The ACA Camps are an all-inclusive week long training experience with a wide variety of North America’s premier authorities in Clowning and Christmas Arts. The ACA is located in Eatonton, GA, just an hour west of Atlanta, at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Workshops and Lectures will cover everything from dance choreography to proper pie throwing technique, hospital clowning to circus clowning, designing you Santa person to Creating you own North Pole, and SO MUCH MORE. The ACA will not only give you practical and personal advice on your makeup, costume, and newest clown performance piece, but also allows you the chance to showcase them before an audience. As a Christmas Artist, the ACA gives you the opportunity to stretch yourself outside the boundaries you’re taught at a traditional Santa School. We encompass all the normal teachings from those institutions and enhance them with the addition of performance techniques from the art of clowning.
What To Expect:
If there was a typical day at the ACA, it would begin with a buffet style breakfast in the mess hall surrounded by faculty and students. Don’t worry if you are an early bird, the coffee has been on since 7:00 am.
Following breakfast, it’s off for morning stretches and choreography class. The level of dance is welcoming for students of any ability, but every student will need to learn their part for the end of the week showcase. From morning dance, we head up to the classroom for a workshop and that will take us right to lunch.
Lunch is served with plenty of seating in the mess hall, so whether you are connecting with professors or building life-long friends you will have a seat waiting for you. After Lunch it’s off to break-out sessions for coaching before more classes and workshops.
Dinner is prepared at camp and will be served with some of the best fellowship you’ve ever had. When it comes to serving sizes, the cooks exaggerate just as much as we do in class. Once your tummy is satisfied, back to classes, performances, and ACA Presents. If you want more there is always something else going on from one-on-one teaching to brain storming sessions.
By the time you retire to your cabin, normally you would fall fast asleep, if it wasn’t for the excitement of what is planned for tomorrow.
The Academy strives to provide the best clown experience in the Nation yet remaining affordable to every level of clown. One way we can do this is by partnering with Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Rock Eagle’s lodging is done bootcamp style but on an upscale level! Males and Females bunk in separate cabins so that you have the true camp experience. Rock Eagle is not your typical youth camp with wooden bunks, mess hall, and shower house. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that provides a rustic feeling with all of the comforts of home! Rock Eagle provides a fitted sheet, one blanket, and one pillow. If you wish to have more than that please pack your own linens. We will email you a complete list of items you should bring a couple of months before camp! Rock Eagle offers American Clown Academy Students two types of Lodging. Your registration fee includes lodging in a Standard Cabin, but if you want to stay in a deluxe cabin, you can pay a slight upgrade for a more hotel like experience.
The Standard cabins are Rock Eagle’s original cabin design. Rooms A & B offer lodging for four people each with a central bathroom between the rooms. Room C offers two twin beds, a private bath, and a minifridge which will be reserved for Faculty of the ACA. Room D serves as a gathering space as well as offers lodging for two people which will be reserved for ACA to serve as “Counselors”. Standard cabins will accommodate 11 to 12 guests. The Standard Cabins features no WIFI or Satellite Television.
Rock Eagle’s Deluxe cabin design offers six bedrooms each with their own private bathroom. Five rooms offer lodging for two people each. Room #2 offers two twin beds (not bunk beds) and a mini-fridge which will be reserved for Faculty of the ACA. Each Deluxe cabin has one handicap accessible room and bath. Deluxe cabins will accommodate a total of 11 to 12 guests, offers WIFI in the cabin, and has a Television with Satellite in the commons area.
interested in staying in the Deluxe Cabins
Couples and Roommates are an additional $145.00 per person on top of registration fee for a Deluxe Cabin. Campers who wish to stay in a Deluxe Cabin room alone will pay an additional $350 on top of the registration fee.
Along with the three-square meals each day, there are vending machines located on campus with reasonably priced snacks! They have candy, Soda Pop, Water, and many other great treats! Over the years, we’ve heard all sorts of good things from the campers (and we agree!) about the yummy food served in the dining hall — You are in for a treat!
- For vegetarians and vegans, the kitchen staff tries to have enough variety at each meal for you to have your fill, but these “variety” items may be created by simply omitting the a la carte meat (i.e., sandwiches, pasta). However, if the entrée is impossible to cook without adding meat before serving (i.e., stew, pizza), they will offer a meat-free option in the kitchen.
- For celiac, the kitchen staff has been working hard to develop a more gluten-free menu recently. They will strive to have more vegetables, fruit, dairy products, and meat without gluten this year.
- If you have special dietary needs which we cannot fulfill, you of course have the option of bringing your own food/snacks to camp. We regret to inform you that we cannot provide a discounted registration if you bring your own food, for the retreat facility has the meals built into the package and they cannot give us a discount.
Group Movement (Choreography):
Whether you are a morning person or not, group movement will get your body moving and energy flowing. We will be choreographing our opening and closing numbers for the Big Top Show. Whether you have dance experience or two left feet, we have a place for you. It’s time to wake up and get moving!
Becky Bartlett has been our Choreography Instructor for years. She creates a unique blend of easy to learn dance moves and funny routines to create an incredible opening number for the Big Top Show. Becky keeps everyone in mind when creating these routines and makes sure that everyone has their time to shine on stage!
There isn’t ANYWHERE ELSE you will have the opportunity to have such a talented staff available to you for observations, insights, coaching, or brainstorming. Whether at the dinner table or during free time, our faculty is always available and excited to encourage you in every way possible. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity.
This is what the ACA Experience is ALL about! Take advantage of the time you have with some of the true Masters of our Art Form!
“The Big Top Show”- Showcase:
You will learn a ton while at ACA, now what? It’s finally time to show what you’ve learned. Each year the ACA students can give back to the community that has hosted them with a community performance. You will have a chance to AUDITION for a spot on the community showcase as well as show off your new dance skills and walk around routines. The showcase allows students to put into practice what they have been learning as well as give back to the community. The showcase is always followed by a huge pizza party as we talk over the nights’ events and celebrate together.
If you have ANY interest in being a showcased performer in the Big Top Show, then you need to prepare a performance piece to Audition with on the FIRST day of camp. This can be a skit, a magic routine, a skills act, or anything you are comfortable performing in front of audiences. We ask that routines be between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. Please come to the audition with ALL your MUSIC and PROPS ready to go. We will have a jury of Faculty members that will watch the Auditions and make notes for the performer to take to their COACHING sessions. Yes, we ask that if you Audition for the show you still utilize the COACHING sessions to make a great routine even better! We will post who made the show on Wednesday at Lunch!
“The Mighty Pie Fight”:
There is a right and a wrong way to make a pie, and there is a right and a wrong way to throw a pie. You will learn both at the Mighty Pie Fight. Learn how to make a soap cream pie the historic way as well as tricks the circus still uses. What is the point of making all these pies unless you are going to throw them? Learn multiple pie throwing techniques plus various pie routines that still work today.
“Wet and Wild Water War”:
Wow, what a pie fight! You are a mess! Let’s get all that soap off while enjoying the American Clown Academy’s water fight. Whether you are familiar with the “Busy Bee” gag, the “Washer Women” gag, or any of the other “spit gags” in clown-dom, knowing how to spit, spout, or spray is a needed skill. At the ACA, you will spend an afternoon learning this invaluable clown skill.
The ACA boasts the most knowledgeable staff in every area of Clowning and Christmas Arts. If your desire is to join up with one of the remaining circuses, or become a corporate entertainer, work a mall as Santa, or perform in corporate America as a Christmas Artist you will have the opportunity to talk with those who know what it takes. What are you interested in: Magic, Music, Ministry, Being Mrs. Claus, Santa, or dare we say a Mime? We have a teacher for you. Do you like Comedy, Character Development, or Circus Skills? How about eating 1,000 cookies and surviving? Looking at you Santa! We have a teacher for you and your desired area of performing! In the past we have even had a rodeo clown teaching lasso roping and barrel rolling. You never know what will be available!
“Lights, Camera, Action” Center & Much Much More:
There are many other opportunities that await you this year at the ACA. We will have a professional photographer on campus all week to take pictures of camp as well as to provide you with professional head shots or promo shots. We will be offering make-up designs and hints.