Camp Fire Inland Northwest | Light the fire within!

Counselor in Training (CIT) Program FAQs

What is the CIT program?

The CIT program is a leadership program for high school students going in to the 11th or 12th grade in the fall. CITs attend Camp Sweyolakan overnight camp and gain leadership skills and gather team building experience while working with camp counselors. Essentially, it’s a training program where graduates can eventually qualify to become a paid camp counselor.


How long is the CIT program?

The CIT program is a 7-week program completed over 2 summers.


How many CITs are there?

The program will accommodate up to 18 amazing CITs.


How old do I have to be?

The Jr. CIT program is for individuals going into the 11th grade; the Sr. CIT program is for individuals going into the 12th grade.


What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?

No SAT or GPA requirements here! Caring, enthusiastic, motivated, camp-loving applicants simply fill out an online application in late winter.


Will I get to go home anytime during my program or am I there the entire time?

You will never want to leave, but you will get to go home overnight between sessions. Trust us, you’ll want to do some laundry.


Do I get paid?

CITs are not paid; in fact, there is a reduced session fee to participate in the program. The fee covers program supplies, training, curriculum, meals and accommodations.


How long will it take until I can become a counselor?

Following successful completion of the Sr. CIT program, participants may be invited to intern at the end of the summer. The following summer participants may apply for a camp staff position. Successful completion of the program, however, does not guarantee a future paid position. All potential staff must show they will be a good fit for delivering camp programming.


Will I be working with kids?

YES, all CIT participants will partner with a camp counselor for 1 week each summer to bring the magic of camp to a group of excited campers.


What is the housing like?

For the majority of the camp stay, CITs will sleep in assigned cabins (“A” frame cabins with 6 beds) in the CIT Unit. Accommodations will be made for transitioning, transgender, and/or non-binary campers; please call Miss Poppy in the Camp Fire office.


Can I bring some of my own food?

Yes, but squirrels love snacks! CITs can bring snacks, we just ask that they be kept away from the wildlife. Empty popcorn tins make awesome critter-proof containers. Please coordinate with the CIT Staff for safe storage.


How much free time will I have?

Free time, what’s free time? Honestly, there is a ton to do, but participants will have a little bit of time here and there.


Am I considered staff, or am I still a camper?

CITs are not staff yet, they are the pinnacle of campers, with some extra added responsibilities...and privileges.


Can I earn my way there, or is there financial assistance available?

Of course! We always love the help, and are willing to make sure everyone who wants to come can. For more information, call us at 509-747-6191 or visit our Financial Assistance Page for more information.


What do I get out of my time at camp?

During the program, CITs get the opportunity to enhance leadership and teamwork skills, learn how to lead a group of younger children safely through an outdoor adventure, and learn camping skills to teach to others. The list goes on and on, these are just some great examples.


What is the difference between Junior and Senior CITs?

The completion of the Junior CIT program is a prerequisite for the Senior CIT program. Juniors learn the basics of leading groups, planning, and outdoor skills. Seniors delve deeper into those skills and get the opportunity to learn about camp operation, how to teach positive values to children, and the responsibilities of a camp administrator and staff member.