Silliness Abounds!

Monday, July 1st, 2024

STILT FIELD circa 9:30pm—The atmosphere has finally cooled to a temperature ideal for humans and mosquitos alike. Though most of the sky has darkened to a rich navy, the western horizon beams with the pale cerulean, cutting a jagged silhouette of the neighboring ridge. Crickets and frogs hum their respective mantras with an unwavering persistence, unbothered by the boom of the Rainbow Stage’s PA system. Here from the Stilt Field I have a cross-section view of the outdoor venue where sit some 200-odd campers and staff. Even at this late hour the children bob and fidget with excitement for the new surroundings.

“Lime Tipi to the stage!” announces Clowning Instructor Riley Soloner from his emcee’s seat far stage left.

All at once a dozen campers leap from their seats, presumably those from the Lime Tipi. They quickly confer backstage before emerging to perform their tipi skit, where each member of the group introduces themselves to all of camp. It’s an opening activity we employ to become familiar with everyone’s names and faces, and for kids to experience the gravity of standing in the spotlight. The counselors are charged with the task of creating some sort of narrative play to thread the introductions together, and the results range from absurd to ridiculous.

Over here in the stilt field I’m joined by three campers who seem to have grown weary of sitting in the theater. It’s been a long day of registration and orientation, and we try to accommodate kids who need a break from the continuous barrage of circus stimulation. I also realize their escapism will dovetail nicely with my quest for opening day blog content.

“The silliest thing that happened today was I ran out of bug spray,” begins Shy’a, 11, of the Yellow Tipi, idly rocking side to side. “There was a bug on my face so I borrowed some bug spray from a friend. The bug left at first but then it came back, the same bug, and bit me on the same spot. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, but I killed it so I guess it’s even Steven.”

“I wanted to bring a bottle of Cholula hot sauce for the Cholula song!” exclaims Raven, referencing a parody song we sing at Breakfast Circle where the solitary lyric of the song “Tequila” is replaced by “Cholula”. “My mom wouldn’t let me because my dad loves it so much! I think I’m gonna take poetry tomorrow.”

“Because it’s my pajamas!” protests Scarlet, 10, of the Yellow Tipi in response to me asking why she is dressed like a spotted cheetah. “I’m excited to go to the creek and try on outfits from the clothes barn.”

Having satisfactorily gleaned silly information from the trio, I encourage them to return to the Theater. I, myself retreat to my internet-infused desk area. This will be my radio tower to the world of parents for the next two weeks. I hope you all enjoy reading along, and please feel free to write me with any frivolous questions or comments.

Stay hydrated!

—J. Payseno, Editor