It is important for young adults to develop leadership skills before they head off to work or college. These skills will teach them communication skills, to be hard working, dedicated, and able to be assertive in their workplace. One of the best ways to develop these skills is to look into counselor-in-training (CIT) programs at local summer camps. To be a part of the CIT program, you are usually a few years older than the oldest age group at the camp. You will assist the lead and junior counselors with the campers, usually picking up their lunches or taking them to the bathroom or to different activities through out the day. However, the responsibility and assertiveness you must have to be respected in this position will teach you great leadership skills that can be applicable in every stage of life.
You are responsible for children
Although, as a CIT you are not solely in charge of a group of campers, there will be times where you have to take the campers from activity to activity without an older supervisor. Due to this, you need to have a sense of responsibility. You’ll have to know how many campers you have and where they are. Parents and lead counselors are leaving these campers in your care so you need to show that you are responsible enough for this position. Probably the biggest responsibility a CIT will have is their campers’ safety. Since they are in your care, you have to ensure that they are returned to their parents happy and healthy at the end of the day. Once in the workplace, leaders take responsibility for their actions and manage their own time and work.
You have to set an example for your campers
At camp, you are one of the leaders of the group and due to this, you have to set an example for what is acceptable behavior. Young campers are extremely impressionable and will look to you for clues on how they are meant to act in certain situations. If you are setting a bad example through your language or behavior, they will mimic that. This teaches all CITs to be aware of their surroundings and who is listening. This awareness will be beneficial once you begin working in an office environment. Knowing how to behave in different environments will make you an attractive employee.
You have to work with others
In a camp setting, you are constantly surrounded by people, both counselors and campers, who need your attention. This will require you to not only create a balance between where you are needed but also to learn how to communicate effectively. While being in charge of young children, it will be crucial for you to communicate with lead counselors to let them know what you are doing. Lead counselors are in a position of authority, so you cannot speak to them as if they are one of your friends. Learning how to communicate with lead counselors will be good practice for when you have to communicate with your boss. Learning how to differentiate who you are talking whether it’s a supervisors and camper is a valuable skill to have.
If you are interested in gaining these leadership skills, visit The Handwork Studio’s job listings page to see what is available or call 610-660-9600 for more information.