Smirkus Camp

An incredible Vermont summer of circus fun awaits you at Circus Smirkus Camp! You’ll feel the magic the moment you step inside one of our spectacular European Big Top Tents set amongst the lush, green hills of Vermont. It’s a kid’s dream come true!

Our circus professionals welcome you to a vast array of circus arts:
acrobatics, clowning, juggling, aerials, balance and much more. Friendships form fast as we support each other to fly high above the ring and learn to take a pie in the face… on cue!


Run away to Smirkus Camp for that 1-day to 2-week adventure that you will never forget! Which camp is best for you? Click through our 2014 camp sessions below for summaries, dates and rates.

INTRO TO SMIRKUS CAMP  /  ages 5 to 10

First-time campers, ages 5 to 10, experience the magic of hanging upside-down on a trapeze, the rewards of balancing a spinning plate on their finger and the fun of walking on a giant globe in this fun-filled day at Smirkus Camp. The one-day camp ends with the opportunity for campers to pie their counselors, coaches or parents! It’s a great introduction to the circus arts for all the young monkeys and clowns in your house!
June 15  /  $150

SMIRKLING CAMP  /  ages 6 to 9

Geared toward families who are new to camp or new to circus, this two-day overnight session for kids, ages 6 to 9, is a great experience for young campers and parents alike. With the support of the devoted counselors and staff, not only will Smirkling campers learn amazing new circus tricks, but they’ll also get to experience the excitement of sleeping away from home, meeting new friends, singing silly camp songs, dressing up for dinner and of course, getting the opportunity to pie their counselors, coaches or parents at the end of the session!
June 19 & 20  /  $395


This one-week session is a fun-filled introduction to the circus arts for campers, ages 8 to 16, with any skill level. Ideal for kids who are new to circus or new to camp AND for returning campers who want to expand their circus skills and make new friends: this session has it all! Smirkus Camp Session I ends with a circus showcase for family and friends.
June 22 – 28  /  $1125

SMIRKUS CAMP SESSION II  /  ages 8 to 16

Two weeks of circus fun await kids, ages 8 to 16, novice and pros alike, in this adventure of a lifetime. Friends become family fast as campers immerse themselves in circus, song, dance, games, dress up and more! Plus, campers work with coaches and counselors to put together various acts for a circus performance, which family and friends get to enjoy on the last day of camp.
June 29 – July 11  /  $1995


This one-week session is a fun-filled introduction to the circus arts for campers, ages 8 to 16, with any skill level. Ideal for kids who are new to circus or new to camp AND for returning campers who want to expand their circus skills and make new friends: this session has it all! Smirkus Camp Session III ends with a showcase for family and friends.
July 13 – 19  /  $1125

SMIRKUS CAMP SESSION IV  /  ages 10 to 17

Smirkus Camp Session IV is for campers, ages 10 to 17, who have previously attended any Circus Smirkus program for at least three weeks, or who have the equivalent training through involvement in other circus programs, juggling or unicycle club or gymnastics team. This two-week session encourages campers to work hard at establishing core strengths before moving on to more advanced tricks. Campers benefit from additional time in the circus tents, without missing out on the Smirkus Camp staple afternoon and evening activities found in our regular 1- and 2-week sessions. Campers work with the coaches and counselors to put together a circus performance for family and friends, presented on the last day of camp.
July 20 – August 1  /  $2095

SMIRKUS CAMP SESSION V  /  ages 12 to 18

Session V prepares campers for performances beyond their Smirkus Camp experience, through three different programs. These exciting programs carry high expectations for campers who are willing to work hard to improve their artistry in a self-directed, supervised training experience. Campers selected to participate in any of the Session V programs still get to enjoy the magic of Smirkus Camp with themed dinners, talent shows, Pie Day and a special evening program! All Session V programs end with circus performances for family and friends.

Ensemble Work is for campers, ages 12 to 18, who have the desire to improve upon their existing circus skills and to learn new ones in individual and group settings. In the first week, campers will collaborate with their coaches and classmates on individual circus training goals and will be dedicated to creating and performing a group show in the second week.  August 3-15  /  $2195

Individual Acts is for a small group of young adults, ages 14 to 18, with self motivation and a strong desire to create and perform in the circus arts community. Chosen campers will have the opportunity to work in small groups, as well as one-on-one, with coaches in their area of concentration to develop a 2-3 minute circus act. The goal of this program is to help campers develop into well-rounded circus performers by creating a base of circus skills along with increased strength and flexibility.  August 3 to 16 / $2,395

Road Show is a group of 12 campers, ages 14 to 18, who perform for organizations around Vermont, such as nursing homes and childcare centers in the second week of camp. Those selected for this program work closely with one another and with the coaches to produce a 30-minute show during the first week of camp. Campers learn to create, perform and adjust acts for various venues and audiences.  August 3 to 16 / $2,395

Download the Session V Application. (Deadline December 13)

COUNSELOR-IN-TRAINING  /  ages 14 to 18

The CIT program is for current or former Smirkus campers, ages 14 to 18, who possess lots of enthusiasm, responsibility and respect. This program gives participants a “behind the scenes” look at what it means to be a camp counselor and what it takes to make Smirkus Camp a safe and fun environment for all of those involved. At least two CITs are selected to participate in each Smirkus Camp session. Download the 2014 CIT Application for more details and to apply. CIT applications are due January 7, 2014


Circus Smirkus has long been committed to making circus programs available for as many children as possible, regardless of ability to pay. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to families with low incomes or other financial strains. Download the 2014 Scholarship Application for more details and to apply. Scholarship Applications are due February 24, 2014

Make sure you review our 2014 Fees, Conditions & Policies!


Safety is our number one priority and that includes warming up our bodies to prepare for all the jumping, bending, twisting and contorting the kids will do throughout the day. After warm-ups, campers are split into mixed groups of age, gender and skill to rotate between the four core classes of Acrobatics, Juggling, Aerials and Performance. In the afternoon, campers get to choose from a variety of circus classes that change from day to day and that give campers the opportunity to try out new tricks or to work harder on skills they already love. Our supportive coaches and counselors will assist each camper with working toward their individual goals in a fun and friendly team setting.

Here’s a list of some of the circus skills we’ve got up our sleeves at Smirkus Camp:

Acrobatics: Tumbling, Partner Acro, Human Pyramids, Mini-Tramp, Body Movement, Contortion, Parkour, Jump Rope.

Aerials: Fabric/Tissue/Aerial Silks, Lyra & Aerial Hoop, Spanish Web & Rope, Straps & Handloops, Cloudswing, Hammock & Sling, Chinese Pole, Single, Double, Triple, Swinging, Dance & Duo Trapeze.

Balance: Tightwire, Rolling Globe, Stilts, Unicycle, Rola Bola.

Juggling: Scarves, Balls, Rings, Clubs, Fruit, Contact & Pass Juggling, Diabolo, Devilsticks, Cigar Boxes, Poi, Hats,  Shaker Cups, Manipulation.

Performance: Clowning, Improv, Slapstick, Pantomime, Gag Creation, Commedia Dell-Arte, Stage Presence, Musical Theater, Style & Smile!

Other Skills: Hula Hoops, Pie Throwing, Dance, Magic, Bubbles, Stretching, Strengthening & Endurance, Safety, Respect & Fun!

Traditional Camp Activities

Smirkus Camp offers campers a traditional summer camp experience! Afternoon and Evening Activities range from Scavenger Hunts, Kickball and Capture the Flag to Arts & Crafts, Talent Shows and Camp Fires. Every session includes lots of fun Camp Songs AND a Pie Day where kids learn to take a pie in the face!

Food & Facilities

Burke Mountain Academy has a stunning campus located amongst the picturesque trees of Burke Mountain, an alpine and nordic ski resort in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Smirkus campers will enjoy forming friendships and learning circus skills under our Big Top tents framed by spectacular views of Lake Willoughby Notch. They’ll share meals and enjoy traditional summer camp activities in the welcoming dorms and dining hall architecturally designed to reflect the rural New England setting.

Three hearty, kid-friendly meals are served daily, along with morning and afternoon snacks. Our emphasis is on serving healthy foods, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetarian options are available at every meal, including a delicious salad bar available to everyone at lunch and dinner. The fantastic kitchen staff at Burke Mountain Academy is happy to provide alternative entrees for campers with food allergies or other special dietary needs. Please contact the camp office with questions regarding dietary restrictions.

Logan Kerr