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Star Drops in the Tents

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Camp Communications Intern Magdalene McCaffrey

Circus SmirkusUnder the blue and white stripes of Mamma Mia’s copula, the red, green, and pink silks are attached to the rigging hooks. In billowing lines, they’re pulled and secured as campers file into the tent. The campers take off their shoes and step onto the trocellen mat to sit on the ring curb. Coaches lead the kids in stretches as the rigging is finished, then they step into the center of the ring and pull themselves onto the silk.

“We’ll be working on our star drops today! So let’s go over how to set up for this and make sure everyone’s on the same page.”

The coaches instruct how to climb to the proper height before winding the silk around their bodies in an intricate set of movements. The campers watch them, nodding with each verbal check-in as the coaches demonstrate.

“I know many of you have done this before, but you can always work on improving form and training for more drops.” And with that, the coaches say, “Hup,” and let themselves drop backward, silk arcing around them before catching them safely, getting a hold a few feet lower than they were. They slide down and step from the mats.

“Okay, three silks open, let’s line up!”

Three campers stand from the ring curb and quickly pick a silk. They easily wind the silk around their legs and begin the climb. As they begin the sequence of movements that create a safe basis for the drop, coaches give instruction from the ground. Campers adjust accordingly, concentration creating determined faces. Finally, coaches give the okay and on “Hup,” the campers let themselves drop, arms and legs stiff and out creating the star form as the silk lets them fall and catches them all in a moment.

After adjusting to their new position, campers unwind themselves so the silks are in a simple hold and smiling, they slide back to the mats.

“Great work! Okay, silks open, next round!”