By Laurel Barrie, Camp Connection
One of the challenges in determining a location for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is trying to find a venue that is unique and fun for both the children and adults attending.
Traditional locations might be a Synagogue, local catering facilities, Country Clubs, discos, etc. For those of you interested in finding a ‘destination’ location, a location out of the ordinary, in a park like environment, why not share the occasion with your family and guests at a camp!
You can either do it at a Day Camp or make it an overnight event at a Sleepaway Camp. Generally, the actual ceremony is held at your home Temple with the party at this type of venue. Some camps can accommodate for the service too.
A destination Camp Bar/Bat Mitzvah is best understood and most enjoyed if your child has attended camp. We find that those families who focus on this type of event are those children whose parents have also attended camp themselves as children. It is a glorious thing to try and relive those magical days of camp and share them with friends and family. Of course this type of experience is not limited to multi generational camp families. Campers of yesteryear “dream” about sleeping in a cabin – oh those memories!
Look for the Silverman Bat Mitzvah Family Spotlight soon. Their celebration took place at Camp Pontiac!
Photo courtesy of Salzman & Ashley Studios
Of course there are those who would not be comfortable in this ‘rustic’ environment. You really should look into Bed and Breakfasts that are in the vicinity for those who need private bathrooms and better creature comforts.
Attire for this type of affair is generally “casual chic,” your beaded gowns, heels and tuxedos are not appropriate attire. How many times have you wished that you could attend a function that had a wonderful band or DJ and wear sneakers and dance your feet off? This is a perfect opportunity! Sweatsuits, sneakers, comfy shoes are dreams that these type of functions are made of!
If you are considering a Sleepaway Camp for this event, prime consideration must be given to time of year that you have been given a DATE! Most summer camps are not winterized and most camps are located in regions that evening temperature drops significantly, therefore making this type of party can only be done during the months of June, late August and early September. To make use of the lake or pool, you must have your party in June or late August.
There are some significant restrictions to when you can have this type of affair. The hope is for perfect weather conditions to be able to run all your camp events like Color War, Apache relay, Team Sing, and Dance Contests, all within a 2-day party! Dual preparations may also be necessary based on the weather conditions.
Cost is definitely another factor. Because the dinner is not being held in a grand ballroom doesn’t mean that the cost of this affair will not be comparable to a more traditional venue. There are multiple meals, overnight stay, paying for your DJ, who likely has to travel a distance to provide entertainment. Flowers, decorations and other amenities that complete the total picture may be even costlier because of the remote location. There are multiple dining room preparations and therefore cleanups. The type of menu will vary, based on the meal being served…from a traditional main event menu to bbq buffet breakfast and lunches.
As a host of a Sleepaway Camp Bar or Bat Mitzvah your involvement and preparation are quite extensive, but will yield you an event that people will talk about for years to some. This is an adventuresome experience for the hosts and attendees and so much fun. Consider yourself lucky to be included on the invitation list for this type of event!
Camp Mitzvahs are more popular than ever, since families are always looking for more interesting and different venues. Because of their increasing popularity, many more camps are modernizing and improving facilities with these types of events in mind.