CIT Programs: Berkeley & Oakland Summer Camps - 510 Families

CIT Programs: Berkeley & Oakland Summer Camps

This guide is for CIT programs and other leadership opportunities at East Bay summer camps. We thank Monkey Business Camp for sponsoring it.

My kids have envisioned themselves being future counselors at every camp they’ve attended. But how do they get there?

Many summer camps have Junior Counselor or Counselor-In-Training programs, some that start as young as 10 years old, through which kids get a chance to get a little more behind the scenes, to learn some leadership skills, and to prepare for future employment opportunities. The details of CIT programs range greatly: some campers earn the title just by signing up and paying fees, while some require an application process.

Kids dance in the field at Monkey Business camp
Campers dance in the fields in Tilden Park with young leaders | Photo: Monkey Business Camp

East Bay camps with CIT programs (2022)

The following camps have let 510Families.com know that they have a youth leadership or CIT program. Find details such as age and application process on their websites.

Find the Best East Bay Summer Camps with Youth Leadership Programs

ad for camp galileo

Camp Galileo

Camp description

At Camp Galileo, pre-K – rising 10th graders engage in hands-on, STEAM-based learning that helps them create a bright future. Supported by the best staff around, kids get inspired to turn their big ideas into reality—and have the fun-filled summer of their lives. Optional extended care.

Youth Leadership Program

Counselors in Training: Rising 7th – 10th Graders. CITs spend an unforgettable summer taking charge and taking on new challenges, including mentoring younger campers, pitching in with camp operations

Fees and Payment for CIT: $500 per week
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for math camp

FireCracker Math

Camp description

Firecracker Math In-person Day Camps are for curious and challenge-loving kids ages 6 - 16. Camps combines half-day math instruction followed by optional fun activities in the afternoon. Hybrid live-online Summer Math Boost Program also available.

Youth Leadership Program

Counselors lead kids through math and recreation activities, support instructors, learn to create fun math activities and games. Apply via email to info@FirecrackerMath.org

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs get paid and do not have to pay camp fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Go Girls!

Camp description

Go Girls!™️ is an empowering experience for girls & gender-expansive youth. By making theater, art, music, and media, campers learn to love themselves and each other and make brave choices in their lives and communities. Schoolyear program is in multiple school sites in Oakland and Berkeley.

Youth Leadership Program

CITs educate, inspire, & activate campers at Go Girls! and will affirm their boldest and bravest selves as they learn advocacy and allyship for others in their family and community.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs pay camp fees for the first summer
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Bay Area Children's Theatre Summer Camps

Camp description

Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) Camps provide award-winning performance training opportunities. Your child will have a blast singing, dancing, and performing on stage in their favorite Disney musical or Broadway show. Beginners to seasoned actors are welcome.

Youth Leadership Program

Student Leaders (age 12-14) work with staff to coordinate camp events & support campers in daily activities. CITs (15-16) lead warm-ups & run games with less oversight. Counselors are aged 17-18.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Ages 12-16 pay a fee of $100
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Mr. D's Music Club

Camp description

Mr. D's Music Club's award-winning summer camps offer high-energy days of singing, dancing, acting, art, fun, and friends! Camp includes picnic lunches, games, talent shows, pizza lunch, and a Friday performance. Discover one of Oakland’s "best-kept secrets". Voted Best of the Best 2021.

Youth Leadership Program

Leader-In-Training (LIT) program is designed for 14-15-year-olds to have a work-like experience while developing leadership skills, assisting Teaching Artists, and participating in camp activities.

Fees and Payment for CIT: LITs pay camp fees. Discounts for multiple weeks.
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

monkey business 2020 468

Monkey Business Camp

Camp description

Classic day camp, 100% unplugged and outdoors. Join the 24th summer full of nature exploration, arts & crafts, field games, songs, hikes, board games, and more! Three-week session offerings, for building connections between staff and campers and the land in Tilden Park. Campers ages 5-10. Youth Leaders 11+.

Youth Leadership Program

Youth Leaders bring a caring, playful, energetic vibe, co-creating the magic and fun that makes each camp unforgettable, learning skills along the way. CIT is 11+, JC is 14+.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs pay same rate as campers; JCs pay reduced rate.
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Black Oak Wilderness Camps at Wildcat Canyon Community School

Camp description

Black Oak Wilderness Camp is a nonprofit aiming to increase access to nature education for students from historically excluded or marginalized communities. Campers have 90 acres to roam, play, explore, craft, and have fun. Themes include archery and bow making, blacksmithing, wilderness survival, bike shop, and farming.

Youth Leadership Program

CITs, or IITs (Instructors in Training), learn leadership, group management, and administrative skills as well as assist in skills specific to each camp.

Fees and Payment for CIT: They have both unpaid internships and paid positions
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for ecole french camp

Le Camp D'Été from Ecole Bilingue

Camp description

Le Camp d'Été is an extension program of Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley. Children will expand their French skills in a nurturing and fun atmosphere. Previous exposure to French language is not required. Students will become more curious, confident, and creative learners.

Youth Leadership Program

The CIT's primary job is assisting camp counselors with student supervision, completing projects, and supervising playtime. Must enjoy young kids!

Fees and Payment for CIT: No fees or payment
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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The Lawrence Summer Camps

Camp description

Inspire your child’s curiosity with a two-week camp program at The Lawrence Hall of Science. With a wide variety of subjects to choose from, your camper could explore animal habitats, build arcade games, journey to the stars, and more!

Youth Leadership Program

Inspire youth and explore science education in the Teen Internship Program! Experience a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Interns receive a $3,500 stipend for the summer
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Camp Doodles

Camp description

Campers age 3+ grow their creative intelligence through making and art. Engage in weekly themes about basic engineering, renewable fuels, propulsion and others. There is something to inspire every child including building, woodworking, sculpting, cooking, and sports & games.

Youth Leadership Program

LITs are given responsibility to assist with general camp operations, guide younger campers through projects, and work on their own projects.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Pay camp fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for uc berkeley camps

Cal Youth Camps

Camp description

Cal Youth Camps offer a wide variety of award-winning summer camps, sports and outdoor activities, including swimming, sailing, windsurfing, skateboarding, gymnastics, martial arts, rock climbing, and more for ages 4-17. Drop-ins, 1- and 2-week sessions, extended care, payment plans, financial aid available.

Youth Leadership Program

Teen Leadership Program offers a variety of opportunities for counselors-in-training and junior counselors, including roles in specialized camps (sailing, rock climbing, etc.)

Fees and Payment for CIT: Varies by program; see website for details.
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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CAMP 510

Camp description

CAMP 510 is a values-driven summer day-camp with the mission to cultivate confident and creative young makers. CAMPers learn cooking, welding, sewing, art, music, and more in the spirit D-I-T (do it together); guided through unique projects by professional artists and makers. Ages 6-14.

Youth Leadership Program

Counselors and CITs are the bridge between campers and teaching artists and make camp a terrific experience, all while developing skills and work experience and discovering new interests.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Counselors get paid, CIT's pay a camp fee
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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The Crucible Youth Summer Camp

Camp description

Hands-on STEM concepts through the industrial arts. Campers experiment with different media and techniques to create unique works of art. Choose from blacksmithing, welding, woodworking, jewelry. Students develop creative problem solving, scientific principles, and teamwork. Ages 8 to 18.

Youth Leadership Program

Fuego is a youth leadership opportunity for high school students excited about deepening their technical skills, learning leadership skills, and supporting The Crucible’s youth classes.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Youth leaders get paid
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for st pauls day camp

St. Paul's Summer Camp

Camp description

St. Paul's Summer Camp is exciting, fun, and energy-filled with lots of options. Specialized themes include art, math, basketball, cycling, or you can pick a medley for oodles of activities indoors and out.

Youth Leadership Program

Counselor In Training, C.I.T.s (7th - 9th graders) will develop and practice skills in leadership, critical thinking, communication, conflict resolution, and organizational skills. 8 weeklong sessions

Fees and Payment for CIT: There is a $200 fee per week.
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for abundant summers nature camp

Abundant Summers

Camp description

Get hyped for an unplugged summer of building community in nature. At Abundant Summers, they sparkle for justice through dancing, climbing trees, learning chants, creating art, hiking, and getting silly in the forest together.

Youth Leadership Program

Abundant Summers Liberation Leaders Counselors-In-Training (ages 9 to 13) flex their freedom fighter skills and support younger campers. They lead games, plan art projects, and of course, play!

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs pay reduced cost camp fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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Berkeley Day Camp

Camp description

Berkeley Day Camp is a fun, engaging, and traditional outdoor experience at the Berkeley Waterfront. Campers explore shoreline habitats, canoe, make arts & crafts, play at the acclaimed Adventure Playground, and go on special adventures.

Youth Leadership Program

Berkeley Day Camp C.I.T. program serves 14-15 year-olds. CIT's prep and develop activities for youth camp and many CIT's go on to become staff.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Pay fee's- $194 per week
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for one generation

One Generation Music & Culture Camp

Camp description

One Generation Camp is an outdoor music and dance camp in Tilden Park, featuring West African hand drumming and dance, Brazilian Capoeira, Body Percussion, and Cuban Dance. They focus on building community, teaching kindness and other cultures through the arts.

Youth Leadership Program

An amazing opportunity to learn leadership skills, our CIT's help teachers with team building, games, and general group dynamics.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs are welcome for no fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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3DMAKERCAMP

Camp description

Make and take 3D printed toys, laser-cut clocks, vinyl cut stickers, and more at this high-tech STEAM makerspace. Campers learn 2D/3D software and how to use 3D printers, laser cutters, and vinyl cutters. Extra fun includes outdoor sports and activities.

Youth Leadership Program

Knowledgable, caring, and patient student interns will be available to supplement the instruction and provide one-on-one support to individuals or small groups while learning career skills.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs are paid through OUSD ECCCO program
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for pear tree camp

Pear Tree Summer Camp

Camp description

Pear Tree Summer Camp is packed with arts, sports, science & culinary projects based on exciting weekly themes for ages 4 to 11. Older campers take walking field trips. They offer morning academics to prevent summer learning loss.

Youth Leadership Program

Counselors In Training, CITs ages 11-13, support younger campers, gain experience in leadership training/community building, play games, and more.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs pay fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for camp edmo

Camp EDMO

Camp description

EDMO is back with incredible summer programming to help kids learn something new, all while having fun. Join a summer filled with science, technology, maker projects, and art with a social-emotional learning twist. You choose online or in-person.

Youth Leadership Program

The LIT program rotates weekly through five camp themes — Leadership, Teamwork, Emotional Intelligence, Diversity + Inclusion, and Work Ethic.

Fees and Payment for CIT: Leaders in Training pay $50 per week
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for claremont kids camp

Adventure Day Camp at the Claremont Club & Spa

Camp description

Adventure Day Campers will return home and happy and fulfilled from a day full of creativity, excitement, and discovery. A day in camp will consist of arts & crafts, swimming in the Claremont pools, field games, and recreational activities.

Youth Leadership Program

CIT camp is an opportunity for ages 11-14 to gain experience in the childcare field while having a blast through leadership exercises, positive communication skills, and peer-to-peer relationships.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs Pay Camp Fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for sticky art camp

Sticky Art Lab

Camp description

Sticky Art Lab hosts an array of art-based maker camps with different lead artists each week. Expect a focus on reuse and a balance of structured teaching and free-building. Themes include clay, sewing, mixed media sculptures, gadgets & games, painting, and stop-motion animation.

Youth Leadership Program

Sticky Art Lab CIT will demonstrate creativity, compassion, collaboration, and will cultivate good leadership skills while crafting with our campers. Email to apply: camp@stickyartlab.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CIT do not need to pay camp fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

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PlanetBravo Techno-tainment Camp

Camp description

From the beginning, PlanetBravo's award-winning summer camp has always been about giving kids a fun, confidence-boosting experience where they can explore and develop new multimedia skills with their friends. Kids will learn all kinds of technology from coding to movie making.

Youth Leadership Program

The Counselor in Training program is a volunteer position open to former campers entering the 10th grade. Email info@planetbravo.com to inquire.

Fees and Payment for CIT: No payment or fees
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for camp elmwood

Camp Elmwood

Camp description

An urban adventure camp for ages 6 to 13. Since 1973, Camp Elmwood is a community service program of St. John’s in Berkeley, emphasizing creativity, values, and concern for the environment and others. ONE WEEK ONLY.

Youth Leadership Program

Teen Leadership Camp: a week of learning leadership skills, child development, and classroom management for ages 14 to 18

Fees and Payment for CIT: Teen leaders are paid $50 + earn 60 community service hours
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

ad for sup camp

SUP Camp with Mike's Paddle

Camp description

Mike's Paddle SUP camps are nonstop fun regardless of prior experience. All programs feature both water and land activities, nature lessons, games, safety, and, stand-up paddling! Camp promotes team-building, provides an environment to foster new friendships, and encourages an active lifestyle.

Youth Leadership Program

With direct experience helping customers and coaching camp participants, kids in our Leadership Training gain both a leg up on their peers and an impressive experience to put on their resumes.

ad for teen leaders

Urban Adamah Youth Leaders

Camp description

Urban Adamah needs youth leaders at their magical, Jewish-inspired urban farm. Teens build leadership skills while caretaking for the animals, plants, and young campers. CITs (grades 7-9) and Teen interns (grades 10-12) participate as part of a 3-week cohort.

Youth Leadership Program

CIT (grades 7-9) and Camp Interns (grades 10-12) foster leadership skills with young campers on an urban farm in 3-week cohorts. CIT’s pay fees. Interns are paid.

Fees and Payment for CIT: CITs pay fees $1,635 per 3-week session (earlybird discount available); Teen interns are unpaid volunteers
View Camp Website for Camper Leadership info >>

urban adamah teens light a fire
Urban Adamah needs youth leaders (grades 7 to 12) at their Jewish-inspired urban farm as part of a 3-week cohort. | Photo: Urban Adamah

Other cool summer programs for teens & pre-teens in the East Bay

Echo Lake Camp and Tuolomne Family Camp CIT Program

For kids entering 10th-12th grade who are comfortable being away from home, City of Berkeley hosts a training program at these residential camps, where teens will be either at a Family Camp as staffers or an overnight camp for kids. More details >

Community Reading Buddies (Oakland)

For teens who want to do service work over the summer, Aspire Education project has created Community Reading Buddies through which Middle and High School students will work with Pre-K-3rd grade reading buddies in school settings around Oakland. The goal is literacy intervention and the teens will be trained on a reading curriculum. Learn more >

Volunteer Match (throughout Alameda County)

This website lists volunteer opportunities such as assembling lunches for homeless people, walking dogs at the SPCA, and office work. Visit Volunteer Match >

Youth Umpire Program for El Cerrito Youth Baseball

For kids 12 and up who would love to be out on the field, El Cerrito Youth Baseball has an umpire training program that will help young teens get their first job and reference source. Learn more >

Please share other great ideas for teens and tweens in the comments.

Some summer camps are designed with older, teen campers in mind. Search by age & interest on our summer camp guide >

Thanks again to Monkey Business Camp for sponsoring 510Families.com.

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1 thought on “CIT Programs: Berkeley & Oakland Summer Camps”

  1. Earn $2,000–YouthSpeaks’ SUMMER JOBS TRAINING FELLOWSHIP! Are you a low-income, underserved young person, ages 16 to 18? Limited space is still available! Youth Spirit Artworks is holding its super engaging Summer Jobs Training Fellowship Tues. June 21 to Sat. August 13 11:30am to 2:30pm and 3:30pm to 6:30pm Monday through Friday. Fellowships are 20 hrs per week. Some Saturdays are required.
    Contact Reginald@youthspiritartworks.org for AN APPLICATION. Or text: 510-282-0396.

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