It’s been months of preparation and weeks of setting up but we finally have the first of our 2016 campers, and we (both campers and staff) couldn’t be happier!
It’s oft been said that a camp doesn’t really come alive until the campers arrive and Smirkus is no exception. Until Sunday morning when our site was teaming with the excited shouts and joyous laughs of our Intro campers, I never really appreciated the nature of this magical place. The look on the faces of our campers as they went into the air for the first time or the frivolity in which they clowned, was inspiring. The fearlessness of their acrobatics and the creativity of their juggling was infectious.
This week we had three sessions happen at camp: Intro to Smirkus Camp and Smirkling I and II. Intro is a one day taste of the joys of Smirkus Camp, and Smirkling is a two day one night tasting. The favorite activity of the week for our first and youngest campers, far and above any of the more traditional circus practices, was “Pie Day.” Pie Day is a staple of the Smirkus Camp experience. As the last part of each session, Campers get to pie someone, anyone, who will consent to step into the “Pie zone.” It is no coincidence that this event happens at the end of the day when the parents come (and they are the most popular target). I was lucky to be carrying a camera which is one of the magical items that creates a “No Pie Zone,” though simply asking not to be pied works too.
Of course with the joys of camp opening comes some sadness, we had to say a bittersweet farewell to Mike Richter. From his humble beginnings as a camper to this summer’s work as Head Rigger, Mike has spent many summers at Smirkus Camp and we are so grateful every time he comes back to our tents. He couldn’t do it alone though, Mike, Logan, and Alex created and installed a new rigging system in Mama Mia that will allow the aerial classes to maximize time in the air while maintaining the safety and level of instruction that our campers and parents know and love.
I am on the edge of my seat for what the upcoming week long session will bring and all of the wonderful and exciting days ahead of us all. And if you want to follow that excitement add Smirkus Camp on Snapchat @smirkuscamp. It’s updated all the time with all sorts of happenings (this week we had a safari)!