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The official Circus Smirkus Camp Blog

Lighting the Magical Fire

Editor’s Note: This post was written by 2020 Smirkus Camp Coach, Lindsay Culbert-Olds What inspires me about working at Circus Smirkus is the energy. There is an almost constant flow of positivity and a transformative spirit of inclusion that fills the campus.  We call this the “Smirkus Magic.” What I have learned from working at Circus Smirkus is that there really is no “magic.”  This quality is not inherently present; Smirkus staff works hard to light this magical fire. The innocence and genuine excitement of the campers provide the fuel – just as in the circus ring, the performers put…

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Resilience at Smirkus Camp

Watch the video above to see the joy, magic, and spirit of Building A Circus Village at Smirkus Camp, Summer 2020. Click here to make a gift to our Resilient and Ready campaign and help Circus Smirkus bounce back!

A Dream 

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Head Coach Doug Stewart It’s been just over a week since campers left, and yet it feels like a lifetime. After all of the campers left on Friday, August , I headed for home in Boston. Once I arrived, I was surrounded by the all too familiar feeling I get whenever I leave Smirkus. Similar to the “Circus Magic” we all talk about, it is impossible to describe. But for those who have experienced it, they know the exact feeling. It’s the feeling of waking up from a dream. Whenever we arrive at Smirkus Camp…

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Guest Speakers

“When one door closes another one opens” is an adage I have heard bandied around for much of my life. The adage is usually spoken when something goes wrong. I understand the sentiment behind it – we should look for the opportunities that open up around us. With Smirkus Camp in a quarantine “bubble” this summer, the actual door to camp was closed once we had all our campers in residence at camp. The closed door meant no guests, no visitors. It also meant the guests that I had on tap to speak to campers this summer could not physically get…

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Building a Circus Village

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Head Coach Doug Stewart Greetings from Smirkus Camp! We’re already into the third week of camp and the days are starting to blend together. In our bubble up in Northern Vermont, we’re running on circus time. The days are long but the weeks are short and there is magic to be found in every moment. Following the announcement that Smirkus Camp is COVID-19 free – which will forever be one of my most cherished Circus Smirkus moments – we’ve shifted gears and have implemented a new training schedule. During the first two weeks of camp, everyone was…

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Smirkus Camp Celebration

Enjoy these videos capturing the moments where the campers and staff were told that everyone has tested negatives for COVID-19 and that the pods could be disbanded. The joy is palpable!

A Summer of Unexpected Wonderful

For a good portion of the year the Old Lonegren Farm that houses our camp sits in anticipation among its fields that are only active with the weather. The fields of hay bow in the wind and lie down in the snow awaiting the summer. The summer months do not disappoint, they are filled with surprises. On July 12, after much planning and re-planning, and campers and staff completed their quarantines, the summer at Smirkus Camp finally began. The plan of a physically distanced registration process came off without a hitch. With each arriving camper came another piece of the…

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5 Lessons I Learned at Smirkus Camp

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Circus Talk online on January 6, 2020 and was written by Ivy Blake 5 Lessons I Learned Growing Up – and Then Working at– A Circus Camp It’s rare that we get the chance to interact with the same institution from many positions. Circus Smirkus camp, the sleep-away summer camp run by the youth circus of Vermont Circus Smirkus, is one of those rare establishments that actively hires former campers to be on staff as coaches and counselors. I have now had the privilege of inhabiting all three of these roles: a camper from 2006-2012, a counselor in 2014…

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Head Coach Josh Shack Explains It All For You

Circus Smirkus

Director of Programming Josh Shack has held many positions at Circus Smirkus. He was a camper, and then performed in the Big Top Tour, he’s been the tour production manager, as well as a residency artist. Last summer he added a new title to the mix: Advanced Camp Head Coach at Circus Smirkus Camp. This year, he’s working on developing new curriculum for the Advanced Performance Camp Programs for campers who are training at the highest level. “Smirkus is known for its performance,” Josh says, “and so I want to make sure our campers are getting the chance to really…

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