“Circus is good for kids!” 

Silver Lining Circus Camp is founded on this belief and remains dedicated to uniting kids with the educational, developmental, and magical experience of circus arts. We have seen first-hand over nearly two decades that circus is much, much more than a fun recreational activity: circus benefits the bodies, heart, and minds of young people and can be a catalyst for significant change as children grow into adulthood.  To learn more about the Silver Lining teaching philosophy, read our program overview on the Silver Lining homepage.

For nearly every summer since 1997, Circus Camp has been a part of the landscape in the Temple/Wilton area of south-central New Hampshire.

Silver Lining History

The early years:
The summer camp impulse grew out of Jackie Davis’ circus education program at the Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH, where she was working as the movement education teacher.  She had founded the school’s Hilltop Circus in 1996 which generated a lot of interest in and around the school for afterschool and summer circus programming.

In 1997, Jackie and her friend and colleague, Barbara Thorngren, started what was then called the Pegasus Circus Camp.  For two years Jackie taught circus to 9-14 year old campers and Barbara taught the little ones. Camp was held at the Pine Hill Waldorf School, and a satellite camp sprung up at the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, NH with Maggie Meyrs. Camp ran this way for two summers.

The Watershed year: 1999
In 1999, the camp’s directorship switched over to Jackie and she renamed it “Silver Lining Circus Camp – where every child has a silver lining!”  (Or: “Where every clown has a silver lining!”) Between 1999 and 2001 Jackie ran the camp at the Groh Farm in Wilton and at the Old School in Temple with one hired coach and a couple of teen helpers from her Hilltop Circus program. Two of those fabulous teens were Jon Roitman and Jen Agans who have grown up through the program to become coaches and now directors in the CircusLearning organization!

(1999 was a productive year indeed. Jackie co-founded the Flying Gravity Circus afterschool company with Jon and 12 other teenage circus supernovas – Jen was to follow in Flying Gravity’s Second Company. Also in 1999, Jackie and Rick Davis helped found the American Youth Circus Organization, bringing together for the first time youth circus practitioners from around the United States.) 

Jackie began to feel burned out by the stresses of running camp and took a hiatus during 2002-2003.  During these two summers she coached at the Circus Smirkus summer camp in northern Vermont and loved the relief of administrative duties and the ability to focus on coaching. At Smirkus she coached: juggling (scarves, balls, rings, clubs, diabolo, devil sticks, poi); balance (tightwire, rolling globe, rola bola, stilts); and clowning with Smirkus camp director Jesse Dryden.  Working for Smirkus gave Jackie a new perspective on youth circus culture, many new teaching skills, and a wonderful connection with an important pillar in the regional and national youth circus community.

2004:  A “new” partner, a new beginning!
When she returned from Smirkus, Jackie was inspired about coaching but not inspired about administrating her own camp by herself.  Her absence from New Hampshire had left a hole in the hometown circus camp landscape but she just couldn’t see herself running Flying Gravity AND Silver Lining on top of her Hilltop Circus work at Pine Hill. Over the dinner table one night she was discussing this conundrum with her life partner Rick, when – SPLAT! – It was a classic head-slapping moment.  Why shouldn’t Rick and Jackie team up to run Silver Lining?  DUH.


And thus followed many happy and perfrect summers.


2015: Changes and transformation. In the fall of 2014, tragedy struck the Silver Lining family. Rick Davis was diagnosed with glioblastoma, or brain cancer. Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, Rick spent many loving moments with his family, community and friends, and in the fall of 2015, after a vailant struggle he passed on. Rick is missed by so many people whose lives he has touched, and his inspiration continues to guide our work.


2016: New Beginnings... Now, this summer, Rick and Jackie's Daughter Ellie Davis will be following in the family tradition, as the director of our two weeks of junior camp, guided by her mother Jackie! Meanwhile, Jon Roitman, International Circus Artist and Coach, and alumi or the CircusLearning Programs, will be directing our 3 weeks of Youth Camp. The Silver Lining Circus Camp Legacy continues, and we are so excited the YOU will be a part of it!

Learn more about the compelling reasons why we serve young people through developmental circus arts here!



About Silver Lining Circus Camp

Camp Dates 2016:

Youth Camp: Ages 9-14:

July 18-22 Amherst, NH

Our Amherst camp is now full.  

July 25-29 Wilton, NH

Spaces still available!

August 1-5 Wilton, NH

Spaces still available!

Junior Camp: Ages 7-8:

July 25-29 Wilton, NH

Spaces still available!

August 1-5 Wilton, NH

Spaces still available!

FGC Pre-Tour: 

June 27-July 1, Temple NH

(now over)

FGC Summer Tour:

July 4-17, Amherst NH

(now over)