Teen leadership

Counselor In Training

Take your skills up a notch!  Be mentored by our experienced Wilderness Instructor staff!  Spend an unforgettable summer in nature 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 and Team Building
  • Earth Living/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills
  • Primitive Technologies
  • Awareness of Self and Others
  • Mentoring Practices
  • Communication and 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
  • Dive deeper into primitive technology, outdoor and naturalist skills alongside experienced mentors
  • Experience one on one coaching and skill assessment in five core areas: Mentoring Practices, Primitive/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills, Leadership and Teamwork, Communication and Professionalism, and Awareness (Nature, Self, Others, and the Big Picture)
  • 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. There are limited spaces available in the CIT program and we recommend applying early. We will schedule a phone interview with each applicant in mid-March and start accepting teens into the program in April, 2020.
  • Cost: Price includes one week of Coyote Camp (CIT Training week) plus two weeks as a CIT in the field. First year CITs: $300. Returning CITs will receive a discounted rate.
  • Additional weeks as a CIT cost $50-100 each, sliding scale
  • Third Year CITs will participate in Coyote Camp 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 All Staff Training Day (June 26)
  • Participate in Coyote Camp (June 29-July 3)
  • Assist Wilderness Instructors: This is a 40 hour/week commitment for at least 2 weeks over the course of the summer (July 6-Sept 4). CITs are welcome to sign up for additional weeks.

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 i.e. making last minute changes due to things like weather and nature mysteries. 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.


"You all do an amazing job inspiring kids to be actively engaged in their environment. Every week, Isaac is eager to demonstrate his newly developed skills and knowledge, including catching crayfish for dinner, collecting plants for tea or medicinal uses, and carving wood into bows. He is proud to be able to teach his parents a thing or two!" Summer Camp Parent

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