You’ve probably noticed that your middle schooler isn’t as interested in the same old “kids stuff” anymore. The games, play and interests that engage younger kids just don’t hold up in adolescence. It’s not that they’re not kids anymore, and given a chance (especially if no one’s watching) they’ll certainly act like kids now and then. But, things are changing for them and they’re in a period of transition. No wonder it’s called “middle school” – these kids are in the middle between childhood and adulthood.
At Wheel Kids we understand that outdoor adventure and exploration is ideal for adolescents, but it has to be done right: boredom is the scourge of the middle schooler.
Our Coach-In-Training program strikes a balance between fun, responsibility and privilege that middle schoolers yearn for.
The CIT is assigned to a team at Wheel Kids. Under the guidance of the Head Coach the CIT assists with all aspects of running the team. This could include taking the lead during a group ride to set pace and model safe riding skills; it could mean “riding herd” in the middle or rear of the group to keep everyone together and maintain communication with the lead coach; it could be setting up a skills course, demonstrating the techniques and helping the group learn the skills; it could be refereeing or coaching a game; it could be chaperoning a small group during a field trip activity or other off-the-bike event. Nearly all aspects of a coach’s duties can be performed by the CIT, as appropriate for age and abilities.
Wheel Kids staff will train each CIT in these tasks. Training will entail direct teaching through discussion and demonstration, and lots of hands-on work with supervision and evaluation provided by the coaches. CIT’s can expect to learn leadership skills, social skills, communication skills, emergency preparedness and basic first aid, bicycle maintenance skills, and advanced bicycling skills (if appropriate to their initial cycling abilities). Wheel Kids is happy to assist with your child’s school’s community service requirements.
- CITs must be in middle school (rising 7th grade through rising 9th grade). We ask parents to assess their child’s maturity and interest prior to registering – some rising 7th graders, in particular, may not be ready yet. While rising 7th graders are eligible, a minimum age of 13 years is preferred.
- Bicycling skills should be high Intermediate (exhibiting all the skills of that category, and then some) to Advanced, with a bicycle appropriate to the Advanced category (click here for our riding categories)
- CITs must be willing to work with all age and skill levels within Wheel Kids and be willing to switch teams or groups as needed to support the coaches. CITs must be willing to work as an authority with their own peers.
- Two weeks enrollment is strongly encouraged; if more than two weeks, we recommend that two be consecutive. Please contact us if consecutive weeks don’t work for your schedule. One week of enrollment in Adventure Riding Camp is recommended prior to serving as a CIT (if she/he was in camp during a previous year, that counts).
- Fill out the CIT Application and Registration form below.
Cost is $200/week. Sign up for five weeks or more for a total cost of $900. Please indicate on the registration form if you need extended hours or are interested in participating in extended hours activities. There is no charge for participating (i.e., working) during extended hours. CITs do not count toward the overall enrollment of each week – so even weeks listed as FULL may be open for CIT registration.
There is no cost for returning CITs. If you’ve been with us in previous summers and are approved to join us again we’ll waive your registration fees.