While a “smörgåsbord” is a Scandinavian name for a buffet with lots of dishes, or a large mixture of many different things, a “smirkusbord” is the name of our first ever Smirkus-wide summer kick off.
On a warm Monday evening, we gathered at the new Smirkus Camp site on Breezy Avenue in Greensboro, Vermont. The farmhouse, barn and 30 acres, with its mazing hallways, hidden stairs and spectacular view, will become the permanent home of Smirkus Camp! The whole Smirkus company came together in celebration of another summer of Smirkus and in appreciation of all that makes Smirkus Smirkus. And what better a place to have these festivities than at the new camp site? Afterall, this is a huge milestone for Smirkus!
There was Tour staff, Camp staff, Year-round staff, Troupers and members of the Board of Directors. In a place like Smirkus that is consistently busy with work to be done around the clock, it was beautiful that people were able to take a few hours to enjoy the company of one another. And though we are all one big family, it is rare that we get the chance to come together as a whole with people from our three programs, camp, tour and residencies, all together under one roof, getting to know one another.
Upon arrival, Smirkos, staff and board were broken up into groups for a tour, revealing little secrets of the 135 year old farmhouse and ending in an old barn. The barn, attached to the house, holds decades of stories with its sloping floors and its 48 star flags. Serendipitously, on the wall of the loft, amidst dust and old books, hangs an old Smirkus poster which was thumbtacked up years before we looked at this property as if showing us that this is where we are meant to be.
After the tour, guests found their tables and made their way outside to the dinner line. Each table was named after a special Smirkus term, such as “Millie”, the midway tent on the Big Top Tour, or “Mamma Mia”, one of Smirkus Camp’s big top tents. Once everyone had gone through the buffet line, people sat at their tables and chatted as a Cajun band played merrily in the background. Though many sat by people they had never before met, all shared a common connection: Smirkus.
After dinner came toasts, to the new space, to all that Smirkus has accomplished and all that it will accomplish. People reminisced and shared their hopes for the future; there were tears of happiness and even a standing ovation. Celebrating the new and permanent home to camp reminded everyone who attended that Smirkus is constantly looking towards the future to help more people reach their dreams. After all, making the impossible possible is what we do best!