Shay’s and Liam’s Story: Germany 2016


The Sweeney brothers, Shay and Liam, each tell about their second adventure to Germany with Circus Mojo.

Shay is a senior at St. Henry’s High School who earned a perfect score on his ACT, an obvious result of his brain’s increased gray matter from juggling. Bound for the Ivy League, he decided to run away with us to Circus Pimparello for one more summer.

I’m thrilled to be back at Pimparello again after two years. Germany is very much like I remember it, but this trip feels like a fresh new experience. When I arrived here on the first day, I was overjoyed to see the beautiful Circus Haus, the stunning performance tents, and even the now hairless alpacas. The forests surrounding Pimparello are gorgeous and the stars at night are crystal clear, but I was most excited to catch up with all the friends I left behind two years ago and forge new friendships that span oceans and continents.



Being here makes me realize the power that art has to bring people with different languages, different cultures, and different ideas together as a team. These people and this art truly demonstrate the meaning of social circus and make it much easier to tolerate the less comfortable aspects of life at Pimparello, such as the cold mornings and the schnecken.


My time here has taught me many valuable lessons in teamwork, understanding, and friendship. My best wishes go out to Sven and his incredible social circus. He certainly deserves a peaceful rest in Dominica after twenty years of working to change the world for the better.

Liam is a sophomore at St. Henry’s High School who shares his brother’s aptitude for learning and  juggling, but as you will read, he definitely has his own written voice, personal charm, and point of view. 


This is Liam coming at you from Rapenhoff, Germany, on the bus ride back to Circartive Pimparello. Today, Tuesday, August 16, 2016, was a performance day. We left camp early this morning and headed to perform in front of the Cathedral in Ulm. We set up for the show and preformed the acts that we’ve been creating and learning for the past two weeks. After the show, we broke into groups and headed into Ulm with an opportunity to shop. Now we are headed back to camp for dinner.

These past two weeks have been a lot of fun for everyone. During the first week, we trained with kids from all over Europe in the Bausteine, giving us the eligibility to teach circus skills in Europe. During the European Youth Camp, we met a lot of people we will always remember and created memories that will last the rest of our lives, whether it be taking classes, dancing at parties, or staying up late at the campfires. Then the week came to a close and our groups went separate ways. Those who stayed at Circartive Pimparello prepared the camp for the children who would soon become our students.


As we started week two, each of the teamers (counselors) received a tent to care for with a fellow teamer. The real work began. Starting Monday, each of us took on two classes, which we taught with a German teamer. I taught club juggling and ball juggling, Shay taught balance and diabolo, Marilyn taught chair/table acrobatics and lyra, Tate taught stilts and tight wire, George taught dynamic acrobatics and dance acrobatics, and Julia taught silks and German wheel. During this week, we taught our campers our skills and helped them create acts, and at the end of the week, we started performances. We have performed at Schwäbisch Hall, Ulm Cathedral, the Circus Haus, and for the families of the campers. We have also had fun, themed days like Renaissance Day, where we dressed up as people from the Middle Ages and had a Middle Age market, and American Day, where we cooked and had burgers and milkshakes. Now we are almost back to the camp. This is Liam, signing off.  ~xoxo~




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