The return to reality after a week of camp can be emotional for many first year campers. They’ve just finished the experience of a lifetime, only to return to a seemingly mundane schedule followed by the start of school. This fall from paradise is often referred to as the “post-camp blues”; however, these campers are now in the exciting position to experience ISTC as a returner.
Campers who loved their time can return without any of the jitters that may have impacted their first experience at ISTC. With a newfound confidence and familiarity of the facility, the schedule, and what it’s like living away from home, they are able to jump back into the action immediately. This perspective lets them focus on reconnecting with friends, getting to know their counselors and coaches, and revisiting their favorite activities without being tied down by uncertainty.
Teaching life skills through sports is our ultimate goal, and creating friendships is definitely part of it. Coming back to camp presents an opportunity to bond with the friends made, but also a chance to meet new faces. Continuously building on this network year to year creates a true sense of belonging within the ISTC community, and countless memories along the way.
Returning to camp also lets campers revisit our signature activities like jet skiing, banana boating, ropes course, zip line, and mountain biking. Simply getting to partake in these types of activities again is awesome, as they aren’t too common for many of our campers, but they can also explore parts of them that they may not have even considered previously. For example, campers can choose to take on the infamous overhang at the ropes course or tackle some of our harder trails like Big Foot or Harry Potter. Customizing the ISTC experience even further is an exciting aspect for returning campers.
Lastly, returning to ISTC gives campers the potential to make a positive difference as a leader. Whether it’s taking the initiative to introduce people in the cabin or leading a filler game during sports sessions, being able to help others by having prior camp experience is powerful. And even further, making the ISTC experience sweeter for someone else will in turn make it sweeter for the returning camper; it simply feels good to do good!
The friends, the activities, and the potential to make a difference are only a few of the reasons our campers choose to come back; we can’t wait to see and learn more from our new and returning campers this summer!