A 14-hour workday is not easy for anybody, especially not for teenagers aged 15 to 17. You have to, have to, follow the rules, or risk either being asked to leave camp or be demoted back to being a camper, which, speaking from experience, is a rather sad experience.
Being an ASIT gives you a lot more freedom. You don’t have to sign in and out during free time whenever you want to walk around camp, you’re allowed to have your electronics (phones and/or laptops), and you don’t have to be under constant Counselor supervision.
But with great power comes great responsibility. We, the ASITs, know more than campers, and often know more than Counselors too. During Morning Rounds, it’s our job not only to clean and water the animals, but to check for sick or dead animals. It’s usually and ASIT that discovers a dead or dying animal first, even before any Animal Specialists. Following that job is having the responsibility to not let any campers (or gossipy Counselors) know that an animal had died. Usually, a short “oh Dallas went to the vet” is enough to quiet a kid down.
ASITs are aged 15-17, so often times campers that are 17 years old won’t want to listen to a 15-year-old ASIT. “Threatening” them with a Counselor works most of the time, but some campers can be stubborn. Some rules are tough, annoying, or seem meaningless to the Camper and the ASIT too, but it’s there for a reason and ASITs do everything they can to keep campers and our animals safe.
The most frustrating part of being an ASIT may not be the hard physical work but dealing with animals and people who just don’t understand why things are they way they are.
Then there’s our mold problem…