From the moment my alarm went off yesterday morning, I could feel that it would be a good day. The sun was shining, the Troupers were to be arriving late in the afternoon, excitement was in the air! Carefully, so as not to fall onto LeeAnne Brown, the Production Intern who sleeps in the bed beneath me, I climbed out of my top bunk perch. By the time the breakfast bell chimed at 8am, I was showered, dressed and ready to go.
Morning flew by with tour staff bustling around in every direction prepping and handling last minute details. Then as lunch was ending, the sound of a car horn echoed an excited song from down the driveway — the first Troupers had arrived early. The moment the van rolled to a stop, the doors flew open and out leapt the California troupers who sprinted into the open arms of fellow Troupers, Emily and Ariana Wunderle.
At 3pm when everyone else was scheduled to arrive, the Troupers from the West Coast all sat anxiously on the porch until the first car was spotted. With a graceful leap off the porch, they bounded to the car.
Between hugs and excited chatter, Troupers somehow managed to check-in and move into their rooms. With every new arrival, the process repeated itself, each time with a bigger welcome crew and more hugs and laughter than the one before it.
With many introductions and a few get-to-know-you games completed, a potluck dinner was officially served. While parents and staff mingled and ate, Artistic Director Troy Wunderle stealthily created a pie. As per long-standing circus birthday tradition, this pie ended up in the face of Trouper father Jeff Schoellkopf to wish him a very happy birthday.
(Photo credit: Robert Sanson- Special thanks for letting me use this photo. I’ve learned that at the circus extraordinary things happen at seemingly ordinary times and that my camera should never be more than an arms length away!)
After parents said their final goodbyes, Troupers gathered for their first Council of the summer. Council is a nightly meeting that is a time for troupers and counselors (and sometimes staff!) to share, communicate and reflect on the day. Though this particular meeting was filled mainly with rules and chores, it is clear Council holds a special spot in the hearts of all who attend. As Jack Cape, one of the three counselors for this summer, brought Council to a close, the quiet focus present during the meeting broke once again into loud exuberance. The rest of the evening was spent practicing old tricks and meeting new people until troupers brushed their teeth and returned to Trailerville.
And like that, the migration is complete and everyone is home.
Big Top Tour Marketing and PR Assistant