Counselors In Training Get the Wakonda Experience

Here at YMCA Camp Wakonda developing youth is what we do. Whether it is a first year camper arriving at Camp for a week, a father and son growing closer and developing bonds during our Dads & Lads weekend, a young woman developing confidence as she learns new skills at the Department of Conservations Girls Discover Nature Camp or a student learning how to survive for a year in 1821 Missouri, developing youth is at the core of what we do.

Camp also has a unique group of youth that we love to develop. These are our Counselors In Training (CITs). Our CITs consist of young women and men who are entering the 11th & 12th grade, many of whom have been long time campers here at Wakonda. Through a week long program they attend sessions on leadership, teambuilding and communication.

Through active observation they shadow senior staff as they teach skills to younger campers and then put these skills into practice through guided activities they create and lead. They also are challenged through discussions, role playing and teambuilding exercises to tackle some of the trials they are currently facing in their lives. The CIT experience is very different from that of other campers tapping into their growing understanding of social responsibility which is part of this developmental stage of their lives. This programs popularity has soared tripling enrollment over the last three years.

Our goal is to develop their leadership, communication, compassion and empathy, helping them to grow into peer leaders in their schools, clubs, teams, church groups and church youth groups. Ultimately we hope they will return for a summer or two and pass these skills on to the next group of campers here at Wakonda.

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