Who is a Counselor-in-Training(CIT)/Orc?

CITs/Orcs are youth entering the 9th, 10th and 11th grade (14 – 16 years of age). They learn, volunteer & play! They will participate in game based workshops multiple times a week where they learn leadership, communication, behavior management, counselor & teamwork skills. They volunteer and practice these skills by helping counselors supervise campers, help with general duties, and assist counselors in different activity departments. Orcs will also get to play games and participate in camp activities with campers, but also as a group, once per week, they will participate in an activity, such as canoeing, archery or arts & crafts.

Why are CITs called Orcs?

Camp Riverlea’s founder, Betsy Umstead, loved J.R.R. Tolkien and loved his books, such as The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, thus camp has a Tolkien theme! She choose our CITs to be called Orcs, one type of character in these books. The tradition is over 50 years old!


Youth entering 9th, 10th and 11th grade (14 – 16 years old)

Campers must spend at least one summer away from Riverlea after their final year as a camper before returning as an Orc.

Orcs may choose to volunteer for 1, 2, or 3 sessions, and all are required to complete a few hours of online training and attend an in-person orientation session on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024. First-time orcs and returning orcs will both participate from 9am-2pm.

How to Apply?

Prospective Orcs must fill out the camper application HERE (available 11/15/24) with a parent or guardian and select one or more of the Orc session options. Returning Orc applicants will find out in a couple weeks if they are accepted. New applicants will sign up for an interview during the application process. They will also find out if they will be accepted within a couple of weeks after the interview.  

If you have any questions please email our Program Director at Programdirector@campriverlea.com, we’re excited to have our Orcs/CITs join us!


A camp tradition for Durham area children

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