Everyone at Smirkus has a vital role. The directors create the show, the composer writes and plays the music, the coaches train the troupers, the cooks feed everyone. What about the counselors?
At summer camp, counselors are the campers’ guardians. Smirkus’ counselors are so much more! The three counselors — Willow Yonika, head counselor (who is also an ICU nurse and a former trouper), Danielle Kehlmann from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Andrew Jones from Chicago — support the troupers in every way.
The trio ensures the troupers are staying healthy by urging them to eat nutritious meals, drink lots of water and Gatorade, go to bed early, and enforcing the daily chore chart. Their job is not entirely law enforcement, however. Willow, Dani, and Andrew organize activities for when the troupers are not training or performing — such as trips to Willey’s General Store in Greensboro, day trips to Caspian Lake, a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, and a trip to Bread & Puppet Theater. They give lots of TLC when troupers are not feeling up to par, advise them on group dynamics, and cheer them up when they are feeling a little blue. And they drive the trouper vans. And braid hair. (see below).
Imagine sending your child to perform for a circus (dazzling audiences with aerial stunts, acrobatics, and other circus skills) which trains for three weeks and tours around five states over the course of the next seven weeks. That’s a lot of responsibility for the counselors. In order to make the detachment from home a little easier for the parents, the counselors write daily updates and assure the parents that their kids are in good hands.
These hardworking individuals deserve a huge round of applause! Thanks for your great work guys!