A Closer Look at a Camp Hobby Program

In addition to traditional sports, summer camps are offering more and more hobby related activities to campers. The guest blog this week is from the Camp Starlight blog and explores a popular hobby program there that offers campers the opportunity to learn skills that are not commonly taught in schools or neighborhood programs.

The Circus program at Camp Starlight is very popular, and for good reason. It is the only program that gives campers the opportunity to walk on stilts, juggle, do diabl0, flip devil sticks, and spin plates. Campers in the Camp Starlight Creative Writing option decided to spend some time there to see just what draws campers by the dozens each day.

The Circus program is led by Ben. He first became interested in Circus when he was in the Youth Theater, which is an amateur theater in his home country of England. Ben says that a circus person once came to his theater to demonstrate juggling and diablo, which made him very interested in all things circus. So he asked the circus person to teach him his tricks, and so the circus person taught Ben everything he knew. Ben practiced a lot, and eventually became better than his mentor.

Campers find Circus fun and different.  Around the world, spaghetti string, and  throw and catch might not be familiar terms to those who aren’t familiar with the diablo. But one Junior who was interviewed by the roving reporters of the Creative Writing Option and has been to Circus five times this summer has learned all of them. For those less familiar with all things circus, a diablo is a popular circus toy comprised of  two large cylinders attached to both ends of a metal center piece that are balanced and juggled on a piece of string controlled by two sticks.

For campers who are looking for an activity they can’t try at home, Circus is the perfect choice. Every camper interviewed at Circus told us that they learned everything they know about Circus at Camp Starlight. Favorite camper activities at Circus include, devil sticks (aka Chinese juggling sticks), stilts, and the balance board known as a tiabolow. Many Camper Starlight campers build their skills at Circus over multiple summers. One particular enthusiast of the stilts said she has been learning and practicing the art of stilt walking for more than a year.

Circus was even offered as a Starcamp at Camp Starlight this year. Special guests from Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus taught campers the art of Circus comedy that included pies in the face, water throwing, and gags, which are funny skits that many circus clowns perform in between acts during circus shows. Campers also learned new circus skills, such as getting up on stilts without the aid of a wall as well as new juggling and spinning tricks with the circus tools available at Camp Starlight. The Ringling Brothers crew shared that in addition to camp clinics, they also perform for patients at children’s hospitals.

Campers agree that the circus is fun to watch but even more fun to actually do. It is no wonder campers rate the Camp Starlight Circus program a 10!