Summer Camps

CIT Leadership Program

Counselor in Training (CIT) Leadership Program

For Ages 14-15

  • Do you enjoy working with kids?
  • Do you enjoy spending time outdoors?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to learn leadership skills?

Dawson's CIT Leadership Program is a great way for teens to work with children and get camp counselor experience under the guidance of an experienced day camp Leadership Coach. Participants of CIT become eligible to apply for paid counselor positions at Dawson Summer Camps upon turning 16.

Program Details

CITs will explore different styles of leadership and learn the importance of being a good role model.  CITs will learn the ins and outs of working at a day camp and the skills and responsibilities of working with younger children.

  1. Shadow counselors of younger campers.
  2. Assist staff in their camp activities and serve as a positive role model for campers.
  3. Enjoy the Dawson pool and lunch in the Dining Commons.
  4. Receive one-on-one coaching and evaluation.
  5. Receive a Dawson CIT Leadership Certificate.
  6. Qualify for NHS and school volunteer hour requirements.
  7. Participants of CIT become eligible to apply for paid counselor positions at Dawson Summer Camps upon turning 16.

To improve the learning process, we recommend CITs attend the program for two weeks, though the weeks do not need to be consecutive.  

Participants focus on 'staff and leadership training' during the first two days. The last three days are spent working with a camp as a Junior Counselor. Each day, CITs meet with their Leadership Director to discuss methods and improvements.

CITs will continue to improve by working with an assigned camp for the entire week. In addition to the Dawson Leadership Certificate, each CIT will receive a written evaluation from multiple directors and conduct a self-evaluation.

The leadership training in this program will teach future camp counselors about themselves and their leadership style, and the CDEC-licensed staff training will guide them on how to work at Dawson Summer Camps and work with school-age children in a camp setting. We look forward to offering this program to develop future camp leaders!

Application Process

Acceptance into this program is based on a video application process; complete the steps below to be considered. Acceptance to the program is based on completing the Parent Form and submitting the video application. Camp registration and payment will be required upon acceptance into the program.

The deadline for the video submission and completed Parent Form is February 29, 2024 at 11:59 pm. Applicants who meet this deadline will be notified of acceptance into the program by March 15, 2024.

Applicants who submit materials after the deadline will be considered on a first come, first serve basis or put on a waitlist, depending on available space in the program. 

1. Parent Form

2. Applicant Video
Email a short video addressing the below questions to

  • What has been your experience with summer camp programs?
  • Why do you want to be in the Counselor in Training (CIT) Leadership Program?
  • Which of your interests and hobbies do you think would be helpful in this summer camp role?
  • If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?
  • Why should we select you for this position?

Camp registration will be required upon acceptance into the program. Parents can register anytime after it opens on February 8 at 6:00 a.m. but can only 'waitlist' until the applicant has been accepted into the program, which is based on submitting the Parent Form and the Applicant Video in accordance with the deadline. Once an applicant is accepted into the program, registration is required, and the session(s) will be added to their account for payment to be made.   

CIT Sessions

CIT Session I: Week 2: June 10-14 ($325)

CIT Session II: Week 3: June 17-21  ($260) - 4 days, no camp 6/19

CIT Session III: Week 5: July 8-12 ($325)

CIT Session IV: Week 6: July 15-19 ($325)