|Frequently Asked Questions
How much riding time will I get?
Count on it averaging about 3 times a week. This may be concentrated more
during the first 4 weeks. The riding that you do may be in a camper lesson, a dedicated
CIT lesson, a staff lesson, backing a trail ride or a supper ride, leading a group swimming
with the horses, or in mock lessons taught by CITs designed to give CITs practice teaching.
Your riding time may also be increased by arranging extra lessons at the CIT rate of $25
for semi-privates or privates at $35.
What if I can’t make it to the staff training week or another week of the program,
or I definitely don’t want to stay past the 1st 5 weeks?
Staying past the 1st five weeks of the summer is totally optional for the CIT and in fact,
the CIT has to be invited to stay for additional time. Sometimes it is beneficial to leave for
a few days to a couple of weeks and then come back. There is also some flexibility in
missing part of the first five weeks of the program. Please call and talk to us about any
concerns that you have about the schedule.
Will I get hired the following year?
That depends on how well you do in the CIT program, how well you interact with campers
and other staff, and what area(s) of camp that you have demonstrated skill. Riding and
archery instructors must be 18 at the start of the summer. You may be hired to teach barn
programs or help on trail rides, to work in the sports program, the arts & crafts program,
the office, the kitchen, the waterfront, or a combination of these areas. Usually, the more
skills and interests that you have, the more likely that we will hire you. It also depends to
some extent on how many returning CIT's are interested, because we only hire a certain
percent of staff who are under 18. On occasion we hire 16 and 17-year-olds as junior staff.
Do I get any time off?
We do not automatically schedule CIT's for days off like we do for staff. However you can
request time off to be away from camp with family or friends and this does not have to be
limited to the one day a week off that is allotted to staff. You may also request a morning
off, occasionally, to sleep in. CIT’s can only go out with staff who are 21 or older and
approved by our insurance company. Also, you are allowed to go off camp property
with other adults only with written permission from your parents specific to each adult but
these adults cannot be SJ staff.
In what ways will I be trained to be a counselor and to teach riding?
As in all areas of camp, you will spend some time shadowing staff so that you will become
aware of what makes a good instructor/ counselor. You will also assist staff in all areas
and depending on your teaching and leading ability can start to take on more of the
responsibilities of leading groups and instructing. Obviously, your skills will also influence
which activities and groups that you will lead. For example, if you don’t know how to play
soccer it’s unlikely you will be able to lead that activity or if you are an intermediate rider,
then you will not be assisting with advanced riding groups.
For the riding there is a program to broaden the knowledge that you have. The CHA clinic
is a 5 day certification program run by a national organization that our riding staff attend
prior to staff training. During the CIT program we do many of the activities of this 5 day
course spread out over the course of the summer. This gives you a chance to extend your
knowledge of riding and teaching and gives you practice teaching lessons where you
are the head instructor.
Oh, then am I eligible to take the actual CHA course with the riding staff before
You need to be 18 in order to be certified as a Riding Instructor. If you are 16 you can be
certified as an Assistant Instructor. If you are 16 we would offer the course to you
for $450*. This would include books, meals, lodging, certification, and CHA membership. It is
an excellent course and would be well worth it if you are interested and
are available during the week of June 7. You could also just audit the course for $200.
*Rates subject to change.
CIT's are trained in all areas of the camp operation:
Waterfront, camper guidance, night programs, crafts, kitchen
and dining hall, maintenance and cleaning, sports activities,
If you have knowledge and skill in the riding area, you may also
be trained as assistants for horse care and/or instruction.
Another option is becoming lifeguard and/or boating certified.
CIT's also help out with office duties, such as horse show and
bonfire planning, slide shows, taking pictures, etc.
Our “mini” CIT program consists of online classes and 3 training weeks
(Staff Orientation Week and the 2 weeks during the 3rd session) with
the potential for being invited for one additional week.
Please call us for clarification of either program or if neither of these
options work for you.
CIT's are generally given as much responsibility and opportunity as they are capable of and
are interested in.
Although you have a unique role at camp, it is important for you and your parents to understand that
in many cases we treat you just as staff. We expect high standards of behavior and dedication, and
hope to aid you in developing responsibility and other life and work skills such as communication
skills, problem-solving ability, etc.
The CIT program is not for everyone, and it's totally different from being a camper.
We accept campers going into the 11th grade. You can postpone being a CIT for another
year, or you may choose not to be a CIT at all.
The cost of the 2020 full CIT program is $4400*. The cost for the “mini” program is $2400*.
Please complete the SJ Overnight Camp Registration Form and SJ CIT Application. Although there is
no specific deadline for applying we begin selecting our CIT's in December, so please get your
application in as soon as possible. If you or your parents have any questions, please call.
CIT’s are selected based on their potential for
becoming staff members in the future.
We expect a certain level of maturity, responsibility,
people skills, flexibility and helpfulness before accepting
someone into the program. In certain cases we might
defer acceptance until the following year, or we might
just recommend that it would be better to enroll in the
program the following year, or we might accept someone
for the ‘mini’ program and not the basic program.
Our Counselor-in-Training (CIT) programs are designed for campers who are going into the 11th or
12th grade. The basic/full CIT program consists of online classes and 5 training weeks (Staff Orientation
Week and the 1st 4 weeks of camp). If the CIT is successful in the program she may be invited to stay for
additional time (up to 5 additional weeks) during the camp season.
There is a fee for the programs, but not for additional weeks.
Depending on how well someone does in the program, there is the
possibility of being hired as a paid Junior Counselor or Counselor the