Emma Kaufmann Camp: From “CIT’s” to “SIT’s”

Posted by Sam Bloom on October 3, 2017

Emma Kaufmann Camp’s (EKC) Counselor-In-Training (CIT) program is a 49-day leadership development training program, where young adults learn, through real-world experiences, how to become role models and mentors for children ages 7-15 years old as well as productive members of their home community.

A critical component of EKC’s CIT program has been a 3-week immersive experience in Israel so that the CITs can weave their Jewish leadership training within the fabric of the people, land and state of Israel and infuse EKC culture with Israel awareness.  While in Israel, the CITs routinely perform tikkun olam (literally “repair the world”) projects, attend educational programs, participate in archeological digs, celebrate Shabbat with teens from Pittsburgh’s sister region, Karmiel/Misgav and visit important historical sites, such as the Kotel (the Western Wall), Yad Vashem (the national Holocaust Memorial) and Masada (the mountain top fortress of Jewish/Roman conflict).

Reflecting on this past summer’s incredibly gifted “class” of CITs, it became abundantly clear to us that our program not only trains counselors, but we are training staff, who emerge from their summer leadership development experience ready, willing and able to contribute to EKC in many different ways – in the bunks with campers, on the ropes course, teaching our campers to water ski, maintaining our facilities and countless other roles.

As we formalize this transition from “CIT” to “SIT” (Staff-In-Training), we will be revisiting the program curriculum to ensure that it continues to deliver important skills not only for camp but lifelong success, including conflict resolution, crisis management, teamwork, personal work ethic/professional responsibility and project management.  All of this happens in the best place on earth, where we raise up our teens to be leaders in our EKC family.

Sam Bloom is Director of EKC, the JCC’s overnight camp in Morgantown, West Virginia.

To learn more about the SIT program and EKC, please fill in the Contact Form and we will get back to you shortly!

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