NEW PALTZ — The circus is coming to town — circus camp, that is! Now in its sixth season, the children’s circus camp brought by the National Circus Academy is training the future stars of the “Big-Top” in the Elting Gymnasium at the State University of New York at New Paltz from July 21 through August 2.
Every summer, the National Circus Academy holds a two-week camp at the college in basic circus skill workshops that are a blend of physical education and cultural arts. There are 48 children between the ages of 8 and 16 attending this year’s camp. Most of the participants are children from the local community who have either participated throughout the years or are experiencing the workshops for the first time.
Greg Milsein, a circus professional and the executive director of the National Circus Project, is extremely pleased with the location of the camp and his support team, which includes a flying trapeze artist, a traditional Chinese circus acrobat and a juggler from Russia.
“SUNY New Paltz has excellent facilities, great accommodations and the summer conference program is run well,” said Milsein. “We have a good partnership with the university and there is a great outcome for the college staff and campus from the camp. We look forward to coming back every year.”
The camp is sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz Campus Auxiliary Services and has several SUNY New Paltz students employed as conference assistants — working side-by-side with the children as they supervise the activities. At the grand finale circus performance at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 2, these students will be helping to perform juggling, trapeze, plate spinning, unicycling, stilts and much more with the children. The performance is free and open to the public.