“Circus is good for kids!” Silver Lining Circus Camp is founded on this belief and remains dedicated to uniting kids with the educational, developmental, and magical experience of circus arts. We have seen first-hand over nearly two decades that circus is much, much more than a fun recreational activity: circus benefits the bodies, heart, and minds of young people and can be a catalyst for significant change as children grow into adulthood.
Silver Lining Circus Camp is a developmental circus arts program (DCAP) that strives to benefit the bodies, hearts, and minds of children and teens in age-appropriate ways through circus skills, activities, and performances.
Circus benefits bodies through fun and challenging circus skills that can increase physical fitness (strength, endurance) and motor fitness (coordination, balance, reaction time). The unique family of circus skills offers many opportunities for campers to have successful experiences no matter what their capabilities and learning styles. Our programs are inclusive and our coaches are trained to accommodate individual campers whether they are new to circus or experienced. Circus skills taught at Silver Lining include tumbling and acrobatics, juggling, balance, clowning, and human pyramids. Even after one week, campers report they feel stronger, more flexible, and more coordinated.
Circus promotes social and emotional learning -- the heart of the SLCC program. As campers persevere through the challenges of learning new circus skills, they gradually achieve basic competency, which can lead to a rise in confidence and self-esteem. This sense of accomplishment can lead to feelings of joy and pride in what they have learned. SLCC provides a positive social environment where coaches model language and actions that encourage and support the campers to encourage and support each other. Together, coaches and campers build trust, and they collaborate to produce an end-of week show (or "Share" in the junior camps) in which individual efforts attain a collective goal. Success for one equals success for all!
Circus can also benefit developing minds, an observation that is capturing the attention of cognitive scientists. The process of learning complex physical circus skills and of putting skills together into a performance places demands on concentration, focused attention, and self-control. These cognitive abilities, collectively known as executive functions (EFs), are critical for success in school, work, and relationships. Increasing evidence in academic literature shows that EFs are more likely to improve through activities that include strenuous physical activity, joy and social connections, and challenges that lead to more advanced stages of mastery. Circus arts provide an EF-friendly environment that appears to foster these cognitive benefits. Attending Silver Lining Circus Camp is a fun and effective way to get started and keep going!