What Campers & Alumni are saying:
Calming Techniques of Balance on the Wire
“I take a deep breath and focus on an especially large leaf on the tree in front of me. My toes grip the threads and I raise my other foot to distribute my weight. I smile as I begin to walk, one foot in front of the other down the thin line of rope. The intensity of gravity’s pull and feeling of complete weightlessness simultaneously wash over me and calms my recently frantic self. If I had the opportunity to teach a class on absolutely anything, I would undoubtedly choose the Calming Techniques of Balance on the Wire.
When I was nine years old, I attended a summer camp that offered classes in circus and performance skills. For no reason whatsoever I decided to try tightrope walking, and continued to take this class for the next 5 years. As an underrated hobby and circus orientated practice it may seem strange, but I have grown to love and appreciate the simplicity of balance. I would teach the how, but most importantly the why. When stressed and homesick during camp, I would go to the tightrope site, an often empty and shady corner, where I could walk my nerves away. It is an activity that forces me to be centered and grounded, and my desire to walk across the entire cable will naturally push me to relax. Above all other aspects, the combination of tranquility and focus is the most crucial. With a thousand thoughts in my head and nervous energy, I won’t make it more than three steps. A clear mind is essential to tightrope and creates a cycle of mindfulness. Clear mind. Easy steps. Clearer mind. Easier steps. If I was to teach a class it would surely involve practice and literal rope walking. While I can try to explain the feeling of relief and calmness it can bring, without walking across the rope themselves, my students wouldn’t understand.
While serving as an immediate anxiety release mechanism, tightroping also represents the way I strive to live my life. Through this practice, I have learned to value looking ahead while taking one step at a time, the balance of visioning for the future and perceiving the now. I struggle with setting aside worries for tomorrow to accomplish the goals of today, but without each small stride, a bigger objective cannot be obtained. It also instills the importance of balance, of counteracting the nature of falling. When I do jump, and for a second it feels like I’m flying, I must land with incredible agility not wavering from my place of symmetry. Learning to walk isn’t a process as much as a switch, when someone finds that place of harmony it clicks and the motions become fluid. To completely center oneself and learn to cooperate with gravity catalyzes bliss. By physically walking a wire I contribute to my personal growth, and the learned methods for accomplishment inspire capability. ” – Caruna (in response to college application prompt; Something I would want to teach a class on and deeply care about.)
“CWR has given me the opportunity to explore new talents and reach out of my comfort zone while staying safe and having fun…The counselors and staff at CWR put so much effort into contributing to the growth of each child in ways not found in any other environment. From aerials and stilts to theatre and art, Camp Winnarainbow has found an exciting way to incorporate fun and play into the social skills of all campers.” – Maggie
“I have been going to camp since I was 11 years old, and I cannot think of a more positive, empowering, loving community. The life lessons and friendships I have made at camp are strong and it has been a huge influence on who I am today. I am a proud Winnarainbian and I can’t wait to send my own kids on the bus!” – Luna
“The best thing to happen to my childhood! I learned how to duck with a sense of humor. Camp Winnarainbow continues to play an important influence in my day-to-day life whether that’s getting on stage in front of a conference full of people, navigating my career, or developing my personal relationships” – Biasha
“Camp Winnarainbow opened my mind to so much possibility. Now fifteen years later I’ve become a BFA theatre professor and traveled the world. Thank you CWR for fostering my soul!” – Benjamin
“The best place in the world! Camp has been the best positive influence for me throughout my life and will continue to be for the rest of my life” – Misha