What do we teach?

What do we teach at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp?

Maybe a better question would be “What don’t we teach???”

If you’re willing to learn it, we’re willing to teach it!

clown training

Click to DOWNLOAD the schedule to see all the education we have planned for you!

Consider us like a clown college:

We offer our curriculum much in the same way as a university does: one major course and many minor electives.

COURSE : You will meet with the same instructor for 2 hours every morning, studying one — and only one — of the main courses.

WORKSHOPS : After lunch, you can choose from many different Afternoon Workshops each day! These cover every aspect of clowning, children’s entertainment, business, and performance. Sometimes the staff will be teaching portions of their course in a shorter Workshop format. We recommend you try all our staff. If you like them, then perhaps next year you will want to take a course from another staff on another subject!

Don’t know which Morning Course to choose?

pep talkRelax, we’ve gotcha covered. As part of your registration, you will receive a free P.E.P. (Personal Education Plan) Talk by way of a phone call from Tricia Manuel (aka “Pricilla Mooseburger”). Your P.E.P. Talk will help you get the most out of your time at Moose Camp.

After getting to know what sort of clowning you wish to do, Tricia will give you the best suggestions for which Course and Workshops to take. For more information about your P.E.P. Talk, go to the “What Makes Us Different” section.


We have been tweaking our schedule and clown training educational system since 1994, and it has evolved into the best clown school in the country (in our humble opinion).

Don’t believe us?  Read the testimonials from past students.







Annette Darragh

(Course description coming soon)


clown schoolClowning 101

Gene Flaharty, Tricia Manuel, Rex Nolen

Learn the funny art of clowning from the ground up. You will be introduced to make-up, costuming, character development, and performance skills. Their team-teaching approach will seamlessly interweave the skills that will start you on the road toward being a great clown. You will learn volumes in a short time! You will be putting on make-up every day. When you leave Moose Camp, you will have all the basics you need to begin your new life as a clown.

If you have never put on make-up before, then Clowning 101 is the right Course for you!

baisch magicComedy Magic for Clowns

Fred Baisch

With decades of experience as both a serious stage magician and a magical clown, Fred is a wealth of entertainment knowledge. This year he is changing up his course to teach Stage Illusions, with a comic bent of course. Through these illusions you will learn not only some large scale tricks, and a few smaller ones too, but techniques that you can apply to any performance. Come learn from one of the Masters of Magic Mayhem!

If you have never performed a magic trick before, you can still take this Course!


venturi facepaintI CAN Face Paint

Cheri Venturi, Gene Flaharty

This 9 hour course is an introduction to face painting from tattoos to full face designs with an emphasis on the proper materials and techniques. It is a hands on class for beginners and and those who need an environment to build their confidence.

We will:

  1. Start from the very beginning by learning how to use the proper supplies (brushes, paints, glitter, mirrors, charts, and give- a-ways)
  2. Be introduced to stroke work and practice using them in designs
  3. Give you all an opportunity to put your skills to work

Our goal is to present the tools to build your confidence and skills as well as providing you with an opportunity to use them.

During the last 20 minutes of each class, Gene Flaharty, world renowned makeup artist, will present new products and how to implement them to enhance your face painting.

There will be face painting kits sold if you wish to purchase one ahead of time. You are always welcome to bring your own kit.

This is a low pressure, fun learning experience. No talent needed except to hold a brush and be willing to try something new. Come join us.

NOTE: This class is meant to be a beginner class. Although everyone is welcome to join in, there will be more challenging classes offered throughout the afternoon and during nightly jam sessions for those that are more experienced.



mission gospel clowningGospel Clowning: Sharing God’s Love Through Laughter

Sandy Kephart, Brenda Marshall, Brad Stone

Have you ever considered using your clown skills to do Christian Mission and Ministry work? In this course Brenda, Brad, and Sandy will share the diverse experience they have applied nationally and internationally. This dynamic trio will help you develop tools and clown skills to help you deliver a Christian-based message that will appeal to children of all ages and nationalities. Understanding how effective a red nose can be, this group will also offer you instruction and resources to get started in reaching your neighborhood, local church, and perhaps around the world with the love of Jesus.

In this Course you will also have the opportunity to use your skills and apply what has been learned during a show at a local church.


Karen Hoyer Dots

Hospital and Caring Clowning

Karen Hoyer

Clowning in hospitals and nursing homes is challenging but hugely rewarding. This course will cover both the artistic choices that need to be considered as well as the limitations and precautions that this work requires. We’ll cover a variety of subjects including: forging a relationship with hospital or nursing home staff; learning the requirements for proper hygiene and universal precautions; developing age appropriate material; working solo or with a partner; preserving your own emotional health; and learning how to be an “ego-less” performer. This course includes a visit with patients in a local care facility, with Karen supervising visits. It creates the perfect safe environment to get your feet wet in this special art of Clowning!

It is recommended that you have the basics of clown make-up and character developed before launching into this specialized field.


desanto skoyMaterial Development

Greg DeSanto, Neal Skoy

Want to write a short gag? Need to develop an entire stage show? Are you in charge of long-term project and have to write all the skits? Greg and Neal’s experience both under the big top and on stage will guide you in learning the nuts and bolts of successful comedy. In this course, you will learn what makes a skit work well, and how to create your own original material. Your work in this course will produce gags used in the All Star Clown Show. Bring your thinking cap!

It is recommended that you have the basics of clown make-up and character developed before taking this Course.


kelly james ballaghSolo Show Success

Kelly Ballagh

Take your clowning from a hobby to a real business. Learn what the steps are to climb to success as a solo performer. There are many steps in the process of moving from variety performer to putting on a show and marketing it so that you can succeed in this business. Kelly will take you through gathering your skills and ideas, to evaluating your needs, to putting the show together. He will review the tricks and techniques of showmanship and staging, technical needs, and how and where to market yourself and your show.

This Course is for folks who have been clowning already and want to take it to the next level.



(in alphabetical order)


balloons clown schoolAdvanced Balloons

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Annette Darragh

Annette is an award winning twister and will present a workshop for the balloonist that wants to make something a little more creative than a three-twist balloon animal. You will learn how to twist balloons that can be worn on a headband, wrist, or in a candy cup. Bring your balloons and pump and get ready to twist and shout “I did it!”


After the Volunteer Training: Care and Feeding of Volunteer Clowns

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Terry Ricketts

How and when to volunteer (and when not to) and get the most out of your time. Learn how to get the respect for your valuable time that you give so freely while helping a cause you support (and be safe and have fun at the same time!). We will cover clowning as a single clown volunteer and as part of a larger group, along with some of the dos and don’ts and things to watch out for so you set yourself up for success.


kephart airbrushAirbrush Face Paint Demo

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Sandy Kephart

Ever thought about adding an airbrush system to your face-paint business? Here is your chance to see one in action! Sandy will have a Question & Answer session after the demo.


Art of Henna (Part 1)

July 30 2:00 – 3:00 Annette Darragh

Learn about Henna and the materials needed to apply it.   You will learn some simple designs to make beautiful henna tattoos.  Please bring a pencil to this class.


Art of Henna (Part 2)

July 30 3:15 – 4:15 Annette Darragh

This is a hands-on class.  We will be applying the designs learned in Henna (Part 1) to a partner or ourselves.  (Henna cones will be available for purchase in the dealer’s room PRIOR to the class.)


soap piesArt of Working with Soap

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Greg DeSanto

Observe the master while he turns ordinary bar soap into the best clown cream pies you’ve ever seen! Greg will show you the ideal tools and supplies to use for whipping up the frothiest soap.


nolen tennis ballBasic Strolling Magic

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Rex Nolen

Have a gig with no stage? Load up your pockets and get ready for magic on the go! Learn some of the best magic tricks to perform while on the move. Perfect for fairs, picnics, restaurants, outdoors, or anywhere you need portable magic!


Birthday Parties

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Brenda Marshall

Learn lots of fun routine and theme ideas, plus the tips to help make your business profitable. Clowning is fun; business can be fun, too! Let her show you the way to be a success in something you love.


Birthday Party Show ­ from A to Z

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Connie Kennedy

Connie will show you how to put together a complete birthday show from beginning to middle to end.  Will also include tips on the Business Side of your show such as “how to book the party & how to collect your fee.”


Bubble Play

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Christopher and Candace Hudert

If you have never used bubbles in your clowning you don’t know what you are missing. They’re things of quite beauty and good clean fun! Come find some of the many ways you can use them and discover (and play with) some of the many bubble toys that are available to buy in your local stores or make at home.


caring clowningCaring Clown Do’s and Don’ts

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Annette Darragh

In this class we will discuss the things you can and cannot do in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Children Shelters, etc.  You will learn what you need to do to get in to those facilities.


Caring Clown Performances

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Connie Kennedy

Nurse Stitches will teach the ins and outs of hospital clown performances, sharing her tips on how to set them up and what to do. From rules and regulations to hospital humor, you will get an inside look at this difficult yet rewarding type of entertainment. This class is a great way to find out if hospital clowning is for you!


Children’s Worship Next Sunday! Now What?

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Brenda Marshall

So you need something easy to implement into your church program right away, right? Learn some simple presentations that incorporate kid-friendly ways to present the gospel message. You will see how to use your clowning skills in ministry.


Clown Gimmicks

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Greg DeSanto

Did ya ever wonder how to make smoke shoot out your ears or cry gallons of water? He’ll show you the sight gags, gimmicks and cheap bits that clowns have been using for decades to look like a real life “Looney Toon”! Features fright wigs, stretch arms, exploding props, squirting rigs and many other one of a kind “clown brainstorms”.


Clown Ministry: Storytelling Magic

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Brenda Marshall

Can you combine storytelling with a message and magic? Of course! We will explore the basic techniques of storytelling as well as some simple magic that you can make yourself, then we will look at combining the two to reinforce the message.


mission tripClowning Abroad

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Steve Busch, Sandy Kephart

Have you been thinking about clowning abroad and don’t know where to start? Sandy and Steve will share tips based on their experiences on several clown trips abroad to give you some direction in how to prepare for a successful and fulfilling overseas clowning experience.


Comedy Juggling

July 31 3:15 – 4:151 Rex Nolen

So you have the basic skill mastered, but you have no idea how to use your clown character while juggling, right? Learn how to juggle in a funny way, and get more mileage out of this great skill!


Comic Movement and Character Development

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Sean Carlock

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Neal Skoy

Learn to move like a cartoon! This class is great for clowns of all ages and body types! You will learn how to present yourself like a pro and feel funny doing it. Unlock the mystery with simple, useful ideas that allow you to become the clown character you have always wanted to be!


kennedy facepaintFace Painting for Dummies

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Connie Kennedy

So you have no artistic ability and think you can’t face paint? WRONG! Connie will introduce you to the magic of stencils and the art of split-cake on sponges for FAST – and I mean 30 seconds or less – works of art! We may also include a special section on Glitter Tattoos!


flaharty mehronFace Painting: Tips from a Master Artist

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Gene Flaharty

Learn about new products and tips to make your painting easier.  Gene will talk about allergic reactions, and products that may stain and how to treat them.  Gene will demo brush-loading and other new techniques that have proven effective — even under water!


Fun Magic for Birthday Parties and More!

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Fred Baisch

Fred will show what it takes to put comedy magic into your routines for birthday parties or any place you need to perform a bit of magic. Perfect for those of you who use magic, ideal for clowns wondering what it is all about! Learn how to be a funny magical clown from one of the best in the business.


desanto skoyGag Writing

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Greg DeSanto

Clowning is very much like a live action cartoon. What we do is tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. Those three elements are at the heart of all clown routines. Whether called gags, routines, entrees, or skits, they are the framework that you will hang your comic bits of business onto. Greg will take you through the process of creating a story that relates to your clown character, builds the comedy and finishes with the “blow-off.”


How to Teach a Junior Joey Program

July 3- 3:00 – 4:00 Connie Kennedy

Connie will show you how to put together a complete Junior Joey Program from beginning to middle to end so that you can use your clown skills to present the Art of Clowning to the next generation. She will share the secrets of how to build a successful basic program.


How to Tie a Balloon

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Annette Darragh

For beginners only! If you don’t know what an “ear twist” is, then this is the place to begin your balloon twisting. Annette will be providing hands-on help you need to create simple balloon creations. Not everyone needs Snoopy on a motorcycle! Learn the basics to get you started on this fun and lucrative hobby.


Improve Your Clowning with Improv

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Sean Carlock

Most of us will never work for Second City or “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” but that doesn’t mean that improv is not a tool we should have in our arsenal. In this hands-on workshop you will learn practical applications and techniques for using improv skills in your everyday clowning. **WARNING** laughter is a guaranteed side effect of taking this class. Other possible side effects include sore sides and leaking of the eyes.


magic linking ringsLarge & Small Illusions You Can Do

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Fred Baisch

You don’t have to be Penn & Teller to perform some great magic with lots of comedy. Come to this workshop and Fred will share a little piece of what is going on in his course. You’ll see a large illusion and several smaller ones that even the most magically challenged can do, then learn how and why they work and how to marry the funny to the magic.


puppets hudertLibrary & School Shows

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Christopher Hudert

Clowning, storytelling, puppetry, and magic are skills which you can use to entertain AND educate young audiences. Learn how to get involved in your local libraries and schools, put together a show, and use your current skills to make kids laugh while they learn.


Lite, NOT Lazy Auguste

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Gene Flaharty, Tricia Manuel

Lite Auguste make is all the rage. Be sure you know how to do it properly. Cutting corners is not what this style of make-up is all about. Pricilla and Gene will demonstrate how to do a Lite Auguste face with all the techniques necessary so you look professional and not like a slacker!


Mad Science with Professor Flutterbuster

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Brad Stone

Have you been thinking of adding some science experiments to your show or birthday party? Maybe you have even thought of doing a science show. Why don’t you join Professor Flutterblaster he demonstrates some cool science experiments that anyone can do? This workshop will also introduce you to where you can get the chemicals and supplies needed for the experiments. All chemistry nerds are encouraged to come and add any input they have on the subject.


nolen magicMagic Routines and Fun Routines You Can Use

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Rex Nolen

Learn routines for all types of performance venues. Rex keeps it simple and easy. It is more than learning how to do a magic trick; it is about creating a fun routine and humorous patter to go with it. Rex shows you how!


make-up labMake-up Lab

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Emily DeSanto, Gene Flaharty

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Gene Flaharty

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Emily DeSanto, Gene Flaharty

Come to an environment where we can further develop your clown unique persona. A clown’s make-up is their own trademark. How do you bring your inner clown to the surface in an approachable manor? We will be conducting the labs per needs of the students – from application pointers, to consultation, to complete face overhaul!


Mask Work

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Karen Hoyer

Using a set of papièr machè full face masks, as well as neutral hoods, this class will explore the specific techniques of bringing a mask to life. Besides being a fun experience, we will be studying how the body becomes more precise and expressive once the face is covered.  You as a clown will explore new ways of moving and you as an audience member will be inspired by what you observe and how you can adapt it into your performing.


mime hoyerMime: The Language of Clowns

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Karen Hoyer

As a clown you need to use your whole body to communicate.  Mime is the art of using movement to create physical characterizations, express emotion non-verbally, and tell a story without depending on words.  For clowns, mime is a vital tool for making physical choices that will take us out of everyday life and into a clownesque world of play.


clown musicMusic and Movement

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Cheri Venturi

Using music is a GREAT way to work on your comic movement. Wear comfy clothing and be prepared to groove. You might even get some idea of how to use music in your act!


alan flaggMy Favorite Props

July 31 2:00 – 3:00 Allan Flagg

Allan is an amazing clown who belongs to numerous clown clubs and performs in hundreds of events each year. Tap into his vast experience and see how his favorite props will become your favorites.


My Favorite Props with Everyday Objects

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Terry Ricketts

You will love this class if you want to laugh, make your own stuff, and stay on a budget!  Learn how get the most use out of the clown props made from basic items everyone has around the house.


Physical Comedy for Every Body Ability!

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Christopher Hudert

The name of this workshop says it all! No matter what your body type or athletic ability (or lack thereof), you can incorporate these bits of comic movement into your clowning.


Pocket Magic for Walk-Around Events

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Fred Baisch

Load up your pockets and get ready for magic on the go! Learn some of the best magic tricks to perform while on the move. Perfect for fairs, picnics, restaurants, outdoors, or anywhere you need portable magic!


prop shopPocket Props for Walk-Arounds: Make it and Take it! 

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Terry Ricketts

Get ready for a wild ride! Terry is the king of make-it and take-it, cheap but easy, fun and frolic! We have created the perfect prop workshop, full of supplies, ideas, and expert advice for your walk-arounds and parades.


Pool Noodle Props

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Terry Ricketts

You will be amazed to discover just how many awesome things can be made from a simple foam pool noodle. With a few tools and craft supplies (and an extra dose of creativity), you can make anything you need!


pricilla pose kick armsPosing for Pictures and Working with the Media

July 31 2:00 -3:00 Tricia Manuel

Learn the tricks to taking a great picture every time. From practicing poses to speaking with the media, you’ll walk out of this workshop looking and sounding like a pro!


Secrets of Parade & Event Planning

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Terry Ricketts

Everyone loves a parade! The best way to insure the fun and success is to plan for it. If you want to learn a simple method of “how to plan a parade or special event,” this is the class for you. The secrets will be revealed.


Simple Clown Skits

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 Rex Nolen

Looking for some skits for that alley show? Something everyone can do? Here are some simple but funny skits. We will use some students to go through a skit to show all steps necessary to put something together in a professional manner.


skoy slapstickSlapstick

July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Neal Skoy

Falling down is funny, but only if you can get back up! Here we will explore the explosive world of comedic pain. We will learn the basic moves in slaps and falls; then workshop interesting ways to integrate these into your performance. Come prepared to take physical risks in a safe environment.

(For those of you who want to learn physical comedy WITHOUT falling down see “Physical Comedy for Every Body Ability” by Christopher Hudert.)



July 29 4:00 – 5:00 Cheri Venturi

Learn from one of the best story-tellers in the business. Cheri uses storytelling to keep children of all ages mesmerized during her performances. She will illustrate techniques to create magical experiences!


sean carlockSuper Simple Sound Tech for Clowns

July 30 3:00 – 4:00 Sean Carlock

Many clowns are tech-phobic, or at the very least tech naive. That doesn’t have to be you, and tech doesn’t have to be too complicated. In this Tech for Clowns class, we will talk about basic sound equipment, PA’s, MP3 players, remotes, and software/apps. Then we will cover why music is important and how to get it, edit it, and make it part of your show.


Theatrical and European Clowning

July 31 3:15 – 4:15 Neal Skoy

These bare bones approaches to clown performance reveal the closeness between theater and circus in the European culture. We will strip away the bells and whistles and find ways to approach clowning from its most pure existence –mirroring the everyman. Thinking simple and playing with genuine effect will elevate the way you approach clowning for the rest of your life!


Walk Arounds and Paradability

July 30 1:45 – 2:45 John Joseph

If you perform as a walk around clown or in parades, this is a popular lecture you won’t want to miss. Jay Jay discusses why we parade, safety during parades, etiquette while parading, and over 100 actual parade ideas you can use.


But wait — the education doesn’t stop there!

Besides the Balloon Jams and Make-up Labs, there are also late-night Magic Jams, and early morning Comic Movement, and lots of other clown training opportunities through out each day.

At Mooseburger Clown Camp, the learning never stops!

karen hoyer