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2021 inTENTsive Trouper Arrival

Editor’s Note: This post was written by summer Tour Communications Intern Teagan Allen

The staff and coaches had been working hard for this day. The tents were up, cabins cleaned, equipment prepped, pie cart stocked, all that was left was the arrival of the troupers. While we had planned arrivals in 15-minute increments, the first group of troupers arrived in a big line, holding hands, waltzing, and skipping up the long dirt driveway. This sight instantly brought a smile to the staff and coaches’ faces due to the contagious smirko energy.

As more troupers arrived, more happy screams were coming from trouperville. Every trouper that arrived was greeted with hugs that were more like tackles from their friends. One staff member said the only way to keep the troupers off each other was if we put them all in their own hamster ball.

In between all the excitement of arrival, a time-honored Smirkus tradition took place, getting a birthday pie to the face!  Our creative director, Troy Wunderle, snuck up behind the birthday boy, Josh Shack, and bam, a birthday present Josh won’t soon forget.

After a dinner of catching up, it was time for council. Council is a meeting at the end of the day for the troupers and the counselors to talk about anything they want, it could be a challenge they’re facing or just a fun story from the day.  This council talked about some serious topics, like the importance of Juneteenth and Smirkuses land acknowledgment.  The senior troupers also gave advice to the younger and new troupers. The advice ranged from the importance of taking time for yourself over the next eight weeks and what the best bathroom is.  Arrival day was already full of laughter and memories. There’s sure to be many more in the next eight weeks.