Leadership Development Program

The Camp Hawkeye Leadership Development Program is a progressive two-year experience.  It delivers training and experience, direction and mentoring, as well as opportunities for application of leadership.  The first year is a 4 or 8 week experience as part of the Counselor in Training program (CiT), and the second year a 5 week experience as a member of the Junior Counselor group (JC).

The two-year program bridges the transition from camper to staff member and provides the foundational elements to each participant's growth into a great counselor.  The changing expectations from camper to staff, from "kid" to "adult" in the context of our camp community can be challenging.  The guidance and mentoring provided by the CiT Coordinator and subsequently the JC Supervisor support a positive and productive transition.

Year 1: CiT Program Provides:

  • Opportunity to live without direct staff oversight
  • Comprehensive polished written resume
  • Practice and utilize interviewing skills
  • Two-week program area apprenticeship
  • Special activities small-group leadership
  • Weekly workshops on counseling skills

Year 2: JC Program Provides:

  • Opportunity to live separately from campers
  • Manage your own schedule
  • Additional unscheduled daily free-time in camp
  • Optional participation in pre-camp staff training
  • Sit in on all in-summer staff meetings and training
  • Right of first refusal on open staff positions next year


CiT's - The Best of Both Worlds

What is a CiT? At Hawkeye CiT is an acronym for Counselor in Training. These community members are all young adults, sixteen or seventeen years old, which are in a transitional role between campers and counselors.  It's the best of both worlds; participate in Capture the Flag, dig up a treasure chest, and discover Tribe Eggs, while having a schedule with more freedom and responsibility.

Being a CiT is truly awesome.  Moving out of a traditional camper role CiT’s enjoy greater freedoms around camp while still not burdened with the tasks of a counselor.  CiT’s live in their own cabins, operate on a different schedule, and play a more central role in many special and everyday activities.

  • To qualify as a CiT candidates MUST be 16 years of age on or before the first day of their session of participation.
  • CiT’s MUST come for either a four (4) week half or an eight (8) week full session.
  • CiT’s MUST have attended Hawkeye at least one summer previously OR complete the CiT Recommendation Form and have a short interview with the Director. 

The CiT program was created for two reasons; (1) to allow for the further participation of slightly older individuals, 16 & 17 year-olds, in our camp community, and, (2) to train interested individuals to be capable and reliable counselors in our program.

Each CiT’s time at camp is divided into four categories:

  1. At a chosen apprentice area in camp learning from an experienced counselor about that distinct area.  Apprenticeships take up between eight (8) and fifteen (15) hours each week.
  2. Engaged in CiT specific group training led by Leadership Staff – trainings may include Basics of Group Management, Team Building Activities, First Aid/CPR Certification Course, and many others.
  3. Completing CiT specific in camp responsibilities such as Dish Room management, once weekly meal preparation, once per session all-camp special activity planning, and others.
  4. Having Fun participating in the program as a camper might during special activities, at program areas, or on out of camp trips.

At the start of the session CiT’s choose one or more program areas in which to spend their apprenticeship time during which they learn the many varied skills of activity planning, counseling, and leadership that are necessary to be a dependable, qualified, and caring camp counselor.

CiT’s are overseen by a member of the Leadership Staff who acts as mentor, supervisor and, at times, cabin counselor.  This staff member tracks and evaluates each CiT’s progress over the course of the summer.  S/he ensures that each CiT is comfortable in their role, learning their desired skills, and being properly utilized in their chosen program areas.  A CiT may switch their specialty area if both the CiT and mentor believe this beneficial to the camp community.

            CiT’s that complete the program successfully are given right of first refusal for Junior Counselors in the following summer.  It is our goal to develop responsible and capable staff members that take on significant leadership roles within our community.


JC's - The Challenge is Here

What is a JC?  Young adults, seventeen to twenty years old, on the cusp of counselorship.  Live in the Staff Cabin, check, even more freedom, check, and further increased responsibility, double-check.

If you want to be a cabin counselor at 18 years old...you've got to be a JC.  Tackling this program and pinning it for the win gives you a leg up on staff roles for next year.  Not only are you first in line but you've got extra training, experience, and valuable time in the staff world.

  • To qualify as a JC candidates MUST be 17 years of age on or before the first day of their session of participation.
  • JC’s MUST come for either of the four (4) week half sessions (JC's do not come for eight weeks).
  • JC’s MUST have attended Hawkeye at least one summer previously OR complete the JC Recommendation Form and have an in depth interview with the Director. 

The JC program was created for two reasons; (1) to bridge the gap in participation for older participants, and, (2) to expose future counselors to the background and support responsibilities around camp in order to understand the organization from the back end front and gain an appreciation for the non-counseling work that goes into every activity and every day.

Each JC’s time at camp is divided into four categories:

  1. Managing the Iron Chef program - learning and teaching to make homemade bread for the entire community.  This role is done in pairs and is assigned weekly.
  2. As an assistant to the Chef in the kitchen.  Learn how the meals are made, take responsibility for helping with inventory management, as well as organization and planning for meals.
  3. As an assistant to the Maintenance Coordinator.  Learn how to care for the property, tackle a JC project each session, and get trained to use lots of cool tools.
  4. Having Fun participating in the program during evening and special activities, or, or on out of camp trips.

JC's have a significant amount of free time in camp.  The learning and required responsibilities only account for 6-7 hours of each day.  The rest of the time can be spent participating in something fun around camp, laying in a hammock, or any other camp appropriate free time endeavor.  JC's have one day out of camp with staff each week and additional time off each night.

JC’s that complete the program successfully are given right of first refusal for Cabin Staff openings in the following summer.  We want to hire you!  Be awesome and give us no other choice.


Promotion from CiT to JC

Each year our Counselor in Training group can number from 8 - 24 participants.  That number is pared down when it comes to Junior Counselor applications.  The JC program accommodates a maximum of 12 participants for half of the summer each.