All About The Canteen


We’ve got our own lingo at ISTC. Whether it’s talking about “D’s”, “shamu”, or “disco pogo”, many of the most common camp phrases don’t make much sense on the outside. The Canteen is one of the center points at camp and we sometimes talk about it as if everyone knows what it is…but the reality is that many of you don’t! Here are answers to many of the most common questions we get asked about The Canteen so you’re more familiar with our camp lingo (well, one phrase at least!)

summer campers eating with camp counselors

What is the Canteen and when is it open?

The Canteen is a place where campers and staff can purchase snacks, personal items, and camp clothing and souvenirs, and is located in our boathouse. It’s a great place for campers to hang out with their friends and unwind. The Canteen is open during recreation time, which is from 1:00 – 3:00pm and 8:30 – 10:15 pm daily.

How do campers pay for Canteen purchases?
The Canteen runs on an account system, as campers do not carry cash with them. Parents add money into their child’s Canteen account before arriving at camp or during check-in and campers use that budget to pay for their items. With every transaction, campers sign for their purchases on our point of sale system. It’s a great way for kids to learn about budgeting and staying within their means for the week!

canteen at ISTC collage

What can campers buy at the Canteen?
We carry a wide variety of items at the Canteen. We design and sell awesome ISTC clothing and souvenirs that campers can buy to show their camp spirit and remember their experience after they return home. We also sell food items like pizza, ice cream, water, juice, and soda at the Canteen. Our dining hall serves its meals buffet-style and each camper is welcome to eat as much as they want, but the Canteen is open between meals so campers can grab a snack if they want.
While our canteen is a nut free environment (just like the rest of the camp), campers with other specific allergies (gluten, food dyes, etc.) should be aware that some products we sell may contain allergens.
Campers can also purchase personal items like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, postcards, and stamps.
Finally, campers can add an extra session of jet skiing or banana boating with their Canteen accounts. One session of jet skiing and one session of banana boating is included in each camp week. But they can choose to go a second time; it costs $25 for an extra banana boat session and $50 for an extra jet ski session.

ISTC canteetn

How can I add money to my child’s Canteen account?
The best way to add money to your child’s canteen account is to include it in with your camp payment, that way when you arrive for check-in the account is set up and ready to go.
If you prefer, you can add money at check-in. Just keep in mind that the account won’t be set up until the evening recreation session.
If your child is already at camp you can add additional money online through our website. On the ISTC Online Store, select “Add Canteen Spending Money” to have the amount applied to their Canteen.

How much should I put in my child’s Canteen account?

This is an entirely personal decision, but our general recommendation is $10-15 per day. This is a good amount to buy snacks or drinks and a piece of memorabilia during your child’s stay. If you know your child wants to buy multiple pieces of clothing or souvenirs, or that they want to banana boat or jet ski a second time, you may want to add in some extra money!
The canteen will be open during both check-in and check-out, so if you would prefer to purchase larger items such as a sweatshirt you can do so at the time using cash, check or credit card.

kids at ISTC

Can I restrict my child from purchasing particular items?
Unfortunately we are unable monitor each individual purchase made by each camper. With more than 250 campers coming through the canteen line each session, it would be impossible for us to restrict purchases. We recommend talking with your camper before they arrive at camp to explain their budget and any limitations they have.

What happens if my child runs out of money while they’re at camp?

If your child depletes their Canteen account they just need to let their counselor know. The counselor will notify our office and we will call home to let you know. If you would like to add additional money to their account, the quickest solution is for parents is to “Add Canteen Spending Money” from the online store.

What happens at the end of the week?

When you check your child out, you will receive the remaining balance in their Canteen account. Parents are also given an itemized list of every item their child purchased to see where that money went!


We hope this helps explain the Canteen a bit more and makes our camp lingo a little clearer! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office!