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Circus Summer Camp

Circus Summer Camp Program

Campers step right up to the Camp Pillsbury Circus!  Our circus summer camp program has always been a place where anyone can find their passion. Our summer camp in Minnesota has so many fantastic things for you to try this summer.  No matter who you are, we have the very thing you’ve been looking for.  We’ll have you unicycling, flying on the trapeze, doing beautiful routines on the silks and lyra, or juggling anything you can hold!

The Benefits of Our Circus Summer Camp Program

Our Circus summer camp program teaches kids crucial life skills such as persistence, collaboration and being present in the moment. It also allows kids to learn to manage risks. Risk-taking is an essential component of healthy development, a part that is often overlooked in an effort to keep kids safe. Teaching kids to appreciate and understand risk in a controlled and safe environment allows them to make better decisions when it counts. Using a progression of skills our experienced staff oversee campers and teach them to manage their own safety as a fundamental part of the skills being learned.

Circus Summer Camp Flying Trapeze 

Flying trapeze offers one of the most amazing thrills you will ever experience. The sensation of flying will leave you grinning from ear to ear. While we believe that absolutely everybody can fly, the decision to do so is always 100% your choice. When you’re ready, making the leap can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Here are just some of the benefits that we’ve found can be gained from the flying trapeze:

  • We need to feel our bodies working to make our brains work properly. Flying trapeze allows us to work our bodies in ways not usually experienced by human beings.
  • We are social beings who need to rely on others. Flying trapeze shows us clearly that more is achieved through combined effort.
  • As humans we are earthbound, but we are also aspirational. Flying trapeze allows us to fulfill that dream.
  • While the risk is perceived, jumping off that board makes you feel like a very brave person and experiencing success at things that seem dangerous and challenging means that when a situation occurs in the future where a real risk exists, you’re better prepared to manage it safely and effectively.

Circus Summer Camp Aerials 

Aerial performance is fun and challenging, campers love the feeling of hanging upside down all while being supervised by highly trained staff who ensure that safety is the first priority. Aerial skills are a fun and engaging way to increase core strength and posture, upper body strength, flexibility, focus and body control. At Pillsbury we have a wide range of aerial apparatus on offer so that campers can choose a challenge appropriate to them and allow them room to progress as their skills develop. The list of aerial equipment is endless and new and thrilling ways to perform continually emerge. Below are just some of the ways aerial circus will be instructed at Pillsbury’s circus summer camp.

Single Trapeze (also called static trapeze) consists of a metal bar suspended by ropes from rigging high in the air. A series of acrobatic moves are performed around the bar. While advanced performers may choose to specialize in this apparatus, it is also a great beginners piece of equipment.

Double Trapeze looks similar to a static trapeze but is rigged higher in the air and the act is performed by two aerialists, typically as a base and flyer. A more advanced act, it consists of drops and sequences as the two aerialists work together.

Triple Trapeze consists of one long metal bar but divided by ropes to leave three spaces for performers. A group act that allows 3 or more aerialists at a time to perform.

Lyra (also called aerial ring or aerial hoop) this beautiful apparatus spins as the aerialist performs different positions in and around the metal hoop. This is an excellent progression for campers that always proves to be a favorite act.

Aerial Hammock is essentially aerial silks that hang in a loop. They offer a fantastic progression option for campers, so they can learn positions and the feel of the material of silks before progressing to the more advanced act.

Silks (also called tissu) are long flexible pieces of fabric hung from high in the air. Aerialists climb the silks and perform a series of wraps, holds and drops. An advanced act that requires strength and aerial awareness, it is none the less and absolute favorite amongst campers.

Spanish Web  involves climbing a rope which is used to perform tricks. There is a loop at the very top of the rope, which performers use to lock their wrists into to allow a wider range of techniques to be performed. Beginners will start with basic poses and climbing techniques and will progress towards more advanced techniques.

Straps, also known as aerial straps, is a nylon web apparatus that looks like two suspended ribbons. Performers wrap the strap ends around their hands and wrists and perform holds, twists, rolls and similar men’s rings in gymnastics.

Circus Summer Camp Juggling 

Did you know that learning to juggle actually increases the grey matter in your brain? It has also been shown to reduce anxiety, increase focus and of course improve hand eye coordination. That said, we think it’s just really fun!

The trick is finding a juggling prop that you love, which is why we have stocked the circus department with a huge range of choices to suit absolute beginners all the way through to the Anthony Gattos of this world.

Scarves are lightweight pieces of colorful fabric that are typically used by beginners to learn the patterns of juggling. The float of the fabric in the air allows the juggler more time to adjust their movements.

Balls a great all round (no pun intended!) piece of equipment. As balls can be caught in any direction they fall, they are great for beginners. Campers could expect to learn a 3 ball cascade well if practiced every day for a session. The world record of 11 balls at once will take many more hours of practice!

Rings are harder to juggle than balls but easier than juggling clubs. They look fantastic in the air and you can perform lots of unique tricks with them, which makes them a very popular prop.

Diabolos (sometimes called a chinese yoyo) are popular at camp every summer. The diabolo itself rests on a string connected to two handsticks and is spun and thrown in an infinite number of tricks by the juggler. If you glance around camp no doubt you will see a diabolo up in the air somewhere.

Hula Hoops have been around for a long time, but there are so many new and exciting ways to manipulate this prop. Hula 1, hula 3, hula 20 at a time. And if you like, dive through one when you’re done.

Clubs require a rotation to be caught and are therefore usually juggled by the more experienced juggler. They look great in the air and if you invest the time and practice to master them, they are fantastic fun. Also, if you can juggle clubs eventually you’ll be able to move onto knives or even chainsaws! Just kidding, no chainsaws at camp.

Circus Summer Camp Balance

Tightwire as the name suggests a wire that is pulled tight! This is great for developing balance and focus. A famed wirewalker, Philippe Petit, who walked between the rooftops of the twin towers once said ‘It’s impossible, that’s for sure. So let’s start working.’

Unicycling lost a wheel off your bike? No problem! Keep riding.

Rolla Bolla is a board balancing on a cylinder on top of which a camper performs tricks. It’s great for developing balancing and proprioception.

Adagio involves the performance of stationary partner acrobalances. The partnership typically consists of a flier and a base.

Human Pyramids is a group act that involves coordination, timing and trust. Campers build formations by balancing themselves on each other!

Circus Summer Camp Acrobatics

Toss the Girl is a high energy acrobatic piece in which two or three acrobats throw and catch a smaller acrobat.

Acrobatic Jump Rope is just like what you did in the schoolyard, but so much more fun and impressive. Campers will learn how to flip, cartwheel, twist and coordinate jumps with a group to create a fast paced, super fun act.

Parkour and Stunts drawing from the world of street performance and cinema campers will learn the skills necessary to move swiftly through urban spaces and delight audiences with their daring.

Mini Trampoline is always a favorite amongst staff, campers and the audience! A high energy act where campers launch themselves from a small trampoline and perform acrobatic feats before landing on crash mats.

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