We are SO excited to introduce the 2023 CITs, but before we do, we asked Dustin to share bit of history on the program:
This is our 20th year offering our CIT leadership training program! We had humble beginnings on the island of Kauai in 2003 with four returning campers that exhibited leadership potential. Lucy Woodward, Molly Ashkenas, Hesper Shin, & Marissa Gonzales, were among the first MSG alumni to participate that year. My best friend from Prescott College, Celine Russo, helped develop and co-facilitate that year. We used the outdoor leadership training skills we received at Prescott College and put them to practice. It’s been such a rewarding program to watch bloom alongside the teen girls who’ve grown up through the camps to then return as our camp leaders. Some CITs have gone on to be paid instructors & camp staff like Lucy Woodward, Gaby Barsotti, & Nicole Nakamura, who’s led our CIT program for the past three summers.
We asked this year’s CITs to tell us a little about themselves, share a favorite camp memory, what’s on their playlist this week and what TV show they’d want to live in! Read below to meet Lexi, Magen, Sofia and Ryan!
Hi everyone!! My name is Lexi and I’m from Boring, Oregon. I am 21 yrs old and recently graduated from Linfield University with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In my free time I enjoy going to the gym, hiking and shopping!
Although there are so many great memories I have had at MSG, one of my favorites would have to be when we competed with other surf pods in a scavenger hunt. We had to follow a variety of clues that ended up leading us into lahaina. Some of these clues included taking a picture of a sea urchin, singing in a busy restaurant, photo bombing a family photo with the parrot, and even finding someone with a tattoo that matched a camper’s name.
Some of my favorite artists that I have been listening to lately include Justin Bieber, Morgan Wallen, and Calvin Harris.
If I could live in any TV show it would have to be The Vampire Diaries.
Hi!! My name is Magen and I am so excited to come back to MSG Camp as a CIT this summer! I live in a small town in northern Illinois called Roscoe, about 90 miles west of Chicago. I am going to be a Freshman at Loyola University Chicago in the fall, and I will be studying Political Science! Some fun facts about me, I love to travel (I’ve been to 33 states and 4 other countries), work out, and right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys. If I could live in any TV show it would be Stranger Things because I love the whole 80s vibe and it’s my favorite show.
As soon as I stepped foot at camp, my CIT was there to greet me with open arms. Being from the midwest, I was nervous going to surf camp so far away, but my CIT made me feel welcome and comfortable as soon as I arrived. I remember the first time I caught a wave all on my own, which happened to be the first time I was on a hard-top board. I rode the wave all the way to the beach, and as I paddled back, my surf pod and my CIT were there to cheer me on and congratulate me. It is moments like those that make me so excited to be a CIT this summer. I can’t wait to meet all of you and help provide you with as fun and comfortable an experience as my CITs provided me.
I had such a confidence boost the summer I went to camp, and I really felt immersed in the nature around me. All of the campers were so nice and welcoming, and I can’t wait to be back this summer as a CIT to make more memories!
My name is Sofia and I am a junior at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. While academics are important to me, I am also actively involved in extracurricular activities. As the president of the golf club, a club I founded this year, I find joy in sharing my passion for golf and teaching others. Beyond golf, I participate in acting, field hockey, and crew, exploring my diverse interests. I will be directing my first-ever playwright this fall! Entrepreneurship is a driving force in my life, and I aspire to own my own business someday. I embrace creativity through crafting and making, a passion I’ve cultivated since a young age. I also run an Instagram account where I review our school’s dining hall food and contribute to my school’s newspaper through photography. As a CIT leader, I am genuinely thrilled to meet new people and inspire girls through the sport of surfing, contributing to the vibrant MSG community. I bring my authentic self, leadership skills, and artistic abilities to create a positive and enriching camp experience for everyone involved.
One of my most cherished memories from surf camp was the excitement of the scavenger hunt and mini hike we embarked on, followed by a walk into the ocean and body surfing. It was a moment of pure adventure and living in the present and getting to snorkel with a turtle as we immersed ourselves in nature and enjoyed the natural beauty of the ocean. The unforgettable friendships made that will last a lifetime.
My top three musician on my Spotify playlist this week are Benee “Lots of Nothing”, way it goes Hippo Campus, as well as “Strange Side of the Street” by The Velvetines.
If I could live in any TV show, I would choose “The Summer I Turned Pretty.” The coastal town setting and the storyline seem incredibly captivating, and I can envision myself being with Conrad if I were in the show.
Hi I’m Ryan and I’m from Hermantown, Minnesota, a small town near the north shore of Lake Superior. I’m a rising senior at Marshall School. I hope to major in biochemistry one day and eventually pursue pharmaceutical research, go to law school, direct theater, and open an art studio (not all at the same time).
I was a classical ballet dancer for 12 years but this year I decided to take a break to pursue one of my childhood passions: theater! I was a lead in my school’s fall musical and got to be the student director for the spring production of Little Women. In my free time I’m a painter, comic-lover, trapeze amateur, harpist, queer youth advocate, and fashion enthusiast. I love coffee with all of my heart and I will run a mile for an iced vanilla latte. Nature is so important to me and I love swimming in Lake Superior, hiking the north shore, running trails, and gardening.
My favorite surf camp memory is definitely the first time I caught a wave by myself. I know it sounds cliché (and it really is) but that feeling of independence and strength was so liberating and I’ve carried that spirit with me ever since. I remember that my surf counselor Gina was supportive and encouraging with my goal and helped me every step of the way.
This week the song One That Got Away by MUNA has been on repeat. MUNA has been one of my favorite bands for a while and they just released this new single and I’m obsessed with it.
If I could live in any TV show I would definitely pick The Owl House. A strange magical world with witches, titans, demons, a magic school, and vibrant characters? Who wouldn’t want that?