Santa Cruz Overnight Camp

Leadership Development Programs (Grades 10-12)

Many of our campers return year after year, and even join our staff! Kennolyn is proud to offer a popular and inspirational Leadership Training course, beginning with the 2 week CILT program for campers entering 10th grade. Those who successfully complete CILT training may be invited to return the following summer as CITs.

The CILT Program

It’s the Kennolyn you know and love, but geared specifically for 10th graders!


As a CILT, I learned how to work out problems and to trust and communicate better.CILT Camper


So, you’ve been to Kennolyn before and had a fantastic time. You are eager to come back to camp, but are in high school now and ready for some exciting new challenges! Our Camper in Leadership Training (CILT) Program was created just for you, with special activities and responsibilities appropriate to your age and abilities. First time campers can also enroll in the CILT program.

CILTs choose fourregular activity periods in the morning, and afternoons are filled with a wide variety of individual and group activities that are challenging but fun. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could learn all of your high school subjects while making a cake blind-folded, playing a giant game of hide and seek, teaching a basketball class, or diving in a swimming hole? These activities teach you a lot about yourself and your potential.

The CILT as a Camper…

Every morning, CILTs have the opportunity to be regular Kennolyn Campers. You choose four activities, such as Hilltop Ropes Course, BMX, and pool activities. You share your cabin with other CILTS and a coordinator.

The CILT as a Participant in Leadership Training…

Each afternoon, CILTs spend two hours together with the coordinators, playing games, doing challenging initiatives, discussing various topics related to leadership, and observing activities to see what it takes to teach them effectively. This valuable time helps you discover who you are and grow as an individual.

The CILT as a Role Model and Counselor Helper…

Each CILT is assigned dedicated time to spend with a cabin of younger campers, offering the chance to assist counselors and campers during meals, evening activities etc. Perhaps the biggest opportunity for you to step up and take some responsibility is during the second Outpost of the session, which you will spend with your assigned cabin helping to ensure a fun and safe experience for all. For many, this is a favorite part of the CILT program, even for those who were unsure coming into it!

Benefits of being a CILT at camp include:

  • A later bedtime than campers (9:30pm)
  • An amazing kayak trip at Elkhorn Slough where seals, otter, and other sea creatures come right up to the boat
  • Experience some responsibility, friendships, a glimpse of life as a counselor
  • Senior Camper BBQ
  • An awesome Outpost

CIT Program

Counselor in Training (CIT) is for campers entering 11th grade and is the second year of the three-year Leadership Program. Enrollment is limited, and is open to those who have successfully graduated from the CILT program and received an invitation to participate.

CIT sessions are 2 weeks in length. CITs live in groups with their peers at Overnight Camp, but train Monday-Friday at Day Camp, where they can get far more hands on opportunities to work with younger campers. This program is built for those who are really excited to learn what being a youth professional is all about. During their two weeks CITS will gain experience teaching activities and getting a behind the scenes look at specialized activity areas like our Equestrian Center and our Waterfront. Each CIT will be assigned a group of campers to work with at Day Camp as an opportunity to really get to know campers.

Social activities are planned, including opportunities to visit Santa Cruz for dinner, shopping and relaxation. All off-camp trips are organized and chaperoned by Kennolyn staff. Evenings are spent at Overnight Camp joining in with campfire and helping with special activities.

JC Program

JC (Junior Counselor) is for campers entering 12th grade and is the final year of the three-year Leadership Program. JCs have increased responsibilities and opportunities during their 2-3 weeks at camp, and many go on to join our staff. Junior Counselors live in cabins with younger campers and learn from an experienced lead counselor. Each JC chooses an activity area they want to focus on and spend time learning from the specialists in that area (examples include Equestrian, Waterfront and Ropes). In addition, JCs take important First Aid, CPR and AED and gain necessary 21st century skills including but not limited to job preparedness, living on your own, conflict resolution.

We also realize you need some time with your fellow JCs. That’s why we plan activities like out of camp trips, and an even later bedtime (10:45pm). As a JC, campers look up to you, just like they look up to counselors and many realize just how rewarding working with young campers can be. This program is fun and is built for young people who are excited at putting their own needs aside to support younger campers.