The Staff in Training program at Ranch Camp is an immersive leadership program focused on giving teens the experience and support to learn how to be inspiring, supportive leaders of youth. The program this summer will have several new features: an additional SIT director to offer more feedback and guidance, trainings prior to integrating into cabin life, off-site experiences and opportunities to pursue more specific interests including specialty tracks and trip training. Our goals for this program are to grow the most confident and competent leaders that have empathy, creativity and the ability to tackle and solve problems!
Session A (June 18 – July 11) @ $1,995
Session B (July 13 – 30) @ $1,660
Session Baktanna (August 1 – 4) @ 10 SIT’s and WIT’s will be invited back to participate in this experience at no cost and will work to plan activities with our youngest campers.
**Plus one day of attendance during our staff training, optional but highly encouraged. Specific date TBD.**
Session A: (21 Day Program) Participants will get an outstanding leadership training experience focused on how to teach children skills, inspire their confidence, handle challenging situations and great strong community! SIT’s will both receive mentorship from key staff members but will also give guidance and support to matched first time campers.
- June 18 – 24: First week spent training to be good leaders and counselors for camper aged kids, participating in camp programs to promote SIT group unity and beginning work directly with campers and staff.
- June 25 – 26: Off-site adventure! Enjoy an SIT’s and WIT’s only overnight camping trip and adventure with your SIT leaders and prepare for the next two weeks.
- June 27 – July 11: Hands on training and leadership experience! Be completely immersed and integrated into camp life. Each SIT will be matched with a specialty track (Sports, Outdoor Adventure, Traditional (Youngest Campers) or Creative Arts) where they will assist in programming and leading activities and lessons alongside program staff. SIT’s will also begin to integrate into the cabin groups and work with bunk staff to create group unity and to support campers during their time at camp. SIT’s will continue to receive daily training and will have the opportunity to plan an all camp program!
Session B: (18 Day Program) Participants will get an outstanding leadership training experience focused on how to teach children skills, inspire their confidence, handle challenging situations and great strong community! SIT’s will both receive mentorship from key staff members but will also give guidance and support to matched first time campers!
- Jul7 13 – 18: First 5 days spent training to be good leaders and counselors for camper aged kids, participating in camp programs to promote SIT group unity and beginning work directly with campers and staff.
- July 19 – 21:
- Option #1: Future trip leader training (Be prepared to camp and hike!)
- Option #2: Future Specialty leader training (With an area of your choice)
- July 21 – 30: SIT’s will begin to integrate into the cabin groups and work with bunk staff to create group unity and to support campers during their time at camp. SIT’s will continue to receive daily training and will have the opportunity to plan an all camp program! Mentoring with madrichim and specialists will be set up with appropriate matches and SIT’s will plan and facilitate an all camp program while continuing with daily leadership training and debriefs. This time period will also include a IT day off which will be planned by the IT cohort.
After spending my summer in the SIT Program at Ranch Camp…
- I will have planned and performed both educational programs and recreational programs for campers.
- I will have a firm grasp on how to interact with campers, staff and Administration in formal and informal situations, skills which I can be use in any work or school setting.
- I will be prepared for the responsibilities and privileges of being a staff member at Ranch Camp or a member of any work force.
- I will have enjoyed my last summer as a camper, celebrated by special trips and activities that recognize both their child and adult status and creating memories and friendships that last for years.
- I will have learned a specific skill which will qualify me for specialists’ positions in the future at Ranch Camp or any other summer camp.
As part of learning leadership and “expert” skills, SIT’s work side-by-side with Camp Specialists, shadowing them and learning proficiency in their area of expertise. Here is a list of the possible areas of emphasis that SIT’s can choose to explore:
- Corral (WIT’s)
- Drama (Theater)
- Israeli Dance
- Israeli Culture
- Mountain Biking
- Pool (Lifeguarding certification required)
- Teva (Nature and Farming)
- Madrich/Madricha (General Counselor)
- Ropes Course (High and Low and Climbing Wall)
As part of the SIT experience, SIT’s are paired with a staff member who will act as a mentor. The mentors are there to help answers questions, and give advice. These mentor relationships are a unique way of forming bonds between current and future staff members, creating a connected, ever-growing community at the Ranch Camp. SIT’s will also act as mentors to first time campers helping to integrate them into camp life and being a positive welcoming force.
Why should teens participate the SIT Program instead of getting a job?
Ranch camp celebrates the S.I.T.’s role as the oldest campers while giving the S.I.T.’s experience in the responsibilities and privileges of being staff members. They learn interpersonal and personal skills that will assist them with schoolwork, in group settings, and employment in any field they choose to explore in the future. In addition to all this learning and growing, S.I.T.’s spend their summer forming relationships within in the Jewish Community; making connections with peers and older staff members, creating and solidifying friendships that last a lifetime.
Why do S.I.T’s have to pay to learn how to be staff members at camp? Why can’t they go to camp without paying or being paid?
The S.I.T. program aims to teach teens a large amount of skills in a short amount of time in order to best prepare them for future success in a camp setting, and the best way to do that is to allow them to learn experientially, by doing. While S.I.T.’s are given responsibility and opportunities for leadership at camp they are still legally considered campers. As such they will not be alone with campers and will always have the guidance of staff mentors.
Tuition for the S.I.T program goes into training experiences, having multiple highly qualified educators as staff members, SIT specific programming, camp activity participation and off-site excursions.
This summer, 10 S.I.T’s and W.I.T’s will be offered an additional leadership experience during the Baktanna Session at no cost.
If my teen goes through the SIT program this summer, will s/he be guaranteed a position at JCC Ranch Camp the following summer?
No. Each year our staff has to apply for their desired position, submit an application for review, and participate in an interview in order to be hired. However, going through the SIT program gives an added competitive edge to teens who apply for staff positions at camp in the future. The teen and his/her character and work ethic will already well known to camp staff. Those involved in the hiring process recognize that successful participation in the SIT program equates to being a fully prepared staff member. Pending a successful completion of the S.I.T. program, the SIT will most likely be highly desirable to fill a Staff position in following years, and will be on track to be a part of the Ranch Camp Staff Family for years to come!