The Coniston CIT Program

The Coniston Camper-In-Training (CIT) program is a long-standing Camp tradition, and the majority of our senior campers apply for this special teen leadership program when they age-out of Camp.

The CIT program is for campers who are 16 years old by June 24th. The program’s focus is on personal leadership and development — the first step in the Camps leadership training series.

The requirements are rigorous and the training can be demanding, but the rewards are impactful — developing and encouraging responsibility and independence which are essential in our staff’s futures, both here at Coniston and in life.

CIT applications are due by October 1st.  The application is online and can be found in your Camp in Touch account under the Forms and Documents link.  Please e-mail if you have any trouble finding the application.   

CIT-age campers may also choose to participate in the Coniston Service Trips.


    • Age: 16 by June 24th
    • Must have participated in at least one two week session, an adventure camp trip or a service trip
    • Total amount of summers attended or family alumni status does not factor in the selection process
    • International campers ARE eligible for CIT
    • Parents and campers should be aware that foreign citizens not holding a US Passport cannot apply for the 17-year old LIT staff position the following summer. You must be 18 to be eligible for a US J-1 Visa.
Session 1 - W-CITs run in

If you ask your camper or any Conistonian: “Do you want to run into the lake?” the answer is always YES. This CIT rite of passage is a very emotional moment upon each groups return from Mount Washington and the West Coast. It is moments like these that make CIT spots highly desirable among our campers.

Information about how to apply online to be a CIT is passed out during the summer at camper information sessions and on Check-Out days to those who are interested. All eligible campers can access the application online in your Camp In Touch account . Please contact the office if you have any questions about the process.

There is no deposit needed with the application. CIT applications need to be submitted by October 1st. Notification letters are mailed November 15th.

A majority of senior campers apply and spaces are limited, and as a result, we can only accept about half of the applicants each year.

The size of the CIT groups is based on a variety of factors such as group reservations for campsites, transportation space, and Coniston adopt-a-cabin spaces. There is no deposit needed with the application. CIT applications need to be submitted by October 1st. Notification letters are mailed on November 15th.

This is a 4-week leadership program with a focus on personal leadership and team-building in regard to working with youth. CITs will shadow and teach in Coniston program areas and adopt a cabin where they role model for current campers.

CITs must plan to attend the full 4-weeks.

The program includes wilderness experiences and American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification Training, which require a certain amount of fitness.

CITs are based at Coniston the entire 4 weeks. This program does various hikes and special trips with their directors around NH. The highlight excursion is backpacking on Mt. Washington!

CIT Directors will challenge the CITs to think about and discuss camper safety issues, homesickness strategies, appropriate boundaries, camper development issues and counselor techniques.

It is important to remember that CITs are still campers and not on staff. Their special leadership program is co-ed, and includes much autonomy. They are expected to demonstrate excellent behavior and positively role model to campers. They will be held accountable for any inappropriate actions.

Primary goals are to develop leadership, introduce safety awareness & encourage problem solving and independence, which are essential in our future staff members.

The CIT daily routine is much different than that of the other campers. If you have any questions about sibling interactions with CITs please contact us in the office.

  • Follow all Camp rules
  • Be a role model to all campers
  • Take initiative
  • Show respect to all
  • Be involved
  • Remain honest
  • Show positive enthusiasm
  • Be responsible
  • Think before I react
  • Be a good friend & listener
  • Learn CPR, First Aid & Lifeguarding
  • Show compassion
  • Make a difference at Coniston!!!

This is a tough question to answer. There is a different pool of applicants each year with different strengths, making it impossible to give a concrete answer.

Every applicant is a great camper who has attended camp and is well-liked; leaving small details to tip the scale in an individual’s favor. Our best advice is to take the application process seriously, and do your very best on every aspect of what you submit.

  • Take time to think out the answers to the questions (below) before you log in to fill out the application. The system only gives 45 minutes in the application so if you have your answers written out and ready to copy/paste you can fill out the application more quickly.

  • Meet the Deadline: October 1st  – everything must be received in the office by that date – Because of the popularity of this program, many more applications are received than can be accepted.  It does affect your acceptance if your application is late.

  • Read the Application carefully: everything you need to do is written in the instructions.

  • Be sure your 3 letters of recommendation are done on time.

  • These letters should come from someone other than a family member who can provide us with information regarding your work with children and leadership potential. A teacher, coach, guidance counselor, mentor, club advisor, youth minister, rabbi, employer, volunteer organizer, etc are excellent recommendations.

  • Do not ask your most recent (current) cabin counselors, they provide a camper cabin report at the end of each session that will be reviewed. You may ask another camp staff person but the maximum of camp staff recommendations is ONE.

  • Please do not feel that you have to get a camp staff member to write you a recommendation.

  • Note: If any part of your application is received after October 1st your application is marked late.

  • Please do not mark sessions that you cannot accept.

  • Do not send a check/deposit with your application.

  • Notification letters will go out via US Postal Service on November 15th.

  • You will need to be patient for that letter, do not call the office unless an extended amount of time has occurred.

  • Not everyone makes CIT. We have wonderful campers, but there are limited CIT spaces.

  • Accepted CIT’s must complete and return the enrollment form with your $600 non-refundable deposit to enroll and follow the same payment & cancellation guidelines as traditional campers.

Sample itinerary based on last year’s program: activities are subject to change.

  • Days 1-4:

    At Coniston learn about camp, get to know each other, prepare to work in cabin and program areas! Take day trips to local outfitters to build teamwork and explore the local area! 

  • Day 5-13:

    At Coniston learn about camp, work with your adopted cabin and program areas and participate in ongoing leadership training.

  • Day 14: Session 1 Check Out – You can go home or arrange to stay changeover through the office (a fee will apply). 

  • Day 15:

    Travel to Millinocket, Maine. Spend the night at Three Rivers Campground. 

  • Day 16 – 17:

    Start a 2-day rafting trip down Class V rapids on the Penobscot River! Spend the night on Three Rivers’ private island and enjoy some of the best white water on the East Coast! 

  • Day 18:

    Head to Mt. Washington and start hike from Pinkham Notch to Hermits Lake Shelter at the base of Tuckerman’s Ravine. 

  • Day 19:

    Wake up and hike to the summit of Mt. Washington! Have lunch and then head down the Crawford Path to AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut. 

  • Day 20:

    Leave Lakes of the Clouds and hike back to Pinkham Notch. Enjoy the views! Spend the night celebrating at Moose Head State Park. 

  • Day 21:

    Wake up, pack up and return to Coniston. RUN INTO THE LAKE!!!! 

  • Day 22:

    Enjoy chapel and Sunday program as you reflect on your big trip. 

  • Day 23 -27:

    Lifeguard certification class! Learn how to be a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard. 

  • Day 28:

    CITs Check-Out. 

Sample itinerary based on last year’s program: activities are subject to change.

  • Day 1:

    Check-In Day! Get to know each other, and preparation for your trip! 

  • Day 2:

    Fly Out West You’re Headed to SOUTH DAKOTA!! 

  • Day 3:

    Head to Dupree, SD. Today you will meet the staff from the YMCA of the Seven Council Fires. We will spend time learning about how they run their programs and prepare for our time working with them. 

  • Day 4-5:

    Work with YMCA of the Seven Council Fires at their playground day camp program running group games, arts & crafts and more! In the afternoon of the 29th travel to Badlands National Park. 

  • Day 6-7:

    Explore Badlands National Park. Hike fossil trail and castle trail while exploring all the park has to offer. Be sure to count how many bison and bighorn sheep you see! Spend the nights at Ceder Pass campground. 

  • Day 8:

    Wake up, pack up, head out to YMCA Camp Marrowbone. Get ready for a lifechanging week! 

  • Day 9-13:

    Spend the days practicing your leadership skills through being full immersed in camp life at YMCA Camp Marrowbone. Spend the evenings reflecting on the day and exploring the local area. After saying goodbye to our new friends at YMCA Camp Marrowbone on Friday afternoon, travel to Wind Cave National Park.

  • Day 14-15:

    Spend the weekend exploring Wind Cave National Park. Enjoy rock climbing with Sylvan Rock Climbing School. Travel to Rapid City, SD to prepare for your flight back east. 

  • Day 16: Fly into in Boston. Collect your bags and travel back camp. RUN INTO THE LAKE!!! 
  • Day 17 – 22:

    Putting all you learned from YMCA Camp Marrowbone to practice at Coniston through working with your adopted cabin and program areas and participating in ongoing leadership training. 

  • Day 23-27:

    Lifeguard certification class! Learn how to be a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard. 

  • Day 28:

    CITs Check-Out. 


cit photo gallery