Circus Blogs: Camp News Big Top Tour News Residency News

What Does Circus Smirkus Mean to You?

Editor’s Note:
This post was written by summer Camp Communications Associate Sojourn Gudorf Johnston

Smirkus is the mud and the magic!

It’s a safe environment to be challenged.” 

It’s teamwork.” 

Smirkus is magical, joyful, exciting, whimsy, creative, colorful…

Tradition, generations, timeless

What does Circus Smirkus mean to you? These are some of the ways that Smirkus staff members describe their camp experiences. 

As the camp staff have been preparing for the camp sessions and fun to begin, they gathered and discussed what Smirkus means to them. Smirkus is an accepting and welcoming environment for everyone and provides an experience to learn the circus arts, express oneself creatively, and develop lifelong friends. It is an experience and environment where you are encouraged to be yourself, and figure out who you want to be. 

On Saturday, in cold and rainy weather, the Smirklings made their way to Greensboro, VT for their camp, bringing joy and sunshine with them. After playing several exciting games, creating team names, and an exercise warmup, they went off to learn new arts and practice their skills. They practiced Clowning, creating short skits in pairs; Juggling balls, plates, and diabolos; Aerials, practicing on silks, aerial hoop, and trapeze bar; and in Acro they practiced a variety of rolls, cartwheels, and base/flyer stunts. At the end of the event filled day, the Smirklings impressed their grownups by demonstrating their newly learned or practiced skills. A fantastic start to Smirkus’s 35th season!

June 18 was World Juggling Day!
World Juggling Day was first celebrated in 1995 by the International Juggling Association. Juggling may date back to 2000 B.C. (found in paintings in an ancient Egyptian tomb). In China 613-591 B.C., warrior Xiong Yiliao was believed to be magical for his talent of juggling. The demand for professional jugglers increased in the 19th-20
th centuries to perform in variety shows.

Former Smirkus trouper and camp coach Delaney Bayles has the following juggling records: 

  • 3 rings with 1 hand and 1 foot: 8 catches in 2018 (video)
  • 5 ring front-to-back body throws: 5 catches in 2020 (video)
  • 5 ring back-to-front body throws: 5 catches in 2021 (video)
  • 5 club back-to-front body throws: 10 catches in 2021 (video)
  • 6 club shoulder throws: 12 catches in 2021 (video)
  • 7 ring overheads: 15 catches in 2021 (video)
  • 7 ring backcrosses: 14 catches in 2020 (video)

This week, Circus Smirkus Camp celebrated World Juggling Day with the Smirklings by practicing their juggling skills. Coach Brian and Coach Tyler guided the campers through several challenging skills. Juggling takes practice, which the Smirklings patiently demonstrated. 

We are looking forward to our Session 1 Smirkus Campers arrivals this week!