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.





prop buildingBuilding & Performing with Props

Terry Ricketts

If you are going to be performing in a parade or doing any walk-around meet & greet events, then you’d better take Terry’s course! He will teach you all the INs and OUTs of building amazing props, and how to make the most out them in your performance. From pocket-sized tricks to large stage props, he has the materials you need and the expertise to help you build whatever you are dreaming up. Possible materials available will be pool noodles, plastic tubs, fabric, foam, everyday household objects, standard art supplies, and whatever else Terry finds in his collection of treasures! You may be using power tools, hot glue guns, sewing supplies, and all types of adhesive. His course will also cover ideas on how to use these props, creating hilarious patter, shtick, and gags.  You will be inspired!



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!


mission gospel clowningClowning with a Message

Sandy Kephart, Brenda Marshall, Brad Stone

School shows, gospel presentations, life and fire safety shows all require some specific planning. We will explore how to put together a show to present your chosen message, using the clown skills you already have.

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 children’s program.

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


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!

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


venturi facepaint

Intermediate Face Painting

– Annette Darragh

In this course, we will move beyond the basic brush strokes and delve into more complex designs and advanced techniques. Rainbow cakes, glitter, and stencils will also be covered. We may be able to explore special equipment (such as airbrush) if time allows.  Bring your favorite brushes and supplies. Annette will be using Mehron Paradise face paints.

We are offering a kit for $48 if you do not wish to bring your own.

NOTE: This course is intended for people who have mastered basic face painting.

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


ImanLizarazuIntro to Eccentric Clowning

– Iman Lizarazu

We will address three areas: balance and control of the space, meeting and establishing complicity with the audience and with partners, and problem solving as a method of working on stage. After this introduction, we will explore ways of creating material and finding character. The focus is on activating the internal emotional state of the audience and helping the actor to always be interested rather than interesting.

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


rex nolen clownMagic, Gags, and More!

– Rex Nolen

Learn a little of everything in this course.  Rex will show you basic manipulation and misdirection, pocket magic, funny shtick, patter for gags, and bits of business for performers. Most of the items used by Rex are everyday items which can be found at a mega-mart.  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, 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 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.


21268000242_5b23396a72_zSolo Show Success

– Sean Carlock

Ready to make a living as a clown? 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. Sean 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.

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



fred baisch volunteersVolunteer Clowning 101

– Fred Baisch

Okay, you’ve got bitten by the clown bug. You love it. But you don’t want to make a business out of it and you don’t want to join the circus.

…what option is left?  VOLUNTEERING!  This is the most popular way clowns use their talent. Fred will tell you how to get into the world of volunteer clowning and what you need to know so you don’t get burnt-out. This course will also cover easy-to-learn pieces of comedy, magic, and skits which you can use in your performance when you get home. Lots of practical material to learn. You can apply your skills at parades, county fairs, business expos, day cares, libraries, fundraisers, and any where else a clown is welcome!

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




(in alphabetical order)

fairy pinkAdvanced Face Painting

Friday 3:15pm Annette Darragh

For those artists who have already conquered the basics, come “Brush up” on your technique and learn something new! Annette will show you more advanced brush and sponge work, plus new products and methods which can help your line work.


The Art of Henna (Part 1)

Thursday 1:45pm 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.


The Art of Henna (Part 2)

Thursday 3:00pm 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.)


The Art of Interaction

Friday 2:00pm Kelly Ballagh

Forsake those face paints, burst those balloon bubbles, make those magic tricks disappear. Find out what you audience really wants during this lecture about “up close and personal” clowning. Use your eyes instead of your ego to engage the public.  Learn the simple steps to creating that special moment between you and your audience.


soap pies

The Art of Working with Soap

Thursday 3:00pm 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.


Birthday Party Show ­ from A to Z

Friday 2:00pm 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

Thursday 1:45pm 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 clowning

Caring Clown Do’s and Don’ts

Friday 2:00pm 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

Thursday 1:45pm 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!


Clown Gimmicks & Gags

Wednesday 4:00pm 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 Shows with a Message

Wednesday 4:00pm Brenda Marshall

Constructing clown shows that convey the Gospel message will be the focus of the class.  We will look at the basics of skit construction and performance techniques.  We will also look at the importance of props in a ministry program.


mime hoyer

Clown Storytelling        

Thursday 3:00pm Karen Hoyer

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


Clowning in the Classroom

Thursday 3:00pm Sandy Kephart

Laughter + Learning = Retention. This class will include ideas for preparation and performing in school settings. Kids can be a tough audience. Learn how to package your message for the right age group.


ukuele clownClowning with an Instrument

Thursday 1:45pm Julia Bothun

Clowning with musical instruments can help you get closer to your audience. Any instrument can be funny! Julia will show you how to be funny whether you use a kazoo, ukulele, or tuba! Learn fun techniques you can use with any instrument. (Instruments optional for class.)


Comic Movement and Character Development

Wednesday 4:00pm Sean Carlock

Thursday 1:45pm 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!


Creating Themed Shows from Props You Already Own

Thursday 3:00pm Sean Carlock

Need to create a new routine? Have a few clown props and magic tricks which you’ve never figured out how to incorporate into your show? Sean will help gather your skills and ideas, evaluate your needs, and show you how to put a themed show together without having to buy all new stuff.


kennedy facepaint

Face Painting for Dummies

Wednesday 4:00pm 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!


Finding Your Character

Wednesday 4:00pm Kelly Ballagh

Whether you are a skilled performer who can juggle 5 balls or not, the key to everything is having a STRONG character that your audience connects with.  The focus on this course is on the character WITHIN the attendees, and bringing it out for all to see.  Utilizing improve games and movement exercises, this course helps the “inner clown” come out.  A hands-on, up-on-your-feet course that will get your funny bone laughing.


Flip Your Lid! (Hat Tricks)

Friday 2:00pm 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. This class includes lots of student participation and belly laughs! If you have a hat with a brim, bring it with you.


magic linking rings

Fun Magic for Birthday Parties

Friday 3:15pm 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.


Fun Routines & Magic Routines You Can Use

Friday 2:00pm 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!


Gag & Skit Development

Friday 2:00pm Neal Skoy

Okay, so you have a hilarious idea for a clown gag/skit, but how do you turn it into a real script? We’ll take a look at the steps needed to take that idea and develop it into a skit you can actually perform, get the laughs, and then take it home to your clown club.


desanto skoy

Gag Writing

Friday 3:15pm 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.”


nolen magic

Gags, Skits, & More!

Thursday 1:45pm 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.


Group Parade-Ability

Friday 2:00pm Terry Ricketts

There is more to a parade performance than walking and waving! Learn valuable tips on how to work the route and get the most out of your props. The best way to insure fun and success is to plan for it. Terry has planned hundreds of parades and events for clown groups large and small. He will tell you all his secrets for clown clubs participating in parades.


Hold that Pose! Posing for Photos, Parades, & More

Friday 2:00pm Christopher Hudert

Everybody wants to take a photo with the clowns! Learn the tricks to taking a great picture every time. From practicing poses to working with a crowd of people taking “selfies”, you’ll walk out of this workshop looking like a pro!



How Do I Tie a Balloon? (Beginner Basics)

Wednesday 4:00pm Annette Darragh

For beginners only! 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.


How to Make Pool Noodle Props

Thursday 1:45pm 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!


Improv for Clowns

Friday 3:15pm 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.


balloons clown school

Intermediate Balloons

Thursday 3:00pm Connie Kennedy

This is 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 the wrist, as a hat, and other unique ways. Bring your balloons and pump and get ready to twist and shout “I did it!”


Learning the (Magic) Ropes

Friday 2:00pm Sean Carlock

Learn the ropes — literally! Easy-to-learn magic with trick ropes. Handy pocket magic for strolling clowns or for stage routines.


Lite, NOT Lazy Auguste

Thursday 1:45pm 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

Thursday 3:00pm 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.


Make-up Lab

Wednesday 4:00pm Emily DeSanto, Gene Flaharty

Friday 3:15pm 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!


sean carlock

Marketing Yourself and & Your Show

Thursday 1:45pm 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 yourself to take this workshop!


Mask Work

Thursday 1:45pm 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.


flaharty mehron

Master Tips & Techniques

Friday 2:00pm Gene Flaharty

Learn about new products and tips to make your face-painting and make-up application easier.  Gene is a Master Make-up Artist with Mehron. He will talk about allergic reactions, and products that may stain and how to treat them.  Gene will demo new face-paint techniques that have proven effective — even under water!


Music and Movement

Wednesday 4:00pm 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 ideas of how to use music in your act!


My Favorite Props with Everyday Objects

Wednesday 4:00pm 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.


Pack Small, Play Big

Friday 3:15pm Christopher Hudert

You can get big laughs from everyday objects which fit in your pocket. Everything you learn in this class packs small and plays BIG. Great for walk-around meet & greet clowning. Come join the fun!


balancing jugglingPerforming with ANYTHING

Thursday 1:45pm Kelly Ballagh

Don’t think your skills are good enough for your act?   Anyone can make an act out of what they got, from juggling piggy banks to balancing their check books!  Kelly will teach you how to utilize basic props that can be found at Dollar stores or other retail outlets to bring your performance to life.  Balancing popcorn boxes, flipping spoons into cups, and other fun tricks like this will be covered.


Performing with These Great Props

Friday 3:15pm Terry Ricketts

Alright, you have a pretty cool prop. But how do you get more laughs out of it? Terry’s years of experience will prove invaluable when he shows even the most seasoned pros new ideas for patter and presentation. Useful for parades, stage shows, or simple walk-around events. Put on your thinking cap!


Physical Movement for ANY Body

Friday 3:15pm Rex Nolen

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.


prop shop

Pocket Props for Walk-Arounds: Make it and Take it! 

Thursday 3:00pm 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.


Prisma Cake Face Painting

Thursday 3:00pm Gene Flaharty

Gene is a Master Makeup Artist. But you don’t need to be in order to create amazing face paint designs in seconds! The Prisma Blend Set Cakes are made with speed and ease in mind. You’ll be very happy you learned how to use these new rainbow cakes!


Puppetry Basics

Wednesday 4:00pm Christopher Hudert

Learn how to work puppets, from simple to complex. We’ll cover entrances, exits, basic movements, manipulation do’s and don’ts, and the most important aspect of all — static life.  This workshop is for beginners.


marshall brenda 8Puppets Alive

Thursday 1:45pm Brenda Marshall

Make ’em move, make ’em live! Learn how to add a puppet to your show so that they are alive and real. The key is to get the audience forget that you are making it move.


Simplicity of Sound

Thursday 3:00pm Kelly Ballagh

A course focusing on the different aspects of sound in a performance.   What kind of mic do I use?  How do I plug into an already existing sound system?  Can I run my sound by myself?  What kind of music do I use?  And more importantly, what kind of sound system is best for ME?  All these questions and more will be focused on in this course.  Kelly helps point out the PROS and CONS, and directs you into a positive experience with sound.


Six Tricks Any Clown Can Do

Thursday 3:00pm 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 learn six tricks that even the most magically-challenged can do, then learn how and why they work and how to marry the funny to the magic.


Skits and Comic Movement!

Friday 2:00pm Tricia Manuel

Need some ideas on easy-to-do skits to bring back to your alley? Tricia will act out a few skits and then break them down step-by-step so you can learn them yourself for future use. She will also incorporate the essentials of comic movement, so you can really get the feel for how to move like cartoon in your skit. Great ready for fun audience participation!


skoy slapstick


Wednesday 4:00pm 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 Movement for ANY Body” by Rex Nolen.)



Friday 3:15pm Cheri Venturi

When you add storytelling to your clown repertoire, you double your entertainment and minimize the number of props you need to bring. Learn techniques for hooking your audience and keeping them mesmerized. Clowns are magical creatures, so it is natural for us to tell stories!


nolen tennis ball

Strolling Magic

Wednesday 4:00pm 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!


Theatrical and European Clowning

Friday 3:15pm 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-Around Puppetry

Friday 3:15pm Kelly Ballagh

Make ’em move, make ’em live! Learn how to add a puppet to your performance so that they are alive and real. You don’t have a table or wall to hide behind, so we’ll meet the challenges of walk-around puppetry during meet & greet scenarios.


clown music

Wigs and Wiggles

Thursday 3:00pm Cheri Venturi

Come for the education, stay for the fun!  Cheri is the “wig lady” who helps clowns having a “bad hair day”. She will begin the class with lots of great wig care tips and styling ideas. Then she will finish with fun comic movement and clown dancing!


Winning Over Reluctant Kids

Friday 3:15pm Julia Bothun

Discover the secret to making shy kids come to you.


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