First Day of Summer, First Day of Camp!

Here at Smirkus Camp, the first day of summer means that our Session I campers have arrived! We have over 80 campers joining us from all over the U.S. for a full week of circus challenges, goofy games, and incredible summer memories.


My role at registration is to take a photo of every camper with their name tags. This helps us make sure we capture every camper having a blast at Smirkus Camp! While taking photos, I got to poll the campers to find out what they were most excited to try while here this week, and aerial silks was mentioned numerous times. Aerial Silks are a strong, long stretchy fabric rigged from the cupola that allow performers to climb, wrap, and drop in spectacular combinations! Keep an eye out for photos of campers practicing on aerial silks throughout the week on our new Flickr page! 

After registration, Arrival Day brought families together to check out the brand new Smirkus Camp facilities. Meanwhile, Smirkus Campers set off towards one of the fields to get to know each other and create group rotation names. My personal favorite were the Smurple Purple Dolphins, who found the most innovative way of expressing their group allegiance. You can check out that Smirkus silliness on our Instagram (don’t forget to hit that follow button!)

Over the week the Dolphins and the other groups will move through rotations as they work closely together to learn new skills.

Day 1: The first day of rotations started bright and early with a delicious meal of scrambled eggs and bacon. A big “Hup! Hey!” to our marvelous kitchen staff who keeps our active bodies well nourished. After breakfast, the day kicked off with warm ups and running (my job was to cheer on the campers – who did a GREAT job running, by the way!)


Warming up is a critical aspect of a healthy circus practice. With the high level of physical activity happening at Smirkus Camp, we have to make sure our muscles are properly awake before any tumbling, juggling, trapeze-ing, or clowning can begin.

Smirkus Camp is a place with its own distinct culture and traditions. The opening of our new camp facilities means that many new traditions are being built this summer! I can’t wait to see what kinds of goofy Smirkus rituals and traditions are created during this first special summer.

A long tradition upheld by Executive Director Ed LeClair- Being covered in pie and wearing elephant ears!

A long tradition upheld by Executive Director Ed LeClair- Being covered in pie and wearing elephant ears!

Stay tuned for more updates, old and new Smirkus Camp traditions and check out our Flickr page for daily photos!

All the best,


About Hula Hooping Hannah

Hannah Stanton-Gockel is a graduate of Ohio University, a fluent Spanish speaker, world traveler and a hula hoop circus performer who devotes her life to story-telling both onstage and off. With a focus in marketing and the guts to venture anywhere, Hannah currently works as the PR intern for Circus Smirkus in Vermont. You can follow her as she finds her purpose in this circus on Instagram @hulahoopinghannah.
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9 Responses to First Day of Summer, First Day of Camp!

  1. kaceyfb says:

    Hi! thank you for the updates! FYI – the link to Flickr doesn’t work! Looking forward to seeing all the photos! Thanks for updating the blog!

  2. kaceyfb says:

    oops never mind! It works now!

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing! It is wonderful to see how much fun and how happy our kids are!

  4. David Silver says:

    These are great. I thought there would be regular updates, it’s Thursday and no more pics yet?

  5. Tiffany says:

    I have the same reply as Mr. Silver! Also was told to call at any time… did that and have not been called back.

    Love the pictures though!

  6. Arlyn says:

    Thank you for posting the photos. It is such a treat to see my son, the other kids, and the adults all clearly having such a wonderful time. I appreciate it!

  7. kacey says:

    I understand if the blog can’t be updated, but could the pictures at least get uploaded to Flickr? It’s been a huge bummer this year to not have the daily updates.

  8. Hello, all! Please continue to follow us here on this blog, our Flickr page, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates on all things Smirkus! Our clowns will post frequent updates to all of these channels throughout the summer. Check out our most recent video from the 4th of July here, it’s really fun!

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