Rock Climbing Party -10yr- Zip Line Tower Climb
Tori in Owosso, MI USA
For my son Zack's 10th birthday, he wanted something different. We finally came up with an idea that he liked. Our local summer YMCA day camp was offering, for the first time ever, birthday parties on weekends starting in April and ending in September. Zack's birthday is in the beginning of October, so in July we made our reservation for September 30th. I was very impressed with the whole program which promised adventure and more" (every 10 year old boy's dream!). They started with a form that asked about Zack's likes and dislikes including his favorite color a 250 ft. zip line archery a ropes course or the black hole slide just to name a few. After much deliberation Zack ended up choosing the climbing tower and the black hole slide.
INVITATIONS: I made my own invitations because I had a hard time finding anything that had to do with camp or even rock wall climbing. I found a cartoon clip art of a rock climber on line and downloaded it. I used my desktop publisher and found a background that I liked that had a green boarder that started out dark around the edges and then faded into the center. At the top in blue lettering it said "You're Invited to Zack's 10th Birthday Party!" Below that was the rock wall climber surrounded by a blue oval boarder. Under that it stated that it was a "Camp Adventure!" and gave all of the party details. I also included the permission slip (basically a liability release form) and the map. I found stamps called "Alpine Tundra" where each one shows a different part of a mountain scene. I mailed the invitations out three and a half weeks before the party so that I could give my party size to the camp two weeks in advance.
ATTIRE: My kids attended a week of Day Camp that summer and had received t-shirts that said "Camp Shiawassee Sun Mud & Fun". The t-shirts were perfect for our party and they were green Zack's favorite color!
PARTY: Camp Shiawassee is a beautiful 180 acre camp that runs along the Shiawassee River. I was a little concerned that parents might have a hard time finding it so we made posters to mark the corners where parents would have to turn the entrance to the camp and the pavillion. I used different colored 4" letters to spell out "Zack's B-day Party" and stapled balloons on large poster boards. We were blessed with a beautiful day with a high of 80 degrees (my biggest fear was being rained out).
CLIMBING TOWER: We started the party with a 40 ft. four-sided climbing tower. Each wall of the tower was designed for different climbing abilities. The kids all had to gear-up with helmets and safety harnesses (great photo op). We had two guides working with us. They instructed the kids in all the proper climbing jargon.
When they were ready the climber was to say "on belay" the guides would then respond "belay on" then the climber was to say "climbing" and the guides would respond "climb on" and they could begin their ascent while the guides held safety ropes and helped guide them. The kids really got into it with the kids on the ground cheering on the climbers telling them where the closest foot or hand hold was. It was a challenging wall where areas would jet out and the kids would have to figure out how to get around them. Half of our group made it to the top.
The birthday boy set the record for the day making it to the top in two minutes on his second attempt (his first attempt he only made it half-way up). After this it was time for cake and drinks back at the pavilion. The cake drinks party plates napkins and plastic forks were all part of the package. They did a great job it was Zack's favorite flavor frosting and cake and the writing was in green frosting with blue and green candles. After cake we moved on to gift opening. Each boy came up one at a time and sat with Zack while he opened his gift. My husband then took a picture of the gift giver and the birthday boy to include in the thank you notes.
BLACK HOLE SLIDE: The kids couldn't wait to move on to our last activity. It was a 112 ft. long black tunnel that ran down "Heart Attack Hill". Each of the kids was given a sled and then one at a time they went flying down the tube. It was hilarious listening to them scream (in fun) as they went down. Even my two-year old did it with his big brother. (He cried when it was time to leave because he was having so much fun!) Each of the boys got at least three trips down and we would have gone longer but parents started to arrive to pick up the boys.
GOODIE BAGS: Before the boys left they each received a goodie bag. Zack picked out sling style back packs and we filled them with bags of trail mix (which we renamed with our own labels: "Zack Snacks" with the clip art rock climber from the invite on them) light-up carabiner (the metal clips the kids used for their safety ropes) key chains "Pop Rocks" candies "wall climber" toy figures and real rock necklaces that Zack and I made(I found the idea and directions on FamilyFun.com under the heading "7 Great Camp Crafts and Games"). The goodie bags came in just under $40 which I thought was pretty good for 10 bags and the kids were wearing the back packs and necklaces before they were even out of the camp.
It was a great party and actually very reasonable only $125 for the first 10 kids and then $5 each additional kid. It felt a little weird not planning every detail but since I was 7 months pregnant with our 5th and my husband was out of state the week leading up to the party I appreciated not overdoing it. Besides as Zack said "It was AWESOME!!" "
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