A Daring Adventure

Where has the summer gone?! Session IV ended last week with the incredible final show “Monsters Under the Bed.” Campers were creepy, they were scary, they embodied monsters, ghouls, and ghosts in every act, from Spanish web to clowning to tightwire! It is so amazing to see the hard work these campers put into creating such a wonderful final show each session. We can’t wait to see you next year, Session IV!

Most of the Smirkus Camp staff have been on campus since late May (some even before that!) working hard to get this new camp ready. Remember the Work Party Weekend, when a hundred volunteers came to help make our beautiful camp ready for the campers?

That weekend simultaneously feels a million miles away and like it was yesterday because every Smirkus Camp session has a lifetime crammed into it, that’s just how much magic is poured into every single moment of the day here.

Each session here has been so special, as new campers fill our dorms, decorate the dining hall with prayer flags, play Tagnificence in Smirkus Camp’s fields and hang upside down in Mamma Mia, we are creating memories that will be the camp’s foundation for decades to come. In another 25 years we will all think back to that first summer on Breezy Avenue and remember those who made it so special.


All made by our campers, inspirational prayer flags decorate our new dining hall: “You don’t to be great to start but you have to start to be great.”

With these nostalgic thoughts we are so excited to dive right into Session V! Session V has a unique structure because the campers are divided into 3 groups: Ensemble, Individual Acts, and the Road Show. Ensemble campers work together with Smirkus Veteran Acro Coach and Director Crosby Sandoval to create an hour long circus show. Individual Acts are lead by long-time Smirkus Aerial Coach T Lawrence-Simon who will help campers create a 3 minute long act in the skill of their choice. The Road Show is the mini-version of our sister program The Big Top Tour! Fourteen campers create a half hour show during Week 1 and during Week 2 this show will go on an 18 stop run through Montpelier, Burlington, Morrisville, Glover, Newport, Northfield, Lyndonville, East Craftsbury, and, of course, Greensboro! This Road Show is directed by the marvelous Clowning Coach Suzanne.


Get-to-know-you games before breaking into groups to discuss Individual, Road Show and Ensemble Acts!


Hup, Hey!


Welcome Session V Campers!


Put your thinking caps on, Smirkus Campers, it’s time to make Session V amazing!


There is so much to be excited about this session and so many projects happening simultaneously. Session V campers arrived on Sunday and dove right in, almost  immediately meeting with their 3 groups to discuss details and plan performance themes. Everyone at Smirkus Camp is ready to embrace these magical last two weeks of camp and propel these campers to a new level of performing and training.

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The Blue Moon over Smirkus Camp last night!

As always, additional photos are uploaded daily onto the Flickr account. Be sure to check there for even more insight into camp!

All the best,


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

-Helen Keller


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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