Your teen has years of experience as a participant at summer camp; now he’s old enough to apply to join the camp staff as a counselor in training (CIT).

As a CIT, young teens—usually age 14 or older—gain beneficial experience, knowledge and practice that lasts way beyond summer break. Here are 10 practical reasons why a teen should think about joining a camp staff for the summer.

1. New counselors benefit from training.
A portion of the training may be off-site, such as reading manuals and completing online courses, but other new skills—such as recognizing and dealing with potential bullying, inappropriate behaviors, respect for fellow staff and campers, and how to encourage children to participate at activities—will be learned at camp.

2. Camp staff learn CPR and first aid.
This training includes learning to recognize and care for first aid situations such as burns and cuts, neck and back injuries, and heat and (for some far-off sleep-away camps) cold emergencies.

3. Camp staff learn people skills and ways to work together.
Camps typically have weekly staff sessions when counselors share their assessments on how their campers are working together and participate in staff team building. Your teen can learn important people skills that will help her in the future.

4. Feedback helps teen counselors mature and grow.
A well-run camp will have directors and administrators monitor the progress of all staff members and provide them with constructive progress reports throughout the summer session.

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5. Camp counselors are role models.
“Working hard to set a positive example for youth is a challenging growth experience. When was the last time an 18-year-old went nine weeks without swearing, for example?” says psychologist Christopher A. Thurber, author of Summer Camp Handbook.

6. Counselors practice and teach conflict-management strategies.
Staff members learn to recognize conflict and help campers see there are always two sides to a story. Your teen will learn the same conflict resolution skills they are teaching campers.

7. Counselors help campers be good sports.
They need to rally the troops in a competition but also remember to model good sportsmanship, which isn’t always easy to do.

8. Depending upon the camp, being a staff member could be a 24/7 job.
And since electronics are discouraged during camp, it’s a positive environment in which to interact with other staff and campers.

9. Teen counselors may get a chance to laugh at themselves.
Kids can be brutally honest and will point out the counselors’ shortcomings. “So being a camp counselor is, therefore, humbling and tremendously demanding,” Thurber says.

10. Camp counselors speak in front of groups.
They’ll learn to be silly and more outgoing at the same time. Your once shy, awkward teen may come home a bit chattier and more boisterous.

Jan Udlock is a freelance writer and mom of five.

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