This past summer, ISTC was home to campers and staff from a combined 22 different countries. Beyond the accents and funny differences in vocabulary, we take pride in our international atmosphere since it influences our campers and opens up the world to them.
Specifically, having our campers live and connect with those from various countries and backgrounds normalizes differences. For many, it is the first time meeting someone outside of the United States – the accents, words to describe things, choice of clothing, preferences in food, etc. can be foreign. Our end goal is not for our campers to all refer to the garbage can as such or the “rubbish bin” like the English, but rather have our campers talk about and celebrate the things that make each other unique. We encourage our staff to share their experiences at home and school to deepen our campers’ perspectives of the world. Learning to relate with those from diverse backgrounds is just one small step towards becoming a more understanding, mature adult.
Jet ski, ropes course, and mountain bike may be integral to any traditional camp experience; sports like cricket, touch rugby, Aussie rules football, and Gaelic football are authentic to our international staff. Our All Sports and IXTC programs are designed with a varied approach to keep things exciting from session to session, but further, to ignite new interests and promote curiosity in our campers. Whether it’s simply asking our coaches questions about a game like rugby after playing or getting fully immersed in the sport outside of ISTC, international sports serve as a catalyst to teach our campers life skills through sports.
The love of sports and outdoors is the common thread that initially brings everyone together at ISTC; however, experiencing international culture and games are part of the magic that builds friendships and memories beyond the scope of camp.