Developing youth through juggling since 1994.
From appointing two captains to help lead our first annual juggling show in 1995 to developing a 10-12-member team of students dedicated to exercising year-round leadership for their peers and up-and-coming Jugheads, the JH Officer Team has become a vital force in the daily workings of our company. This year, the team has matured to the point where all 12 Officers are high school students and each has experience as an Officer, a club Assistant, or both. The training theme for this year's Officer Team is Band of Brothers (2001)-the true-story epic mini-series about the men of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment/101st Airborne Division in World War II. We watched half the series at a retreat at Camp Lebanon last month, and we'll complete it over the next several monthly Saturday morning meetings. Leadership has many facets: servanthood, example, responsibility, understanding, experience, sacrifice, trustworthiness, and occasionally leading without a formal title, to name but a few. Although this is a youth juggling company and not the military, we are in a sense fighting for the futures of the Jugheads, so it is in that vein that Band of Brothers provides many lessons (e.g., leadership and long-term relationships) to our maturing team of student leaders. Here are the 2007-2008 JUGHEADS Officers, complete with area of special responsibility: senior Ryan T. (Ultimate Club); juniors Ricky (Wednesday Advanced), Ben (Boys' Elite), Brett (Specialty Acts), Colin (Thursday Rec.), Hanna (Organization), David (Monday Rec.) and Sarah (Girls' Elite); sophomores Stefan (Creative Development) and Amanda (Ultimate Club); and freshmen Colin K. (Contests & Games) and Jonny (Camps & Special Events).
Many years ago, I was in awe as Chad H. flashed eight balls during Juggle Jam 1. At the time, I don't think my brain was advanced enough to conceive someone succeeding at such an insurmountable feat. During "Reach," I sat and admired all of the older kids-Lana, Ryan M., Adam S., etc.-as they triumphed over gravity to put on a show like I had never seen. Everyone on that stage was so awesome to me. I had to be a part of such a great movement. So, I followed in my big brother Jason's footsteps and joined JH.
Throughout the years, I have watched JH and all of its members change a lot, and since I share the title of first 3rd grade Jughead with only two others (Ricky & Jameson), I've been here for a while. The older kids that I so admired were friends first, and jugglers second. They didn't come to JH to win medals or be the first to qualify seven balls. They came because of the atmosphere and camaraderie that could be found no where else but in the now-deceased Edina Community Center Auditorium. Even though Jugheads today do not come for all of the glory that the juggling world has to offer (HAH a bit of an oxymoron), the athletes in JH now know what they are capable of achieving in the juggling world and how sought-after they are for the skills that they have honed for so very long.
I remember when JH got its first taste of glory when Dan & Peter brought home the IJA Teams Competition Bronze Medal from the Montreal Festival in 2000. That victory definitely opened Jughead eyes to the possibilities of youth in juggling. In the past five years, Jugheads have taken four more IJA Teams medals (three bronze and one silver) and two IJA Juniors medals (one bronze and one silver). We show no signs of stopping. In fact, we already have at least two Jugheads training to compete in next summer's Juniors Competition, and Stefan may very well throw another routine together a week before the competition and make the finals just like he did this past summer. In addition to the Jughead presence always felt during the competitions, Jugheads swarm the IJA Youth Showcase every year. David Groth, Youth Showcase Director, said that there would be no Youth Showcase without the Jugheads.
that was felt by all when I was only a wee 3rd grader has not waned over
the years; it's only grown and strengthened. What we've learned at JH
did not leave when they closed the doors of the auditorium nor when we
walk out to the church parking lot to go home. It is when we leave that
that knowledge shines brightest. It is in the outside world that we know
that capability is not judged upon size or stature, but upon character
and the wisdom to know that age is not what fosters success.
This club was created relatively recently in our company's history as an evening overflow for rookies who couldn't get into our after school clubs. Moved to afternoon hours in 2003, this club features 3rd-6th graders who join after learning to juggle at summer camps. Remarkably, Monday Rec. now even has year-end standards and participates in all-club warm-ups before working on individual skills for the bulk of the club. Far from being an overly-intense club, however, the kids are treated to weekly options of outdoor football, indoor basketball, and monthly games of dodge ball. Social skills are a big priority in acclimating these young Jugheads to our company culture, including teaching priorities such as learning and using others' names, not interrupting others, and maintaining a self-directed work ethic toward our club's (and higher clubs') technical standards. Monday Rec. is a special place!
Day Juggling Camps
Attached to your September newsletter was the blue registration form for all JH camps through February. This fall, camps are offered October 18-19 and November 19-21 from 9-Noon and 1-4 p.m. (Jugheads signing up for half-day camps may attend all day one day instead of two half days.) In addition, a Mega All-Day Juggling Camp will be held on Monday, October 22 from 9-5; lunch included. (Formerly known as the Ultimate All-Day Juggling Camp, Jugheads need not have the higher club standards in order to attend.) You may register online or via the blue form.