Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program 

The purpose of the Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program at The Fresh Air Fund is to prepare young adults to take future leadership roles working with children in camps and other professional settings. The CIT program is designed to teach CITs the skills needed to work with children and to help them improve their leadership, team-building, and communication skills. Participants are asked to be role models to young campers by exhibiting positive leadership and behaviors.


All of The Fresh Air Fund camps are located on Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY (65 miles north of NYC). Positions are available at Camp Anita Bliss Coler (ABC), Camp Hayden-Marks, and Camp Tommy. CITs at each camp will live together as a group in rustic cabins that may not have electricity. CITs will be placed at one of the following camps:

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

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

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


All applicants must:

  • Be either 16 or 17 years old by June 27, 2019
  • 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
  • Be available for the entire summer program (see dates below)
  • Be a former Fresh Air Fund participant or a participant of a similar camp program
  • 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


The CIT program runs from June 27, 2019 through August 16, 2019. While our campers attend one camp session, 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 buses to and from camp for CITs during the program.

Session 1 Thursday, June 27 – Friday, July 5

Session 2 Monday, July 8 – Friday, July 19

Session 3 Monday, July 22 – Friday, August 2

Session 4 Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 16


Session 1 – 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 hike on the Appalachian Trail. 

Session 2  Session 2 focuses on continuing preparations for the 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. 

In addition, CITs will have the opportunity to participate in camp-wide community service projects and a guided reading project, as well as plan various programs for the camp community. CITs will have nightly reflections and receive frequent evaluations from CIT staff to continually promote growth. CITs may also obtain CPR and First Aid Certification during their time at camp.


The Fresh Air Fund will process CIT applications as they are received. Applications will be reviewed by a Camp Director once they are complete, which includes three references. The final deadline to submit applications is February 1st, 2019. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible since positions will fill up quickly. Applications that are received after the deadline will be considered if any spots remain in the program. 

  1. Application – Download the 2019 application here. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. CIT Events – All CITs will be invited to participate in events, workshops and a weekend at camp prior to summer. Dates will be given out once accepted into the program. 

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