My Special Place Tucked Away in the Mountains – By Rose Genstein


Articulating the impact of ISTC is not easy, particularly because each person that experiences our programs is affected in a distinct way. One of our seven-year campers, Rose Genstein, described ISTC as her special place tucked away in the mountains and truly illustrated what our camp means to her.

fall foliage near water

Everyone has a place that is made special by someone or something. Sometimes it takes people longer to find that place than others. Some people search forever to find that special place; some succeed and some don’t. For me, I have already found my special place.

My special place is a small camp tucked away in the mountains just outside of Philadelphia, a place called ISTC. ISTC is an acronym standing for International Sports Training Camp. It is a camp filled with many new sports and activities such as jet skiing, banana boating, a blob, and rock block plus so much more. We play sports from bubble soccer to rugby. What makes ISTC so special is not what you do at the camp but it is the people within ISTC that make it so unique. Camps can have jet skiing and such but the people and lessons learned is what makes this place so special. Each year, I keep coming back to this camp but as I get older, I realize that a special place is there for you when you need it. Once you are old, the special place that you went to each year soon only becomes a memory full of life lessons learned there. ISTC has taught me the most important lessons that no other camp or place could have taught me. Lessons such as sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership and most importantly, this place, this camp has taught me true friendship. All within a week each year, for that single week I come, my knowledge on life lessons previously taught are strengthened and new ones are learned because of the staff members here at camp have taught me lessons they have already learned throughout their life.

Throughout all of my seven years of coming to this camp, I have learned that these are not for camp and camp only, the lessons are preparing me for the problems and new situations I may face throughout life. Whenever my time comes to leave ISTC and when it too just becomes a memory to me, ISTC will not be remembered as a special place, not as a camp, not just as ISTC or a small place hidden in the mountains outside of Philadelphia, but this place as home that has taught me the most important things about life and how people come and go. Some things last forever with a lasting impact on your heart and mind and to me that is exactly how I would explain ISTC.

sunset around trout lake

“A camp can be a camp but no camp is like this one”