“Being a CIT is an AMAZING experience….”

Last week, we asked our Counselors-in-Training to share some thoughts about what it’s like to be a CIT at ACA’s Summer Arts Camp.

CITs with a group art project during "Carnival of the Animals" week.

At ages 11-14, CITs are little too old for a “kids” camp, but a little too young for summer jobs.  As CITs at ACA, these young teens try their wings working with younger campers in the classrooms, create amazing collaborative art projects as a group, and take field trips each week to destinations such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Decordova Sculpture Park.

Here’s a little bit of what they said about being a CIT at ACA:

Josie, CIT, age 12

“Being a CIT is an AMAZING experience,” said Josie, age 12. “It is so much fun working with kids of all different ages. It is different working with all of the different age groups too. With the little kids you really have to help them and show them how to do things. With the older kids you can really relate to them and talk about things you have in common. But being a CIT isn’t just hard work. There is also some down time where you can hang out with your new “besties” that you made that week. The teachers are fun and Brian always makes us laugh with his crazy antics and hilarious stories. All in all, I love being a CIT and I can’t wait to come back the other weeks I am here.”

Amber, CIT, age 13

“I really like the field trips we go on,” said Amber, age 13. “The teachers always bring us somewhere fun and we learn about famous artists. It’s always so interesting taking the bus or the train on the way there because you can hang and talk with your friends and sometimes play games on the subway. This week we went to the DeCordova and Brian prepared a scavenger hunt for us. We got some REALLY awesome prizes at the end. After field trips, we all go out for ice cream and just chill. I absolutely love the field trips here and can’t wait for the next one!”

CIT Field Trip & Scavenger Hunt at the Decordova Sculpture Park: See the Slideshow

Rayna, CIT, age 12

“Being a CIT is a big responsibility but an even bigger privilege,” said Rayna, age 12. “You get to work with amazing kids, hang with our teachers Brian and Jennaway, and make friends around your age who like the same kind of things. I know it kinda stinks that you don’t get paid for helping out with “the little ones,”* but the camp makes up for it with all the amazing experiences that you have here. The kids are just so fun to work with; you get to learn with them and teach them and just hang with them. When you are a CIT they sometimes idolize you. It’s great for self-esteem. Brian and Jennaway are hilarious; they can always make you laugh. You make friends here that you would probably never know if you hadn’t gone to this camp. You meet great and very artistic people here, and you won’t regret your time here. Your summer can only get better if you come to the CIT camp. I know it sounds cheesy, but hey, it’s 100% true.”

CITs are artists, too!  See their giant funhouse faceboards from last week’s “Quirky Circus” Camp

* Education Director’s Note: while participating in the CIT program does not guarantee you’ll be hired as a counselor at ACA, you’ll be gaining skills and knowledge that are a great asset in applying for a paid counselor job after the age of 15.  Many of our ACA counselors got their start as CITs.

CITs Visit Chihuly Exhibit at the MFA

CITs visiting the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Summer 2011

Last week, ACA’s Counselors in Training (CITs) took a field trip to see the Chihuly Exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and we asked them to share some of their thoughts and impressions on “Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass.”  We think you’ll be impressed by their observations…!

Rebecca (right) at the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts

“When I look at Chihuly’s work,” said Rebecca, age 13, “I feel like I’m part of his picture, part of the sculpture. Maybe that’s what he tries to do. He uses bright, shimmering colors and extravagant, intricate designs to make something almost unreal. I liked how he made each piece so that the light would shine through it, and make it almost glow. We saw a boat filled with abstract glass shapes and colors that spilled over the sides which made me think about what it must take to make something like that. There were gardens of glass that displayed the colors of the rainbow. There were rooms where the ceiling was covered in small glass figurines so when the light from the bulbs were lit up, the room would be filled with colorful light. It was amazing. These were sculptures that you can’t stop looking at, that don’t make sense, but still keep you staring. Magic. I didn’t know anything could look that beautiful, but it can.”

Rebecca, age 13, ACA Counselor in Training

Clara (left) basking in the glow of Chihuly...

“This Thursday, we visited the MFA – the museum of fine art,” Said CIT Clara, age 12. “I’ve always envisioned ‘Fine Art’ as a two-dimensional piece, such as a painting or a drawing. I also automatically assumed that to be considered fine art, the art had to be older; done by famous artists like Monet, or Vermeer. But the Chihuly exhibit caused me to completely change my mind set about art as a whole.

“I’ve seen glass blowing before, but never in this fashion. The colors and unique shapes were stunning. I could not believe my eyes – I had had absolutely no idea how much could be done with glass.  And I was inspired by the artist’s dedication – after a huge setback, he just changed his approach and continued working.

“But what I really enjoyed about the field trip was that the art was not only beautiful visually – it was thought-provoking. It was engaging to just sit and stare into the art, because it aroused so many memories and thoughts in my head. And now, I realize what fine art really is – art that makes you think.”

 Clara, age 12, ACA Counselor in Training

Want to see more? 
See the complete slideshow of the CIT field trip.