Show that excitement yourself and get into what’s happening!

Working with Parents

As part of the camp team, meet the parents as they are coming to drop off or pick up. Be a good listener and be alert to any complaints or suggestions which any parent might make. Inform them that you are a CIT and what your role is and refer any complaints or questions to the Site Supervisor. If supervisor is not available notify a camp staff. If you have adequate information, try to answer their questions, or indicate where such information may be obtained. Try not to antagonize or become involved in arguments with parents.

Public Relations

Regardless of what your job may be, or what your assignment is with the department, your first obligation as a City employee is public relations. Your appearance, manner of speech, attitude and amiability reflect the type of City service being dispensed. Public relations are largely applied courtesy and good common sense.

At all times keep in mind that the public you serve is a cross section of the community and everyone has their own background and experiences.