All About Smirkus Camp
“At Smirkus Camp we create a small family when we’re there and it is like no other camp I’ve been to. Everyone says it’s magical…” – Carly, camper
Smirkus Camp is a summer camp for youth of all ages and skill levels who want to dive into the world of circus arts in an immersive camp setting under our big top circus tents, including adults at our Family and Friends Camp session! Each of Smirkus Camp’s unique sessions offers campers the opportunity to learn, grow, and excel—as their authentic selves—from circus industry professionals and with a stellar counseling staff. Click here to see this summer’s camp sessions.
Set in the lush, rural hills of Greensboro, Vermont, Smirkus Camp is an ideal spot to run away and join the circus! Spend an incredible summer of circus fun training with our talented coaches in disciplines such as acrobatics, juggling, clowning and aerials, to name a few. AND enjoy Smirkus Camp traditions like themed dinner dress up, “Tagnificence!” and singing about “Cleo the Circus Narwal,” around a campfire fueled by circus magic, stories and s’mores.
Smirkus Campers develop new ways to challenge themselves on the ground and in the air, learn skills like problem-solving, and how to work with others both in and out of the ring. They get terrific physical conditioning and have fun all the while! Smirkus Camp is the place to clown around, have the time of your life, and make lasting friendships with campers from all over the US. It is a magical summer of life changing circus adventure.
What You’ll Learn
Smirkus Camp offers coaching in many circus disciplines some of which may rotate and change depending on the specialties of the coaching staff during a given session. Smirkus guarantees that campers will get a well rounded learning experience that builds, reinforces and develops their circus skills, which may include:
Fabric (aka silks, tissue), lyra (aerial hoop), rope, straps, hammock/sling, Chinese pole, static and dance trapeze, duo trapeze, and triple trapeze.
Tightwire, rolling globe, stilts, unicycle, rola bola.
- Juggling and Manipulation:
Scarves, balls, rings, clubs, passing, contact juggling, diabolo, devil sticks/flower sticks, cigar boxes, poi, hats, shaker cups.
- Clowning and Performance:
Clowning, improvisation, slapstick, pantomime, act creation, stage presence, pie throwing, movement and dance, the signature Smirkus “style & smile!”
A day in the life of a Smirkus Camper wouldn’t be complete without the following circus based activities:
- WARM UPS: Each day at Smirkus Camp begins with a group warm up where campers and staff physically and mentally prepare for the day to come. Safety is our number one priority and warming up is key to focus the body and mind before jumping, bending, twisting and clowning around!
- CORE CLASSES: After warm ups, campers rotate in small groups between the four core disciplines of acrobatics, juggling, aerials and performance. Each class is held under the circus tents (each with its own special name) and is taught by a high-level circus artist and coach. In the morning, groups are of mixed age, gender identity, and skill level to promote a sense of camp community, though each camper is taught at their own skill level.
- CHOICE TIME: In the afternoon, campers get to choose from a variety of circus classes and lessons that focus on specific skills, technique, or creative approaches. The “Choice Time” board classes change on a daily basis and allows campers the opportunity to try new tricks or to spend more time working on skills they already love.
A day in the life of a Smirkus Camper wouldn’t be complete without camp-spirited afternoon and evening activities which include and go beyond:
- FIELD GAMES: Tagnificence! Kickball! Capture the Flag!
- SHOWTIME: Movie nights, talent show, staff stories, karaoke, themed dinner dress up
- ENRICHMENT: Guest artists, workshops or performances, PIE DAY!
Facilities & Accessibility
Circus Smirkus Camp is located in Greensboro, Vermont on 35 acres of hilltop pasture.
- We have two dormitory buildings that accommodate campers and staff separately. Campers may choose to be housed in female-identifying, male-identifying, or non-binary/all gender housing. Rooms are bunk style with 4-5 campers per room. Each dorm has several common areas and is decorated with historical circus memorabilia and props from past Circus Smirkus shows. For more on our housing policy, click here.
- Circus classes take place under four European-style circus big tops that range in shape, color, and capacity from round to rectangular and from blue and white stripes to red and yellow!
- In Rufus Dining Hall, a converted and historic Vermont barn, our kitchen and culinary team work around the clock to prepare wholesome and quality meals using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. We are able and equipped to accommodate dietary restrictions (vegetarian, gluten free, etc.) and allergies and it is paramount to our mission that our campers have plenty of healthy, varied and delicious options at every meal.
The Smirkus Camp facility is ADA-compliant and our coaches, counselors, and support staff are ready to assist circus dreamers with accessibility concerns to make the most of their camp experience. For more information about accessibility at Smirkus Camp, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Circus Smirkus Vermont camp is a model of high-quality care for kids.”
–Yvonne M. Vissing, former camp parent and author of “How to Keep Your Children Safe: A Guide to Parents,”
Safety is the number one issue for us at Smirkus Camp and the guidelines, camp rules, and our approach to training all reflect our attention to keeping campers, staff, and visitors safe. While at times circus inherently involves risk, we are always calculating and evaluating that risk before we act: Is there a mat under the tightwire? Is the tumbling floor clear and level? Can we do this new trick in a spotting belt? Are you wearing shoes when playing kickball?
- Smirkus Camp is licensed by the Vermont Department of Health and complies with their regulations and passes annual inspection.
- We perform annual background checks for all staff.
- All Smirkus Staff take part in an extensive staff orientation so they are familiar with the safety measures we take and so that we are all on the same page regarding best practices around spotting, and living together in a safe environment.
Circus Smirkus requires proof of up-to-date vaccination (including boosters as recommended by CDC) against Covid-19 with a CDC or WHO authorized vaccine for all staff, campers, and troupers. Additional Covid-19 protocols will be updated based on current public health guidelines, and are subject to change following state and/or local ordinance, guidance from the CDC, and at the discretion of Circus Smirkus for the health and safety of our participants and staff.
2023 Smirkus Camp COVID-19 Guidelines:
1. At Circus Smirkus we strive to create a safe and healthy environment for our participants, staff, volunteers, and audience members. Circus Smirkus requires proof of up-to-date vaccination (including boosters as recommended by CDC) against Covid-19 with a CDC or WHO authorized vaccine for all staff, campers, and troupers. Additional Covid-19 protocols may be updated based on current public health guidelines, and are subject to change following state and/or local ordinance, guidance from the CDC, and at the discretion of Circus Smirkus for the health and safety of our participants and staff.
2. Be sure to provide COVID-19 vaccination documentation in your camper’s Campdoc file.
3. If you are flying or using any form of public transportation to arrive at camp please wear an N-95, KN-95, or equivalent mask when in transit.
4. Masks are encouraged in indoor spaces, especially during the first week of camp. Please note practice tents are considered outdoor spaces.
Circus Smirkus Inclusion Policy:
Circus Smirkus celebrates all types of peoples, cultures, and skills to showcase the multifaceted triumph of human abilities, particularly among our youth population. Joining Circus Smirkus – as a participant, an employee, a volunteer, or an audience member – means you belong. And to all who join, Smirkus asks for you to embrace our values and to help us create joy and magic for everyone who encounters a Smirkus program. We commit to providing everyone equal opportunity to shine— both in and out of the ring.
Circus Smirkus Housing FAQ:
Circus Smirkus offers multiple housing options for campers and troupers, including gender-segregated and all-gender housing options. We want to provide you with as much information as possible about housing options for your child or loved one. Read our full Housing FAQ.
Fees, Conditions & Policies:
View our 2023 Fees, Conditions, & Policies – PDF
Circus Smirkus Camp is located in Greensboro, Vermont, just down the road from our main headquarters, which is the site of the Smirkus Big Top Tour opening and closing shows and home to our year-round offices. For camp specific inquiries please use camp contact information:
|Smirkus Camp||Circus Smirkus World Headquarters|
Phone: June 1 – Aug 31 802-533-2423
Sept 1 – May 31 802-53-7443 x26
Circus Smirkus Camp
409 Breezy Ave
Greensboro VT 05841
1 Circus Road
Greensboro, VT 05841
|GPS Coordinates||GPS Coordinates|