Our latest on COVID-19 is available here

Teen leadership

Counselor In Training

Take your skills up a notch!  Be mentored by our experienced Wilderness Instructor staff!  Spend an unforgettable summer in nature forging friendships as part of a team!

Summer CIT Applications open January 2020!

Experience the benefits of our Summer CIT Program!

Our goal is to create powerful growth experiences for all of our teens. Under the wings of our seasoned Wilderness Instructor staff, our youth leaders are in the unique position of simultaneously observing and practicing mentoring skills while being mentored themselves.

As a Counselor In Training with Primitive Pursuits you will have the opportunity to learn and teach side by side with our seasoned staff in the following areas:

  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Earth Living/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills
  • Primitive Technologies
  • Awareness of Self and Others
  • Mentoring Practices
  • Communication and Professionalism

A Day in the Life of a Summer CIT:

Our Counselors In Training become part of a team of instructors working with a group of campers for the week. They arrive at camp early each day to participate in team-building, game-planning and preparation time with the rest of the staff. This sneak peek behind the scenes allows teens to begin developing an awareness for both curriculum design as well as the need for improvisation, making last minute changes due to things like weather or new opportunities. Throughout the day they play dual roles; both as participants, practicing skills along with the group, and as assistants, being called upon to lead activities. At the end of each day they participate in our daily debrief, receiving and offering valuable feedback, sharing stories and closing the circle for the day. Some teens will assist in our after-camp care, Epic Day.

All Summer CITs participate in Coyote Camp, plus two weeks in the CIT program being mentored by and assisting Wilderness Instructors in day camp programs.

Coyote Camp is our week-long teen leadership training experience!

Coyote Camp will be at 4H Acres the week of June 29-July 3, 2020 (Summer Camp Week 1), meeting Monday through Friday during regular Day Camp hours (8:30am-3:30pm). There is an optional Thursday Overnight for 14 and 15 year old CITs.

What to expect from Coyote Camp:

  • Receive direct instruction and mentoring from core Primitive Pursuits staff
  • Practice your own mentoring skills in the field working with younger campers
  • Dive deeper into primitive technology, outdoor and naturalist skills alongside experienced mentors
  • Experience one on one coaching and skill assessment in five core areas: Mentoring Practices, Primitive/Outdoor/Naturalist Skills, Leadership and Teamwork, Communication and Professionalism, and Awareness (Nature, Self, Others, and the Big Picture)
  • Bonus! Receive the coveted, limited edition 2020 Mentor / CIT shirt

Are you ready for the challenge?! Check out the details below:

Details about the Primitive Pursuits CIT program:
  • Who: Teens aged 13 -15
  • When: CIT spaces are available weeks 2-9 of summer camp
  • What: CITs are eligible to work with campers aged 3-10. Occasionally returning CITs are invited to work with instructors in our Advanced and Specialty Camps.
  • How: Fill out the application below. There are limited spaces available in the CIT program and we recommend applying early. We will schedule a phone interview with each applicant in mid-March and start accepting teens into the program in April, 2020.
  • Cost: Price includes All Staff Orientation, Coyote Camp (week-long CIT Training week) plus two weeks as a CIT in the field.
    • New CIT: $300 (14 and 15 year olds are eligible for Thursday overnight add-on @ $65)
    • Returning CIT: $300 (includes Thursday overnight)
    • Ring 2 CIT (by invitation only): $250 (includes Thursday overnight)
  • Additional weeks as a CIT are $50/week and must be approved by the Camp Director.
  • RING 2: A small group of returning CITs will be invited to a "Ring 2" position in Coyote Camp. These experienced CITs will be assigned leadership roles during Coyote Camp and will be guided through an advanced experience while being given more responsibility and opportunities.

CITs are required to:

  • Apply and be accepted into the program
  • Participate in All Staff Training Day (8am-noon on Friday, June 26)
  • Participate in Coyote Camp (June 29-July 3)
  • Receive Mentoring from and Assist our Wilderness Instructors: This is a 40 hour/week commitment for at least 2 weeks over the course of the summer (July 6-Sept 4).
  • CITs are welcome to request additional weeks, however all requests must be approved by the Summer Camp Director.


"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books." John Lubbock

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

Get In Touch

Don't miss a beat, add yourself to our list to get all the latest details.