A model camper: On the circus and self-esteem

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For a fun alternative to a traditional summer camp experience, consider sending your child to CircEsteem Camp, located at 4730 N. Sheridan Rd. in Chicago.

The mission of CircEsteem is to improve the campers’ self-esteem and interpersonal communication skills using fun and interactive circus activities such as juggling, clowning, acrobatics, trapeze, tight rope walking, aerial arts etc. Students are allowed to work at their own pace in an interactive hands-on environment. The camp provides a supportive and challenging environment to learn these fun circus activities and to develop self-confidence and a sense of their personal potential. The summer camp and the classes offered by CircEsteem are open to children ages 7 and up. Summer camp classes begin on June 24 and go until Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The camp also offers a before and after care program that begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. for an additional charge.

Children who attend this weeklong program will have the opportunity to show off their newly acquired circus performing skills to their family and friends during a show at the end of the week. Campers are given the opportunity to play with different outfits and props during their performance preparation in order to better express themselves and what they have learned during the week. CircEsteem provides opportunities for children who are beginners and learning circus for the first time, as well as advanced students wanting to perfect their circus abilities.

Campers are advised to wear tennis shoes and clothing that are suitable for physical activity, as many of the day’s events are physically strenuous, such as acrobatics and aerial arts. During the process of learning the different circus performance activities, the children are allowed the opportunity to strengthen their listening and concentration skills because the activities they learn require a great deal of careful instruction and practice. The best part about the program is that the children don’t even think of it as a chore because they are doing fun activities they enjoy.

CircEsteem also offers a wide variety of classes throughout the year, not just during the summer months. Classes available include CircusReads (which meets on Fridays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and enhances the students’ literacy by allowing them to participate in projects and games to develop their reading, writing, and public speaking skills) Circus Arts (which includes clowning and physical comedy, unicycling and performance troop preparation) and the popular tumbling and trampoline. All of these classes, as well as the summer camp, support CircEsteem’s central mission of strengthening the children’s personal confidence and self-esteem in a challenging, supportive and fun atmosphere.

To view the details of CircEsteem and to read testimonials about how the summer camp program positively influenced previous campers, visit www.circesteem.org or call (312) 731-4242.