Circus Smirkus Session V 2016: The Countdown Begins!


I am so excited! I got into Circus Smirkus summer camp Session V for 2016! That may not mean a lot to anyone who hasn’t been to Smirkus Camp, but it means everything to me.

Here’s what Circus Smirkus says on its website about Session V:

“Session V prepares campers for performances beyond their Smirkus Camp experience, through three different programs. These exciting programs carry high expectations for campers who are willing to work hard to improve their artistry in a self-directed, supervised training experience. Campers selected to participate in any of the Session V programs still get to enjoy the magic of Smirkus Camp with themed dinners, talent shows, Pie Day and a special evening program! All Session V programs end with circus performances for family and friends.

Ensemble Work is for campers, ages 13 to 18, who have the desire to improve upon their existing circus skills and to learn new ones in individual and group settings. In the first week, campers will collaborate with their coaches and classmates on individual circus training goals and will be dedicated to creating and performing a group show in the second week.”

You have to audition for Session V. This is the third year I auditioned, but it’s the first year I got in. It seems like every year, when it’s time to film the audition, something happens.  Last year, my grandma Beverlee died the week we were supposed to tape the audition, and I had to tape it the day after her funeral. To say it was a disaster would be charitable. This year, it rained for three weeks straight — and the day we finally taped it, it was still drizzling. I had to leave out some of the tricks because it was just too wet and slick to do them — I didn’t think butterfly leaps while juggling machetes would be a good idea on slick, wet grass or concrete!

I love everything about Circus Smirkus Camp. I love the location, in Vermont. I love the tents (Natalie, Ruby, Flo, and the big top, Mama Mia). I love the people, the food, and the hours of hard work during the rotations through all the different circus skills. I love dressing up for dinner in silly costumes and meeting other circus kids from all over the world. About the only thing I don’t love is the morning run. But it’s worth it for the rest of the Circus Smirkus camp experience.

I’ve gone to Session IV for the past three summers. Session IV is great — it’s for kids who have been to Circus Smirkus camp before, or who have been involved with other circus programs, juggling or unicycle club or gymnastics teams. So everybody at Session IV has basic skills, and wants to get better as a performer.

Session V is the next level, though. It’s for people like me who really think that they might want to perform professionally some day. I’m thinking about taking a year or two off after high school to travel with a circus before I head off to college (and eventually, to law school). Session V is also the place where those who hope to audition to be a Circus Smirkus trouper can get some extra polish and coaching, too.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be going to Session V next summer. It is exactly 235 days until Session V begins on August 7, 2016. The countdown has started!

Want to know how excited I am to be going to Session V? Take a look at this video of the 2015 Circus Smirkus Camp Experience — fast forward to about 2:52. Yep, that’s how I feel: like jumping for joy! (Or at least jumping around in my pajamas!)

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