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Camper In Leadership Training

The Camper In Leadership Training (CILT) Program

When you enroll your camper for Summer 2023, there will be a box to check that says “My camper is interested in applying for the CILT Program.” Make sure to check that box! In mid-October, we will send the CILT application via email and the CILT applicant will complete it online. Because we do not have campers’ email addresses on file, we will send the application to the parents of the CILT applicant. Make sure to forward that email to your camper so they can complete the application! 

The application will be due on Dec. 10. Starting now, your camper can ask people to serve as a reference and begin to write their personal essay about why they would like to participants in the CILT program and what they are hoping to gain from the experience.  Applicants will be informed of their status in January 2023.

The Camper in Leadership Training Program is for campers, age 16 and/or rising high school juniors, who have potential leadership skills and who seek to be future counselors at Camp Sea Gull or Camp Seafarer. The program is designed to provide opportunities to develop and sharpen leadership skills and acquire the knowledge that will help prepare the camper to become an effective counselor.

A CILT is assigned to a cabin of younger campers, where he/she will receive training from the counselors in all aspects of cabin life. However, at no time is a CILT left soley in charge of a cabin. Each CILT is also assigned to an activity of his/her choice, based on certifications and ranks earned. The CILT becomes as skilled as possible in this specialized segment of the Camp program and is taught effective teaching techniques. During the week, a CILT will work six activity periods on his/her assigned activity. The remainder of the CILT’s activity time is open for him/her to pursue activities and goals of interest, to work on ranks, and to spend time with their campers.

Under the leadership of the Director of Leadership Development at Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer, CILTs will participate in trainings throughout their time at Camp to enhance their skills. Sessions will be led on the following topics:

  • Developing leadership skills
  • Developing communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Cabin management skills
  • Age group characteristics
  • Developing confidence
  • Working with others
  • Creating a caring community
  • Selflessness

Community service hours are issued upon successful completion of the CILT Program with an official letter from the YMCA of the Triangle, which many schools will recognize.

Guidelines for Participation

The CILT Program is highly competitive, only admitting 30 girls and 36 boys per session. Campers who display the following are highly considered for the CILT Program positions:

  • A conscientious respect for organization
  • A compliance to rules and regulations that put the safety and wellbeing of the younger campers before personal interests
  • A genuine interest in working with children
  • A willingness to be a positive role model in the Camp community

See below for some criteria that will also be considered when reviewing CILT applications:

Experience at Camp Sea Gull or Camp Seafarer
Applicants should spend at least one summer (preferably multiple summers) as a camper before applying to be a CILT.

Positive Camper Record
Applicants should show through their camper record that they can work with others and live in community with both their peers and counselors.  

Rank Achievement
Applicants who have achieved upper ranks in a certain activity show a strong work ethic and a commitment to setting and achieving goals.

Certifications Earned
Applicants who have earned their Lifeguard Certification, CPR/First Aid Certification, U.S. Sailing Certification, U.S. Keel Boat Certification, U.S. Powerboating License, or Hunter Safety Certification show a dedication to a particular activity that will improve and broaden their skills.

Participation in the Tiger Lily Program (Camp Seafarer) or Tiger Shark Program (Camp Sea Gull)
Applicants who have participated in these programs show an interest in instructing children in how to enhance their swimming skills.

Participation in the S.A.I.L (Sea Gull and Seafarer Adventures in Leadership) Seniors Program
Applicants who have participated in this program show a desire to serve others, a commitment to excellence, growth in leadership skills and a drive to leave Camp and our surrounding community better than they found it.

How to Apply

Because CILTs are campers, those interested in the CILT Program apply via the normal camper application. There is a section on the camper application that asks if your child is interested in the CILT Program. If so, indicate your child’s interest on the camper application, and we will send him/her a separate application to fill out specific to the CILT Program.


Camp Seafarer
Sarah Kasler, Director of Leadership Development, at

Camp Sea Gull
Hunt Carpenter, Director of Leadership Development, at