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Smirkling Camp Saturday

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Camp Photographer & Communications Assistant Will Ciardelli

Wow! What a day we all had, and what a successful beginning to our summer sessions with the Smirkling Day Camp. The camp staff provided an incredibly warm and inclusive welcome to all 70 of our little Smirklings despite the wet and rainy weather conditions. After parents said their goodbyes to their soon-to-be circus stars, we broke into groups led by our enthusiastic counselors leading into some fun icebreakers to get everybody comfortable and acquainted.

Our coaches then led a group warm up to get everybody ready to do everything we had planned for them later that day. Going into some class rotations, our campers learned a variety of circus skills including juggling with scarves and juggling balls, as well as spinning plates. They were taught how to do some amazing tricks on aerial fabric and rope, both held in our blue and white striped tent named Mama Mia.

Snack time gave everyone a boost of energy! We fueled up with some apple slices and granola bars and were soon back at it. Campers headed over to our other tent name Natalie for acrobatics and pyramid building, where campers chose whether they wanted to fly high on top of the pyramids or be the strong bases at the bottom, although many were eager to try both!

Following that our Smirklings went to the clowning tent named Ruby, where our clown coaches led them through an array of fun acting and clowning exercises introducing our campers to classic gags used by clowns throughout history.

Halfway through our day we stopped to take an awesome group photo in the Baylin’s Balance Barn and then headed off to lunch where we enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by our dedicated kitchen staff. Unfortunately due to the lightning and thunder, we were unable to return to the tents for our previously scheduled class rotations so we brought the campers inside the dorm buildings for some fun activities including new juggling skills and clowning exercises that were not covered in their previous workshops. We also did a little Q&A where the campers asked staff and coaches more about the circus world.

After the thunderstorms let up, everyone returned to the tents for the last two rotations of the day where the Smirklings learned another set of skills from each station they attended with their group. A final snack time led into our group games where the campers were filled with excitement about all the skills they learned during their time at Smirkus Camp, eager to show their parents their newfound abilities in our “Show and Tell” period.

When the parents came flooding into the tents of Mama Mia, Natalie, and Ruby, their children had the choice to show them one or two of the skills they’d learned. Although everyone was looking forward to drying off from the rain, there were heavy heads on the way out of clown alley wishing for just another hour under the lights of the tents.

Here’s to seeing many of these Smirklings as future campers, and even maybe future troupers!