Teen leadership

Counselor In Training

Take your skills up a notch, get valuable training, and spend an unforgettable summer forging friendships as part of a team!

Summer CIT Applications open January 2020!

Experience the benefits of our Summer CIT Program!

As a Counselor In Training with Primitive Pursuits you will have the opportunity to learn and teach side by side with our seasoned staff in the following areas:

  • Leadership & Team Building
  • Outdoor/Naturalist Skills
  • Primitive Technologies
  • Curriculum Design & Implementation
  • Mentoring Practices
  • Professionalism

Many graduates have continued on with Primitive Pursuits and other local nature awareness programs as paid employees. Others, after graduating high school, have gone on to establish popular outdoor adventure programs while at schools like Tufts University and SUNY ESF - a testament to the experience they had here with youth outdoor/environmental leadership. Use your CIT experience as a resume builder!

Our goal is to create powerful growth experiences for all of our teens. Under the wings of our seasoned Wilderness Instructor staff, our youth leaders are in the unique position of simultaneously observing and practicing mentoring skills while being mentored themselves.

All Summer CITs participate in Coyote Camp, plus two weeks assisting staff as a CIT in day camp programs.

Coyote Camp is our week-long teen leadership training experience:

  • Coyote Camp is at 4H Acres the week of June 29-July 3, 2020 (Summer Camp Week 1)
  • We meet Monday through Friday day camp (Thursday Overnight for returning CITs only)
  • Receive direct instruction and mentoring from core Primitive Pursuits staff
  • Practice mentoring skills in the field with youth, guiding younger participants at programs during Coyote Camp
  • Go deeper in primitive technology and outdoor skills alongside experienced mentors
  • Experience one on one coaching and skill assessment in five core areas: Primitive Technologies, Outdoor/Naturalist Skills, Mentoring Practices, Teamwork and Professionalism
  • Bonus! Receive the coveted, limited edition 2020 Mentor / CIT shirt

Are you ready for the challenge?! Check out the details below:

Details about the Primitive Pursuits CIT program:
  • Who: Teens aged 13 -15
  • When: CIT spaces are available each of the 10 weeks of summer camp
  • What: CITs are eligible to work with campers aged 3-10. Occasionally returning CITs are invited to work with instructors in our Advanced and Specialty Camps.
  • How: Fill out the application below. Sincer there are limited spaces available in the CIT program we recommend applying early. We will schedule a phone interview with each applicant in mid-March and start accepting people into the program in April, 2020.
  • Cost: $300 for first year CITs. (Returning CITs will receive a discount.) Price includes one week of Coyote Camp (CIT Training week) with a Thursday overnight for returning CITs, plus two weeks as a CIT in the field.
  • Additional weeks as a CIT cost $50-100, sliding scale
  • Third Year CITs will participate in Coyote Camp Week 1 as "Ring 2" participants, and will be guided through an advanced experience while being given more responsibility and leadership opportunities.

CITs are required to:

  • Apply and be accepted into the program
  • Participate in the Staff Training Day (Date TBD)
  • Participate in Coyote Camp (June 29-July 3)
  • Participate in at least 2 weeks as a CIT over the course of the summer. CITs are encouraged to do more!

A Day in the Life of a Summer CIT:

CIT's arrive at camp early to participate in the pre-day game plan with staff. This sneak peek behind the scenes allows teens to begin developing an awareness for both curriculum design as well as the need for improvisation, making last minute changes due to things like weather and new opportunities. Throughout the day they will play dual roles: both as participants, practicing skills with the group, and as assistants, being called upon to lead activities. At the end of each day they will be asked to participate with other staff in our daily debrief.


"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books." John Lubbock

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We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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