Summer 2021 marked our TWENTIETH season of Wild Rumpus Circus Camps for youth! It’s truly hard to believe that we’ve been at it for this long! We’re grateful to each and every family that’s shared their young clowns and acrobats with us over the years. We have learned so much and laughed so much (and worked so hard) and created such amazing experiences together!
This was a special summer in other ways, too. We continued to adapt to keep our campers safe and healthy as the COVID 19 pandemic beat a retreat, followed by a swift return in our area. We decided to return to full enrollment, but to double our space and teaching staff, so that we could keep our “classroom” sizes small. We kept our masks on indoors, and tried to get outside as much as possible. We replaced crowded indoor performances with videos and ice cream cones for our one-week campers, while our two-week long “advanced camps” culminated in live outdoor shows.
We added visual art to our curriculum in a much more in-depth way than ever before. Michelle Storm put great thought and preparation into every week’s classes, with activities ranging from decorating the mazo community building (our second classroom space) with a wall full of life-sized clowns each week, to making costumes and props for our performances, to dreaming up miniature circus dioramas.
We brought in guest teachers from Chicago, Madison, St. Louis and Raleigh to help expand our teaching staff and diversify our offerings. Sam Sake and Alex Devaux taught German Wheel, Katie Rebich and Meg Anderson taught aerial, acrobatics, acrobatic stilts, costume design and the art of giving and receiving a pie in the face! They were great additions to our advanced camp programming, and even joined us for a couple of performing gigs!
We were even able to provide HOUSING for our guest artists in an apartment directly across the street from the Rumpus Room, in the very building and in fact within the very space where the Ringling Brothers first performed! That was extra-special for sure; and it really made it possible for us to host these wonderful teachers.
We were able to return to Circus World Museum again this summer with our advanced camp students. Since we were able to offer two, two-week long advanced camps, we invited all kids from both camps to participate. as a result, we had thirty-seven kids up on stilts that day.That was special too! Here are some photos and videos from our summer adventures!