Its Friday morning at Mooseburger Clown Camp - and I am tired!
Yesterday was a loooooong day with lots more to learn than I could ever absorb in just a week.
It has been a lot of fun and I've met so many kinds of people from all over the USA (and Canada!) I met a retired lady from Hawaii who has clowned for 30+ years, retired from clowning but still comes to camp because she loves it. I met a stomach doctor who clowns as a scientist teaching kids about conduction and electricity. I met clowns who do this full time in the circus, and clowns who do this full-time doing birthday parties and events as well as clowns who just do this as a fun little hobby. Many, many Shriner's clowns are here - they do parades, their own circus and events purely to raise money for the Shriner's hospital to treat kids. Amazing generous spirits!!!
So you may wonder what kinds of things does a clown learn at clown camp? Well, I've learned:
How to trip, how to run into a door or wall
How to do make up and take it off
How to juggle and make your own juggling balls -- I'm still working on the skill but I know how!
How to use puppets
How to sit on an invisible bench
Storytelling and music, and dancing
Things I haven't had time to learn but people are doing it here:
Slapstick - getting hit by boards or get slapped and not get hurt
Balloons -- Oh you should see the awesome balloon sculptures people are making!
Face painting -- not just simple stuff that teens do at the Amusement Park but professional face painters who work on cruise ships are teaching fancy stuff
Masks and Stilts and so much more!
One of the things that has struck me (I was discussing this with a teacher who wants to use clowning in her classroom) is how much of the core of clowning applies to everyday life. How to observe people and interact with them on their level just to get them to smile and laugh. Thats what being a clown is - sharing a smile and making the world a little happier.
Every morning I have gone to the Catholic chapel service at 7 AM (eek!!) but it has been refreshing to receive a little sermon each day and pray with the retreat workers and some of the other clowns. Each day Calvary people have been in my heart and prayers in that little chapel.
One thing that has struck me about it though -- each morning the priests serve communion and I can't receive the elements because I'm not Catholic. The first day it didn't bother me much, I just prayed on my own. But today my mouth watered and I literally longed for bread and juice, to taste God's presence. It made me so proud to be part of a denomination that believes firmly in an open table where all are welcome no matter what.
Hope everyone is having a fabulous week and getting more sleep than I!!!