Counselor-In-Training Program

The Living Earth Counselor-In-Training Program is a transformative leadership and learning opportunity for veteran campers who love LES.

Cultivating Confident, Powerful Leaders

Deep down we know that teens want to contribute. This is a real place where they can test life skills, learn more about themselves, and bring skills onward into their future. Though we hold a high bar for these teens, they also have an incredibly fun week.

Should my teen be a CIT or just participate in a teen camp?

If your teen thinks they want to teach kids someday, if your teen loves learning about nature and experiencing it firsthand, and if your teen wants to step into the maturity of being others-centered and service-oriented, then this is the program for them! CITs often reference their time at LES on college applications, resumes, and job applications. We have written countless letters of recommendations for CITs. Some students credit the CIT program with gaining them college scholarships and the skills to feel confident in their first job.

CIT Leadership Training Areas

  • Mentoring: The instructors and CIT Coordinator guide the CITs in seeing what individual kids need, what the group needs, and how to proactively help fill those needs. They prepare, practice, lead, and debrief with staff, supporting this whole process.
  • Personal Skills and Passions: The CIT Coordinator spends several blocks of time throughout the week working with CITs to deepen their naturalist and survival skills.
  • Building Integrity and Teamwork Through Service: CITs are essential to many aspects of camp and putting others before themselves.
  • Authentic Community: There is something about saying “yes!” to the challenge of stepping up in maturity, being of service, and doing this with a group their age, that ties bonds of friendship tightly.
  • Goal Setting and Habit Formation: The CIT Coordinator will introduce CITs to the notion of how habits and goals underpin our lives, allowing them to set a north star and go for it.


  • 13 or older (at the time of camp) preferred; however we will accept applications from mature, motivated 13 year olds.

  • Applicant is preferred to have attended one session of Earth Roots camp or attended another specialty teen camp such as Fire Tenders overnight camp, Keepers of the Arrow day camp, etc.)

  • Have a genuine interest in working with younger campers
  • Have a genuine desire to deepen their own nature connection

Some teens aren’t interested in mentoring or don’t yet want to take on that helper, service mentality, and that’s ok! If your teen just wants to learn more about nature and feel the good vibes of an LES teen community, we highly recommend one of our many day camps, residential overnight camps, river trips, or backpacking trips that are open to teens.

Day Camp CIT Program

Being a Day Camp CIT is a great chance for teens to be immersed in our Coyote Mentoring culture. From the planning meeting at the beginning of the day to the debrief at the end, you’ll learn the “behind the scenes” of nature mentoring.

One to two CITs will be placed in a small group with two instructors and twelve campers. Your lead instructor will check in with you periodically throughout the week to see what your goals, challenges, and learnings are.

Logistics: In general, the camp day runs from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with campers present from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Overnight Camp CIT Program

This intensive leadership training will give teens not only the skills of a great camp counselor and leader, but also teach them life skills for other professional pursuits.

We will train them using the same activities and experiences we use to train our best staff. We will look at what makes a healthy camp culture where the kids feel safe to be themselves and what supports people to come alive.

Logistics: CITs participate in preparation meetings, debrief meetings, and post-camp take-down. Drop off is 8:45 am on the first day of camp (Sunday), and pick up is 3 pm on the last day of camp (Friday).

2024 Counselor-In-Training Schedule


Montfair Resort Farms


Week 1: June 16 – 21
Earth Roots Week 1

Week 2: June 23 – 28
Earth Roots Week 2

Week 3: July 7 – 12
Earth Roots Week 3

Week 4: July 14 – 19
Earth Roots Week 4

Week 5: July 22 – 26

Day Camp Week 6
Week 6: July 29 – Aug. 2

Day Camp Week 7
Week 7: Aug. 5 – 9

Day Camp Week 8

Details & Registration

  • Ages 13 – 18

  • Day CITs:

    • July 22 – 26
    • July 29 – Aug. 2
    • Aug. 5 – 9

    Overnight CITs:

    • June 16 – 21
    • June 23 – 28
    • July 7 – 12
    • July 14 – 19
  • Day CITs: 8 am – 5 pm

    Overnight CITs: 8:45 am on Sundays to 3 pm on Fridays

  • Day CITs: Batesville

    Overnight CITs: Montfair

  • Day CITs: $300 per week

    Overnight CITs: $449 per week

  • This is an application based program since there are limited spots and we want to make sure teens are ready to learn and be helpful. Preference will be given to applications filled out by the CIT (not the parent) received by March 1, though applications are accepted throughout the month of March. However, we recommend applying by January 25th since spots fill quickly. We will let you know within 3 weeks if you have been accepted. At that point our office administrator will give you a link to register online.