CIT (Counselor-In-Training) Application Essay

There’s a summer camp in our town that I attended as a child (meaning, when I was in 8th grade and younger), and I really liked that place. It’s a nice, relaxing, fun place to be.

However, I grew out two years ago, and now if I wanted to attend the camp, I would have to submit an application for a CIT (or counselor-in-training) position. Last year, I really messed up and I filled out my application sloppily and with two inks. Then they didn’t like my essay and said it was too short and not in-depth.

While I can fix how I fill out my application (and actually take some responsibility and ownership for my work), I am still puzzled as to how I should approach the essay.

It says, “Please attach an essay explaining why you want to be in the program and what you hope to gain by being a Counselor-In-Training.”

Now here’s last year’s (fail) essay:

Obviously, this is not a very good essay, and it is what caused me to get rejected. So how do I not fail this year? How should I approach/write this essay? What should I do? Tips and advice would be very helpful. Thank you for your time.

I recommend being more specific about what you hope to do this summer. For example:

I don’t have any experience at CIT positions; but, hey, I went to camp 30 years ago. So here’s my 2 cents:

Take a look at Friedo’s joke-post above, and follow his advice… (no, not the specifics…just the general idea):“be more specific”.

Tell them what you experienced.—what you did at camp, and why you liked it.
Then tell them how you think as a CIT you can provide the same experience for the kids.
Be specific.
For example, mention the singing around the bonfire with new friends…
Or the tug-of-war rope pull and the rowboat races, where everybody pulled together, with the CIT calling out the cadence.
Or the way the counselors were so friendly with everybody, and made sure that the shy kids felt comfortable, too.
Mention a problem that occurred, and how the consellors made it seem easy to solve.
( Rainy weather?–that counselor with the guitar sure made us feel good that day.
Lousy food in the cafeteria?—sharing cookies somebody brought from home was fun.)

Then tell a little about yourself (but not too much), and how you think you can work as a team member with the older counsellors to give a good experience to the younger kids.

Your original essay speaks only to how the position would benefit you. You need to also speak to what you can do for the camp and kids. What skills do you have that would benefit the camp? These can be things you learned there or elsewhere, but it would be nice to note how the things you learned there as a camper will make you a good CIT.

Write the essay from the viewpoint of what you would find important if you were hiring the CIT’s.

Doctor Jackson gives good advice here not just on an application like this but also on job interviews and cover letters - they don’t care about what they can do for you, they care about what you can do for them.

Hm. Well in order to help you be more detailed, we need more details.

  • What kind of camp is it? (People seem to think it’s a summer camp but I’m assuming it’s more of a day camp involving a specialty like… instruments or computers…)
  • What about the camp made it nice, relaxing, and a fun place to be?
  • What qualifications are being considered for CIT’s?
  • What skills do you possess makes you think you actually would be a good counselor?

Content aside, the format of your essay is severely lacking. Stick to what the public school system has beaten into you. 5 paragraphs. Intro, Body, Conclusion. What is your thesis? At the basest, it should attempt to answer the question posed. “explain why you want to be in the program and what you hope to gain by being a CIT”. You want to be in the CIT program because you bring reasons a,b, and c to the table. Furthermore, you hope that in participating in the program, you and the program can mutually benefit from reasons x, y, and z.

Lay this out in a outline. Can you come up with 3 reasons why you should be in the program? Can you come up with 3 things you hope to gain from the program?

Write that essay. Master those basic elements for a first draft before we start thinking about edits, critiques, resumes, CV’s, cover letters, personal statements, etc. with action verbs and results/goal-oriented entries…

Is this Camp Echo?

We are the C I Ts so pity us.
The kids are brats and the food is hideous.
We like to smoke and drink and fool around
we’re nookie bound
We are the North Star C I Teeeees.
That should get you in.

Just like the last paragraph, if you say you want to paticipate the team work and make more friends, rather than to be a leader, that would be better as I think.

This is exactly what I thought of when I read the thread title.

OMG, is THAT what the line is??? I never knew!! Thanks for filling in that blank in my cultural history. :smiley: