Starfish Circus

Ben and I went this evening to the information session for the Starfish Circus camp that starts tomorrow at the college. Sixty young people and their requisite parents or grandparents gathered in the Rehearsal Hall to get the lay of the land for the next seven days.

Starfish Circus is something new for Wood Buffalo, a one week camp led by circus artists from across the United States that will culminate in a performance on the Keyano Theatre Main Stage as part of the Syncrude WinterPLAY Festival.

Ben has been buzzing about Starfish Circus since the full colour flyer came home from school a couple of weeks ago. And as we sat there with about one hundred people watching Anthony scale a swath of silk attached to the ceiling, Ben's cheeks were glowing red with anticipation.

"Wow," he said in awe. "I can't wait to try that!"

The students range in age from five to 17 and in the eyes of each there were looks of anticipation, excitement, and wonderment.

The camp, being put on by Events Wood Buffalo with support from ConecoPhillips, will feature the participation of a number of students from the community of Janvier, one of the few small hamlets that dot one of the largest municipalities in North America. Knowing that some of our rural children will get to try this once-in-a-lifetime experience, is particularly satisfying, as our organization wants to truly serve the entire region, not just the urban centre.

Starfish Circus starts bright and early tomorrow morning.

"If you arrive five minutes before the start time, you're late," warned Executive Director Claude Giroux. "If you arrive right on the start time, you're really late. If you arrive 15 minutes before the start time, that's exactly perfect."

The tone is set, the task is at hand and Ben is ready to seize the day, and that swath of silk hanging from the ceiling.

February 19, 2010 - 194.8 pounds, 25.2% body fat


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