Once a CIT, Always a SIT
As campers progress through the different villages at camp, there is always something exciting to look anticipate. Campers in Habo get to compete in the legendary Habo Day; Noar campers get their own space in camp complete with the famed Noar Deck. But if there is one year that campers dream about, it is without a doubt SIT Summer.
SIT Summer is a year at camp unique unto itself. With traditions ranging from the SIT Play and the SIT/Staff Volleyball Game to getting valuable experience in Placements and running meals during Shabbat, it is nearly impossible for campers to decide what part of SIT Summer they’re looking forward to the most. While current campers look ahead to SIT Summer with anticipation, staff and alumni love to reminisce on their SIT Summers. The history of the SIT Summer is as long and complex as the summer itself, but we have a general overview of its evolution for you here:
Part of the fun of SIT Summer is getting to create and hang your SIT Plaque in the Dining Hall. Campers will notice that the first plaque dates all the way back to 1958. Back then the SITs (which stands for Staff in Training) were actually the CITs (Counselors in Training). And while the CITs of 1958 less than 20 members, which is just a few less than 2019’s record breaking 109, their plaque started a long line of tradition that is enjoyed by all of camp to this day.
Some big changes came to Camp Chi in 1981, the “Summer of Fun in the Sun”. While camp was welcoming a new Assistant Director by the name of Ron Levin, the CIT program was changed to SIT. The name change was to help encourage campers to look at SIT Summer as preparation to work at Camp Chi in general. Whether your dream was to be a counselor, a specialist, or anything else at camp, SIT Summer was going to help you grow towards that dream job.
Did you know there used to be another training year besides SIT Summer? That’s right! In 1976, a new program called Poalim was introduced to bridge a gap year between Teen Camp (before it was Noar) and CIT Summer. Poalim was supposed to give future Camp Chi Staffers a down-to-earth view of what working at camp was all about. The work training aspect of Poalim meant that participants would work at central places in camp such as the Dining Hall, Health Center, and the office, while also getting to participate in camp activities. Many alumni from the time have “unique” memories from their Poalim Summer, which was eventually phased out in 1985.