Coming to camp alone is one of the most frequent concerns we are asked to address. For the naturally extroverted children, spending a week at camp away from their home, friends, and family is a true paradise. They create connections easily, fully immerse themselves in the camp experience, and leave with more friends and memories than they could have ever imagined.
On the other hand, a quieter camper may have a different experience. The first Sunday dinner might feel like a typical high school cafeteria movie scene. The lone camper is left to desperately scan the dining hall and search for a seat that looks promising and harmless. A quieter camper may initially struggle being alone at camp for the first time – that is, if you are at a camp other than ISTC.
At ISTC, our staff and programs are designed to immediately integrate campers into the experience. Not only are our counseling and coaching staff trained to create inclusive, feel good environments, but the action at ISTC starts from the moment a camper checks in.
The backyard cabin activities during check-in like football, taps, tunnel ball, jackpot, friendship bracelets, etc. are intentionally planned to allow campers to form relationships right from the get-go. We believe that shared experiences bring people together and pave a strong foundation for the rest of the week.
Our office staff also makes sure that campers who come alone are bunked with others who came to camp by themselves; having someone who is in your same situation makes it easy to connect and experience ISTC to its full potential.
On the first night, the sports coaches devise a series of games that combine a variety of sports with a touch of get-to-know-you. By the end of this first session, a camper knows the majority of his group for the week and has familiar faces from the cabin.
Our staff genuinely enjoy being a part of the campers’ experience and are always around and strive to influence campers in the best way possible. Many of our staff understand what it’s like to come to alone since many of them have left home across the world to be with us. Coming to camp alone can be scary, but our staff, programs, and environment are designed to make anyone feel right at home from the start.