Monday, May 30, 2011

Oregon's B'nai B'rith Camp for Special Family Vacations

Humor columnist Dave Barry once wrote that there's no such thing as “family fun.” Not so. B'nai B'rith Camp proves the Pulitzer Prize winning writer wrong. And sets many families to rights.

Chase McMullen is a regular camper at BB Camp in Lincoln City, Oregon

Indeed, B'nai B'rith Camp – located in North Lincoln City, on Devils Lake, on the mild and soporific Oregon Coast – is reputed for the hundreds of kids it serves every summer, all summer long, in its overnight and day camp sessions.While overnight sessions are usually focused on Jewish culture and learning, the day camp is totally non-denominational and serves children from throughout the region.

B'nai B'rith Camp – “B B Camp” for short – sits on 14 acres and not only has 18 cabins for its overnight-sessions campers, but a Lake House on the periphery of Camp that sleeps 10. So Camp offers many options to families: Parents can send their children to its popular and active Day Camp; and they can rent the Lake House family group getaway.

Affordable Family Reunion Destination - BB Camp
Olga Mazzeo of Portland, Oregon, relished her recent family reunion at B B Camp. Olga, 36, and husband, Steven, 43, and daughters, Nicole, 9, and Natalie, 6, rented the Lake House for a three-day family retreat.

Nicole and Natalie spent their days taking advantage of Camp's great amenities, like the sports its recreation room – pool, ping-pong, basketball and more – and water activities, such as canoeing and kayaking.

And when hungry, Olga says, the girls loved eating on the Lake House's private dock.

“We liked the proximity to Devils Lake and the fact that the house was right on the lake. It was a blast!” says Olga, a software engineer.

In addition to its ideal and calming location, the Lake House has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a master suite with its own Jacuzzi bath, a gourmet kitchen and more.

With Camp's proximity to coastal towns, the extended Mazzeo family also drove off the grounds and spend time being tourists in Lincoln City proper, or nearby Newport, home to the nationally home to the nationally renowned Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Center.

Turns out that Olga and Steven's daughters specifically liked so much of what they saw about B B Camp, they've since enrolled as overnight campers for an upcoming summer session.

“Everyone was friendly and helpful,” says Olga of Camp's staff and whose eldest daughter is returning this summer for an overnight Camp session. “We would do this again; we left with lots of fun memories.”

B B Camp's Day Camp for Local Children
Mason McMullin's son, Chase, 6 ½, last summer attended six of Camp's seven week-long Day Camp sessions. The family lives in nearby Neskowin, a small community coastal community.

A special advantage to the McMullin family is access to the Day Camp's special accoutrements, which are lacking in most nearby coastal communities. Extras such as Camp's heated pool; hydrotubing; tennis; drama; and Ga-ga, a game more well-known in Israel that kids quickly take to.

B'nai B'rith Camp's overnight sessions – those just for kids and those for adults-only and families – include Jewish learning and culture. Its Day Camp, however, is entirely non-denominational and absolutely non-faith based, emphasizes Michelle Koplan, B B Camp's executive director.

In fact, says Danika Duren, B B Camp's Director of Sales and Marking, most of B B Camp's Day Camp kids and Lake House renters are non-Jews. These thousands of individuals quickly come to call B B Camp “home” and a “respite” from their work-a-day lives, not only in the off-season but during summer's seven Day Camp sessions, Duren adds.

“What makes it special is the vast array of different activities for the kids. It's structured and it's organized,” Mason, Chase's mom, says. Day Camp is geared toward children ages 3 to 12.

“Most coastal kids are never exposed to such things,” she continues. “Especially the water sports and tennis. There's nothing camp-like around here, and most (families) don't leave the community. This is great for locals to check out.”

Last summer, when Chase's final Day Camp session came to an end, he immediately asked his mom, “When do I get to go to Camp again?”

BB Camp Trip Planning Details

B. B. Camp's office is located at 9400 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy., #147, Beaverton, OR 97005. The camp itself is in Lincoln City. Day Camp sessions are $120, plus early care and extended-day options per week. For more information and to enroll, click to (503/452-3429). The Lake House rents for $300 per evening. Rental packages are available. For more information, contact Danika Duren, at, or (503) 345-9476.

Thanks to Jenn Director Knudsen for contributing this article and photos to TheFamilyVacationist.

No comments:

Post a Comment