Saturday, August 05, 2006

Circus Camp

Joe - this is for you.
Two years ago, we traveled through Canada, to vist a grad school friend/former roommate who lived in Quebec City. While we were there, his son attended a day camp run by a local circus troupe -- the farm leagues for people who want to make it to Cirque de Soleil. The children put on a performance, with trampolines, trapezes, gymnastics, acrobatics. We were struck by the sense that you'd rarely, if ever, see this in the U.S. -- the camp kids (about 5-13 years old) were flying around 30 feet in the air, doing flips on trampolines, climbing up 20 foot ropes, doing things that looked dangerous. Maybe it's a stereotype, but we couldn't shake the feeling that liabilty fears would stomp any effort to put this kind of thing together.

Today we visited the Australian National Zoo, where we came across a birthday party. The main event was this:

If it's not clear what's going on, that's a 6 year-old girl feeding a Sumatran tiger. Here's another shot:

I'm guessing that the keeper is holding the girl's hand behind her back for a reason. And it isn't because this is a baby tiger.

Kind of like the animal kingdom version of compulsory voting: hard to imagine in the U.S. In fact, if you google "hand feed tiger zoo," the first link that comes up is the Australian National Zoo.

Update, August 7: There are similar camps in the U.S. Apologies to the American Trial Lawyers Association and Stella Liebeck.

Update II: equestrian camps, too, although I'd bet these were for experienced and competitive riders.


Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Just FYI, there is a similar circus camp in St. Paul, MN.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Superdestroyer said...

You obviously have never sent your kids to horseback riding camp and seen 12 y/o girls jumping horses over fences. They are all over Virginia and the mid-

4:16 AM  

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