The Magic of Camp

A Testimonial by Marisa-Marie

Summer 2013 will be my tenth summer at International Sports Training Camp located in PA. I started off at ISTC as a 10 year old camper. Growing up, I experienced some hardships when interacting amoungst my peers. I had constantly been bullied and switched schools when I was younger to try and solve the problem. Camp was always my happy place. When I walked through the gates I suddenly felt safe.

ISTC has such a magical positive feeling encompassed within it. I did not come back every year because of the blob or the rock wall it was simply because of the staff. I can name every single staff member I had as a camper. Each one of them helped me in a different way. After every summer I was able to go back to school in the fall with a different confidence within myself. Nothing anyone could say could strip me down because I knew I had a whole community cheering for me to get back up.

As a camper, I was wide eyed by all the stories I had heard about the different parts of the world. Having such a diverse group of people on staff really opens up a childs eyes. They learn that there are so many different types of people and cultures within this world. In some cases this may be the only time a child can experience this diversity. Something about that is quite comforting. International staff truely bring that magic to camp.

I am now a full time staff member at ISTC. Spending half my life here I have learned so much about the world and myself. I am currently attending SUNY Oswego studying to be a teacher. ISTC has helped develop that path for me. I would not be the person I am today without all the staff that has come through this place. I am more confident and no longer afraid to take on a leadership role( I have all my past counselors to thank for that). I treat my campers as I was treated hoping they will grow and experience the same magic I did. ISTC would not be the camp it is today without all the staff!