Counselor-In-Training (CIT) Program

Gain experience and have fun working with kids of all ages.

This program at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a summer volunteer opportunity for teenagers who desire to gain practical, hands-on work experience teaching children in a camp setting as well as increase their knowledge of the natural world.

Applications are currently closed.

The CIT program is a highly competitive program which requires an in-person interview including parents, negative TB test, and background check. Only 6 teens are accepted per 5 week session for a total of 12 CITs per summer.

For more information, please contact Alma Ruffin at 803.602.0885.

Program Advantages The CIT program is a volunteer/non-paid apprenticeship where participants learn by doing. CITs work directly with camp counselors and Zoo campers while participating in behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters and other fun activities. Check out some of the awesome advantages of becoming a CIT.

  • Gain work experience while having fun and working with kids of all ages.
  • Gain important leadership, communication, team building, group management and activity planning skills.
  • Personal development.
  • Explore future career possibilities.
  • Gain experience needed to work at camp in the future as a paid counselor.
  • Plus, second year or returning CITs are eligible to present and handle education animals including small mammals, invertebrates, salamanders, snakes, lizards and turtles! (Animal handling is a privilege that requires prior approval, a negative TB test, additional training hours and responsibilities.)

Program Requirements Review and consider if interested in becoming a CIT. All associated costs are covered by volunteers and not reimbursable by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

  • High school students who are at least 15 years old.
  • Students who have had prior experience working/volunteering with children.
  • CITs are required to attend a full day Training Orientation on Saturday, May 31, 2014, from 9:00am–4:30pm, and work one full 5-week session of camp. A full camp week is Monday–Friday, 8:15am–3:15pm.
  • Every Thursday, CITs are required to stay until 4:00pm for a staff meeting and team building.
  • CITs will be assigned to work either Session 1 (June 9–July 11 with July 4th off) or Session 2 (July 14–August 15.) Please mark on your application if you are available to work either session. Session 1 is always more popular!
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