By Rose Genstein
A number is a start to a journey. Everyone’s number is different. Mine is 1100. To most it is simply just a number, but to me it is home. 1100 is a place filled with people and friends who have helped build the magic inside the gates of camp.
You never realize how amazing something is until it’s just about gone. You never comprehend how much of an impact people can have on your life until they are not around anymore to teach you the most important of life lessons. I did not think about these things until recently, when I was faced with the reality that friends who I have grown up with every summer might be too old to return. I struggled thinking about how I will soon be too old as well and will have to let go of the places and people I cherish the most. My time at this magical place has grown shorter and soon, this place will no longer be a place I go to, but instead it will be a place I came to. The number 1100 holds numerous lifelong friends, 24 cedar sided lake front cabins, one 100-acre lake, all surrounded by a multitude of activities. 1100 would not be the same without the amazing staff members, and the many friends that make it so meaningful for me.
The staff at ISTC is special. They are what make ISTC the place that it is. Without them, ISTC would be a completely different place. The coaches and counselors are here for the experience and in the process they impact everyone around them. They’re people who wake up and say “YAY!! I get to go to camp as my job!” They are people who can create an environment of positivity, laughs and smiles without even trying; it just comes naturally. To me, they are one of the sole reasons I return to camp every summer – to strengthen the bonds that I have created, but at the same time to create new bonds. I return because I know that to the staff, this camp is not just a job, this is a place they want to be.
1100 is not made special solely by the staff, because other camps have counselors too, but it’s the people that the staff are and their inspiring, positive attitudes, that sets them apart from others. Unlike any other camp I have been to, the magic of ISTC is so hard to explain. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to understand, but it is the thing that draws me and others back each year. It’s the staff, experiences, friends, the camp itself, and the relationships built with people from all over the world that make ISTC so distinct.
From 1100, I have learned to look at the best of a situation. I have learned to cherish every moment, to take in every second and not to take opportunities for granted. The people and the bonds that I have created here will truly stick with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget the people who have taught and impacted me while at camp, and the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have. It’s weird how the camp itself can be described as a number of cabins and activities, but to me the experiences, bonds and friends that I have made at ISTC are truly what define the magic at 1100 Twin Lake Road.
Even though my time to leave is almost here, I know that I will always value what I have learned, the people I have met and the friendships I have started while inside these gates of my second home – 1100 Twin Lake Road, International Sports Training Camp.