As a sports-based summer camp, bringing people together is intrinsic to what we do. While promoting community during this time of distancing can be seen as an interesting choice, the benefits and takeaways from our programming were invaluable. This blog will talk through the top 5 reasons why the ISTC experience was essential for our campers this summer:
Build Friendships: With school, sports, and other social outlets for kids altered in some fashion this past year, providing a safe outlet for our campers to connect was more important than ever. Building friends through shared experiences like jet skiing, rock climbing, and cabin of the week competitions fills the void from the year. ISTC continues to be a place where kids can meet and play with others who are like minded.
Promote Physical Activity: From swimming and biking to soccer and basketball, our campers are encouraged to play a variety of different sports. While our main program is named All Sports, meaning we don’t specialize in anything in particular, we specialize in getting campers to move, play, and explore in ways they never considered. After months of sedentary activity, providing a routine for kids to play was essential in getting things to feel normal.
Provide a Break from Technology: ISTC has always been a technology free experience, since we encourage our campers to take advantage of the camp environment for the limited time they are here. Removing technology not only helps campers focus on the sports and friends around them, but also serves as a break from daily stress like the news, hometown drama, and so on.
Meet Caring Staff: During a camper’s week, they are surrounded by ISTC staff who want to see them succeed, grow, and have fun. Whether it’s the counselors who live and sleep in the cabins or the coaches, who facilitate all of the sports sessions, the kids’ well being serves as the foundation of our program. More than ever, it’s important for campers to see that there are adults, outside of their parents and family, who are invested in them as well.
Foster Independence: From choosing activities during recreation times to budgeting canteen funds, camp presents opportunities for our campers to practice self-advocating and making responsible decisions. Additionally, moving into a cabin in a new environment like camp helps campers realize that they are more capable on their own than they know.
From honing life skills to simply having fun, campers needed these aspects more than ever before to combat the world’s current climate. We look forward to doing the same and more in summer 2022 and beyond!