CIT program

The purpose of the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program is to prepare young adults for future leadership roles working with children in camps and other professional settings. Participants develop leadership, team-building, and communication skills, and are asked to be role models to campers by exhibiting positive leadership and behaviors.

Positions are available at Camp Anita Bliss Coler (ABC), Camp Hayden-Marks, Camp Hidden Valley, and Camp Tommy. CITs at each camp will live together as a group in rustic cabins that may not have electricity.


All who qualify are welcome to apply. Former FAF participants are given priority. 

All applicants must:

  • Be either 16 or 17 years old by June 29, 2020
  • Meet the program requirements for The Fresh Air Fund:
    • Must live in and go to school in one of NYC’s five boroughs AND
    • Must be eligible for free or reduced lunch under the USDA income guidelines
  • Have an interest in working with children and improving leadership and communication skills through workshops and hands-on activities in an outdoor setting
  • Be flexible and open to trying new programs and being a cooperative member of a team
  • CITs are required to attend all four sessions in order to successfully complete the program. Between each session listed below, CITs will return home for approximately three days. The Fresh Air Fund will provide transportation at the start and end of each camp session.

                    Session 1          Mon, June 29 – Fri, July 10

                    Session 2         Mon, July 13 – Fri, July 24

                    Session 3         Mon, July 27 – Fri, Aug 7

                    Session 4         Mon, Aug 10 – Fri, Aug 21

Summer Highlights

CITs will be placed at one of the following camps:

Camp ABC                                     Serves campers ages 9-15, all-girls

Camp Hayden Marks                 Serves campers ages 9-12, all-boys

Camp Tommy                               Serves campers ages 12-15, all-boys

Camp Hidden Valley                   Serves campers 8-12, co-ed boys and girls

Session 1
Focuses heavily on skill building workshops centered on professional development, self-exploration, understanding camp life, team building, and beginning mental and physical training for the 4 day hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Session 2
Focuses on continuing preparations for the 4 day hike. CITs begin observing and shadowing program areas to understand the roles and responsibilities of staff members at camp.

Session 3
CITs will hike the Appalachian Trail. CITs will also shadow general counselors to gain more hands on experience working with children.

Session 4
Each CIT is placed with a group of campers to fully assist in the day to day responsibilities of camp staff in caring for campers.

CITs may also obtain CPR and First Aid Certification during their time at camp.

Application Process

To apply for the CIT program, interested applicants will attend an information session in December or January. The information session will include information about the program and the next steps of the application process. All applicants must submit a child application and attend a group interview. 

To sign up for an information session, please call the Camping Department at 212-897-8919.

What’s Next

1. Application
Complete the application in detail and send the reference forms to the people filling them out for you. The reference forms can be returned with your application or can be sent directly to The Fresh Air Fund. Completed applications and references should be submitted by mail or email. Our contact information is listed on page 1 of the application.

2. Interview
We will contact applicants with an update on their status within a few weeks of receiving the application. Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis and final decisions will be made by early April.

3. Program Paperwork
All accepted CITs will be required to submit a completed Fresh Air Fund camper application, which includes a medical form. CITs will need to submit additional paperwork to attend the program. All documents must be submitted by the set deadline in order for CITs to attend camp.

4, Parent/Guardian Orientation
All CITs and a parent/guardian must attend an orientation session at our New York City office. We will discuss the program in more detail and go over additional information about the summer.

We look forward to receiving your application! If you have any questions, please contact us at 212-897-8919.