What do we teach?

Q:  What do we teach at Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp?

A:  Everything!

   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 how each hour is jam-packed!

Click to DOWNLOAD the descriptions of the Courses and Workshops.

Consider us like a clown college:

We offer our curriculum much in the same way as a college 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 1996, 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.



  ::  We will have the 2018 Mooseburger Camp schedule finished soon  ::
Until then, last year’s schedule is still up for you to see.
It shows the daily schedule which will stay the same each year, but the Morning Courses and Afternoon Workshops will change.




rex nolen clownBirthday Parties and Beyond

– Rex Nolen

You will get a complete overview of birthday parties, from the business side to routining ideas. Learn lots of fun ideas for themes and props, plus the tricks of the trade to make your business profitable. He will also incorporate magic tricks, stage show ideas and circus clowning. Clowning is fun; and business can be fun, too! Let Rex show you the way to be a success in something you love.

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



neal skoy clownCharacter Intensive

– Neal Skoy

This main course is a step up from your TYPICAL character development. Neal’s extensive training with the theater, street performance, and commedia dell’arte will give you rich insights you won’t find anywhere else. Hone your one-on-one interpersonal communication with the audience. Delve into the world of physical comedy to bring your character to life. It’s time for a fresh perspective; be prepared to see your clown in a whole new light. It’s time for you to take your clown character to the next level!!

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



clown schoolClowning 101

Gene Flaharty, Tricia Manuel, Cheri Venturi

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!



jay stewart clownHospital and Caring Clowning

– Jay Stewart

Clowns can bring joy and laughter where it is needed most when they step through the doors of a hospital or nursing home.  You will find this work challenging but hugely rewarding.  Learn how to create material and work with a partner; explore music and skills that entertain, distract and redirect; discover how to “read the room” and make the right choices; and, above all, experience the joy of connecting with an open heart.  Jay brings experience performing in playrooms and patient rooms, making the rounds in hospitals, nursing homes and senior centers, working solo and with a partner.

This course includes a visit with residents in a local care facility, with Jay supervising visits.  It creates the perfect safe and supportive environment to reach out as a Caring Clown.

Note: It is recommended that you have the basics of clown make-up and character in place before launching into this specialized field.  Please bring any skills you want to share: musical instruments, puppets, juggling, magic tricks, poems, songs and jokes.


venturi facepaint

Intermediate Face Painting

– Annette Darragh

Nowhere in the US can clowns get a better education in face painting than through this seven-hour hands-on progressive course! We will assume you are already familiar with the basic brush work and sponge techniques. Now let’s take your skill to the next level! Master the methods necessary to make your artwork pop. From simple and fast designs aimed at efficiently moving the line, to the most popular designs of all time, to complex designs that WOW, this class is a must for anyone looking to fine tune their skills and learn new ones.

NOTE: Bring your favorite paints and tools. A Mehron Paradise face-paint kit is available for purchase for $48.

If you are a beginner, we recommend you attend the basic-level workshops, demos, and labs offered during the week.


fred baisch magicMagic and More

– Fred Baisch

Learn a little of everything in this course.  Fred will show you basic manipulation and misdirection, pocket magic, funny shtick, patter for gags, and bits of business for performers. He will also give you LOTS of ideas for routines! This course will give you lots of ideas for meet & greets and walk-around clowning. He has decades of experience doing birthday parties and corporate events, so be sure to take notes! You will come away with plenty of practical material you can use right away when you get home.

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


desanto skoyMaterial Development

Greg DeSanto, Sean Carlock

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 experiences in the circus ring and in theater 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 2 to 3 gags used in the All Star Clown Show. Bring your thinking cap!

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


karen hoyer clownPuppetry & Storytelling

– Karen Hoyer




::  We will have the 2018 Mooseburger Camp schedule finished soon  ::
Until then, last year’s schedule is still up for you to see.
It shows the daily schedule which will stay the same each year, but the Morning Courses and Afternoon Workshops will change.

 —  Click to DOWNLOAD the 2017 schedule  —


6 Tricks Every Clown Should Know (Fred Baisch)

Accessorize Your Magic (Fred Baisch)
Get more time and laughs out of the magic you perform using simple props that are not so much tricks in themselves, but add so much more to any routine. This workshop is a display and discussion of common comedy props and various ways to use them for maximum comedy effect.

Airbrush Face Painting Demo (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 her demonstration.

The Art of Working with Soap (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.

Balloon Hats and More (Rex Nolen)
Hats are a favorite line item at parties and festivals. Rex will give you the extra help you need to create easy hats to please everyone. Learn other creations, too. This workshop is for people who already have mastered simple twists. If you have balloons and a pump, bring them.

Beginning Face Painting (Cheri Venturi)
This lab is set up to allow you access to the paints. Try them out and get some hands-on experience. It is a perfect way for you to find out if you like face painting. Start with learning the basic brush techniques necessary to make your artwork pop.

Birthday Parties A to Z (Brenda Marshall)
This workshop is an overview of birthday parties. 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.

Bring Your Puppets to Life (Karen Hoyer)
Your puppet takes a breath and looks around – suddenly, magically, it is alive!  Working step by step we’ll discover the best way to manipulate each puppet and then how to develop your puppet / clown relationship.  Bring your puppet and your imagination.

Bubble Play (Candace Hudert, Christopher Hudert)
If you have never used bubbles in your clowning you don’t know what you are missing. They’re things of quiet 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.

Business is NOT a Four-Letter Word (Christopher Hudert)
here may be no business like show business, but the business of show business is another matter. You will learn the three basic parts: prepare, promote, and perform. Clowns can apply the same methodology to the business aspects as they do to the show itself.  The trouble is that many performers are convinced that they are “right-brain” creative people and can¹t do the business stuff. Bull-ony!  It¹s simple!

Caring Clown: From Entry to Exit (Brenda Marshall)
How do you enter a hospital room as a clown?  What do you do once you are inside?  And how do you exit?  We will discover and practice ways to answer all of these questions and share ideas for props to carry in your pocket…just in case you need them.

Caring Clowns: How To (Annette Darragh)
In this workshop 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 (Annette Darragh)
So you have the permission to visit facilities, and you have the know-how…but how will you make ‘em smile?  Taking into consideration the different environments and audiences, we will discuss and perform the best types of performances for hospitals and nursing homes. Bring your questions!

Character Development and Comic Movement (Sean Carlock or Iman Lizarazu)
How do you develop a real clown character from the inside out? Become a unique performer instead of a cookie cutter clown.  The key to a great character is finding out how to exaggerate and pull from the personality traits you already possess. And then you will discover how that new character’s body moves and reacts.

Classic Funny Bits (Greg DeSanto)
A classic is something that stands the test of time. There’s a reason that some gags and bits are known in every alley. Learn the old standards afresh (or for the first time) and see why they are considered “classics”.

Classic Magic Tricks (Fred Baisch)
In his 45+ years of performing, Fred knows his way around a silk scarf. You’ll see a number of tried-and-true tricks which every serious stage magician knows. Learn how and why they work and how to marry the funny to the magic.

Clown Storytelling (Karen Hoyer)
How do you take a story and make it your own in a clownesque way?  We’ll use movement, gestures, character voices, sound effects and your own unique clown persona to bring each story to life.  Bring your energy and enthusiasm, – and leave with a story ready to perform!

Clowning with an Instrument (Julia Bothun)
You don’t need an instrument to come to this workshop. In fact, you don’t even need to know HOW to play an instrument or read music! We’ll explore building routines around the idea that an instrument is a comedy prop, not necessarily a noise-maker.

Comedy Juggling (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! If you have juggling supplies, bring them.

Face Painting: Masks and Bling (Annette Darragh)
So you’ve been painting for a while, and want to know “What’s new?”  Annette will give you all the tips and tricks you need to add bling to your designs and learn the popular eye masks.

Face Painting: Prisma Cakes and More! (Gene Flaharty)
They have been called rainbow cakes, blend sets, or split cakes – and they are the best invention for making your line work fast and easy, while still producing amazing face paint designs. Gene will also talk about other new products and tips to make your painting easier and safer.

Flip Your Lid – Hat Tricks (Emily DeSanto)
Ever end up someplace with nothing to do? Use your hat! There are great tricks and illusions that can be done with a simple felt hat. Let her show you how to make your hat a clown partner! This class includes lots of student participation and belly laughs! If you have a hat, bring it.

Gag Writing – How to Do It (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. Bring a notebook and put on your thinking cap!

How to Tie a Balloon (Rex Nolen)
For beginners only! Rex 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.

I Hear Voices: Creating voices for Puppets, Characters, and Clowns (Christopher Hudert)

Improv and Elements of Play (Neal Skoy)

Improv for Clowns (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. Audience participation in required!  **WARNING** laughter is a guaranteed side effect of taking this class. Other possible side effects include sore sides and leaking of the eyes.

Lite Auguste, Not Lazy Auguste (Julia, Gene, Tricia)
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. We 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 Show w/Prof. Flutterblaster (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.

The Magic of Meet & Greet (Julia Bothun)
It’s about making every child feel special because every child is special. We’ll explore ways to be the best ambassador you can be into this world of magic.

Make-It and Take-It Walk-Around Props (Terry Ricketts)
If you have an idea for a walk-around prop, but you’re not HOW to make it or WHAT materials to use, let Terry be your guide. He has all the supplies you need and will help you figure out the best way to build whatever crazy idea you have in your head. He loves crazy ideas!

Manic Mania Props with Everyday Objects – PART 1 (Terry Ricketts)
Get ready for a wild ride! Terry is the king of make-it and take-it, cheap but easy, fun and frolic! You will love this class if you want to laugh, make your own stuff, and stay on a budget!

Manic Mania Props with Everyday Objects – PART 2 (Terry Ricketts)
OK we started with one hour and have expanded to two! There is just too much information to squeeze into one hour of fun with props. You do not have to attend both hours.

Marketing Your Clown (Sean Carlock)
Sean has been running his own successful solo clown business for years. He keeps on top of the trends and knows what works. Don’t be afraid to take your marketing into your own hands. If you want to get hired, you owe it to yourself to take this workshop!

Mask! Physical Vocabulary and Pantomime (Neal Skoy)

Ministry Skits (Sandy Kephart, Brad Stone)
In this class we will discuss what clowning tools of the trade can be used to get a religious message across to adults and children. We will learn how to take these skills to put together a religious teaching moment such as a children sermon. We will discuss ways to organize the message and what resources are available for help. We will give examples of funny religious skits and there will be time for brainstorming.

Music and Movement (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!

Music, Songs, and Sounds (Karen Hoyer)
Add pizzazz to your work with a soundtrack that fits the mood, sound effects that hit the mark, a comic song or a sing-a-long that anyone can master.  Think of this class as a laboratory to get your creative juices flowing.

My Favorite Balloons (Annette Darragh)
In this workshop, you will learn a handful of popular balloon creations you can use at any party, festival, or restaurant. I’ll show you my favorite twists and designs. If you have balloons and a pump, bring them.

Parading in a Group (Terry Ricketts)
You will be surprised once you become a clown how many parades you will perform in. And it’s always more fun to have a solid group concept than have your alley scattered all over the route! Terry will lead you stage to stage, from idea/theme, to prop construction, to performance rehearsal, to post-parade care.

Performing for the Very Young (Cheri Venturi)

Puppet as Your Partner (Brenda Marshall)
We’ll take the next step to work with a puppet to create a character that you can work with, build some creative conflict between you and the character (a key to comedy), and find some of the fun and funny possibilities that a puppet brings to a clown performance. If you have a puppet, bring it.

Puppets: Silly Conversation and Storytelling (Christopher Hudert)
When you take one part storytelling and one part puppets and put them together, you get a fresh and engaging way to convey a story. And your puppet is the best conversation partner, if you don’t mind being the straight man! Come learn some simple methods to keep the audience mentally involved. If you have a puppet, bring it.

Routines You Can Use (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 patter to go with it.

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

Silly Song Writing with Familiar Tunes (Julia Bothun)
This is perfect workshop for those building routines for school shows or themed events. We’ll take tunes everyone knows and put lyrics to them to fit your needs. No instruments necessary, but a notebook and imagination are!

Skits and Fun Stuff (Tricia Manuel)
Need some ideas on easy-to-do skits to bring back to your alley? We will act out a few skits and then break them down step-by-step so you can learn them yourself for future use.  This is a great workshop for all levels of comic performer. Great ready for fun audience participation!

Slapstick: The Art of Falling Down (Neal Skoy)
Here we will explore the explosive world of comedic pain. We will learn the basic moves in slaps and pratfalls; then workshop interesting ways to integrate these into your clown writing and performance. You must be physically fit to participate in this workshop. Come prepared to take risks in a safe environment.

Ukulele How To (Neal Skoy)
Bring your own ukulele. Learn to strum some old favorites and funny new tunes. Your Uke MUST be in tune before the class starts!

Vacation Bible School (Sandy Kephart)
Sandy has produced successful VBAs for many years. She will share her secrets of success with you. She will cover curriculum, decorations, performances, ready-made programs, volunteers, props, and more.

Working with an Audience Volunteer (Neal Skoy)




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!

Click to DOWNLOAD the schedule to see how each hour is jam-packed!

Click to DOWNLOAD the descriptions of the Courses and Workshops.

karen hoyer