A week at ISTC means new friends, tons of sports, and opportunities to create memories that last a lifetime; however, we know it can be initially nerve wrecking to take a step into the unknown. Our goal is to build positive camp experiences for all campers, so that they can build life skills and simply have fun being a kid. This month’s blog focuses on our best tips to beat any nerves, which will allow campers to flourish in our All Sports and IXTC programs.
- Familiarize with all things ISTC
If you are only able to do one thing to prepare for the upcoming summer, we’d recommend learning all about ISTC. Campers who have an accurate idea of the experience are able to create proper expectations and avoid feeling blindsided. Watch our videos, take the virtual tour, or even work with our office to come out for a physical tour, as feeling comfortable with the camp environment can make all the difference. Not to mention, we post a variety of content on Facebook and Instagram for a true inside look at all things ISTC.
- Be honest about the expectation for communicating with home
Since the week at ISTC is filled to the brim with all kinds of outdoor sports, we do not have specific times for campers to make and receive calls. Being honest about this lack of communication is important, as coming in with false hope can be detrimental. Parents and family can follow along from home through our photo galleries, social media and bunk notes. Additionally, our Resident Life team that can provide updates upon request; however, we find campers who can disconnect and truly engage with our program have the most successful weeks.
- Allow campers to take ownership of the camp experience where possible
Giving campers opportunities to become acclimated with the idea of camp is meaningful. Specifically, campers who feel forced into the experience tend to view ISTC as a punishment, instead of an exciting opportunity to try new things and build friendships. A few ways to give campers some agency regarding camp: allow them to tell friends and family that they are attending; involve them with any shopping or packing for camp; have conversations about how they are feeling about attending. While these actions are small, it can create an attitude of “I’m going to camp!” versus “my parents are sending me to camp.”
These are just a few tips to tackle feeling nervous at camp, but should you have any questions, we’d be happy to help. We look forward to making this summer the best one yet!