SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Nine-year-old Garrett Fischer held his paint brush soaked in black paint as steady as he could as he put the finishing touches on a spider web he was painting on Adam Badgley's green face.
"Does it look cool?" 8-year-old Adam asked.
"Yeah it looks awesome," Garrett said.
The boys were learning how to face paint in the new circus program offered at Camp Sloper in Southington. The two-week session for children entering grades 3 through 5 teaches magic tricks and card tricks, juggling, stilt walking, face painting and joke telling.
"Each year, what we do at the end of the summer is we talk with our campers and families about new programs they would be interested in having in the upcoming summer," Mark Pooler, the camp director, said. "One of the things that came up was to have a circus camp."
Pooler said the circus theme is hot this year, with many other YMCA camps around the nation offering the program. On the day to register online in February, all 12 spots filled within the first 10 minutes. The program is in its first session and so far the campers say they have loved every minute.
"They're having fun with it," Ryan Govoni, the specialty camp director, said. "Yesterday three campers showed me new card tricks, so it was pretty cool to see."
With dozens of camps to choose from, Govoni said he was worried at first that the circus camp wouldn't fill because it was new and no one knew what to expect from it, but when it did fill he was excited.
"I think it turned out pretty well," Govoni said.
Julia Luppino, 9, and Vanessa Heigel, 9, had their faces painted like clowns. White paint covered their faces, brown paint formed their eyebrows, and pink paint outlined their mouths and noses.
"I have an itch everywhere where it's not dry," Luppino said as she waited for the paint on her face to dry. "I want to come back for the third session. This is fun."
Dan Quartararo has been a counselor at Camp Sloper for the past four years. He said he was happy to be assigned to the circus camp because he likes to tell jokes and knows how to juggle.
"We started to juggle and we started with one ball and moving into two balls and hopefully by tomorrow most everyone will be able to juggle three balls," Quartararo said.
Quartararo said he hopes by next week to have the children juggling actual juggling pins instead of balls.
Later in the week, the children in the circus camp will perform a variety show in front of the entire camp to showcase the skills they have learned.
Information from: Record-Journal
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