What You Can Expect

Each Counselor Training session will be comprised of 8 rising seniors that have graduated from Kieve-Wavus.  4 will be from Kieve and 4 from Wavus.  They will be challenged on a daily basis to lead and grow in a learning environment that will be driven by their experiences.  Two Kieve-Wavus Assistant Directors will facilitate this experiential education, guiding the counselors in training to evaluate and solve problems in a way that will reflect the challenges they will experience when leading campers in the future.  Each day will be long, but diverse and fulfilling, leading to the formation of strong bonds that will continue as the group graduates to being Kieve-Wavus counselors the following year.

Orientation & Certification

The 5-day orientation program will focus on programming and leadership skills. Counselors in Training will spend time at their respective campuses and will meet the staff they will be working with in the Junior Kieve-Wavus program. Group seminars led by Counselor Training directors and visiting full-session counselors will cover leadership styles, responsibilities and expectations, group process, conflict resolution, and role-playing common camp scenarios. Wilderness Trip Training, leadership training seminars, and perspective from full-session counselors will provide counselors in training with the tools they need to be Kieve-Wavus counselors.

Community Service

There will be two opportunities for community service, fulfilling Kieve’s mission to contribute positively to society.  One opportunity will be to provide service locally in Lincoln County and another in the Maine Woods, serving some of the areas that the Kieve-Wavus footprint impacts every summer on wilderness trips.  These experiences are essential to understanding the positive impact Kieve-Wavus can have on the surrounding community, and will foster a desire to give back that these CIT’s will have as counselors when they return the following year.

Wilderness Trip

Before departing on their trip into the woods, the CIT’s will spend time preparing and packing for their trips at their respective campuses.  They will plan menus and gear lists, pack group essentials and resupplies, and will constantly be in communication with Kieve-Wavus tripping directors.  This process will be key to helping the CIT’s understand the enormous responsibility of a Kieve-Wavus counselor in preparing for a Wilderness Trip. The 5 day trip will include some of the most beautiful areas in the state including the most technical whitewater canoeing in the Northeast, and a full resupply and transfer to backpacking in the mountains of Western Maine.  On trip, counselors in training will learn to pack, navigate, cook, and deal with surprise situations while in a “Leader of the Day” role.  A Maine State Guide will add additional support in certain aspects of the trip, providing important perspective on the counselor's role on trip as a representative of KieveWavus to rangers, wardens and the public in general.  Upon their return, the CIT’s will clean up at their respective camps and then debrief, modeling the full progression of every Kieve-Wavus wilderness trip.  

Junior Kieve-Wavus

After returning from their trip into the woods, the CIT’s will move to their respective campuses to help with the preparation for the arrival of Junior Kieve and Wavus campers.  Each CIT will be assigned to a JK or JW cabin and they will live there, serving on duty each night to gain a full understanding of how to run a cabin through every aspect of the session.  They will be mentored by the JK and JW directors and by their HBC’s.  This experience will be invaluable to understanding the most effective ways to manage a cabin, while putting the CIT’s immediately into a position where campers will be looking to them for guidance. 


Debrief and self-evaluation is essential to the learning process.  For this reason, Counselor In Training participants will be asked to debrief all of their experiences from their wilderness trip to their time in JKW cabins. Facilitated by the CIT Directors, CIT’s will identify successes and areas of improvements and carry these lessons into being counselors the following year.

  • CIT side photo
  • CIT side photo
  • CIT side photo