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Elite Club competes in the annual 5 Ring Endurance Contest on 11/17/20.

December 2020

2nd Semester (tentative) Preview
Registration opens 1/4/21 with hopeful (but changeable) plans for 1/25-6/4/21  

Paul Arneberg, Director

Current members and their families learned in mid-November that due to a number of reasons, we've remained open during this four-week "pause" (aka "Dial back, Minnesota"). While anyone may read my announcement on our website, I'll reiterate here my three main reasons for asserting that JUGHEADS is "Open, Essential, Optional": 1) We're partly "Child Care" (but admittedly with more teenagers than elementary-aged members); 2) we're partially a "School" with daily goals, life lessons, mentorship, and instruction; and 3) we are an essential service for many families who attest that this company is a boon to their child(ren)'s/youth's overall health: physical, social, mental, spiritual.

I know that this a controversial stance, but my reasons above are backed up by support from our host home, Emmaus Church; five tag-teaming on-site staff who are healthy and willing to lead; and the majority of the SLT who are comfortable serving each week. Put very simply, we want to offer the freedom of choice for each family regarding whether or not to send their child(ren) and/or teen(s) rather than make a unilateral closure at the expense of those who greatly benefit from our staying open with all protocol in place (and the additional mitigating measure of suspending on-site snack service).

With that stated, we are also determined to offer our weekly clubs for the 2nd Semester (Jan. 25-June 4, 2021) if at all possible. Changing conditions in our country, state, Twin Cities, Emmaus, and company mean that there are two major caveats to our plans for 2nd Semester:
1. We recognize that hopes for offering a full 2nd Semester must be held loosely.
2. The content itself of what we're able to offer is also subject to change.
     a. On an elective scale, will we be able to hold an in-person, live performance for the 16th annual Winter Juggling Showcase on 3/13/21?
     b. On an all-company scale, will we be able to hold an in-person, live performance for Juggle Jam 23 (JJ23) at Hopkins High School or elsewhere?
We simply don't know the answers to those questions. 

As a case example of the families we serve, I was recently encouraged by one family in particular, with both parents giving me separate and unsolicited feedback in the past month or so. The dad of this family told me that even if we aren't able to hold JJ23 in May 2021, his family puts the highest premium on the weekly, consistent mentorship that their son receives in and through his after school club each week. The mom of this same family emailed in response to our recent decision to stay open right now, stating, "I feel so strongly that we need outlets for social and emotional health. So extremely happy that he can continue going." I hear similar feedback on a frequent basis, including from families who have made the difficult but conscientious choice to not send their kids to juggling during "Dial back, MN."

Regarding the content and focus of the last half of the school year, the staff and SLT have already been considering a different scenarios if we're able to stay open 2nd Semester. With our hopes of weekly, in-person clubs as the constant, the variables all key off of the issue of JJ23: 
1. If we ARE allowed to perform JJ23 in person, things will change little from previous years, and most club themes are already in place. (NOTE: Even if an indoor venue isn't possible, one idea may be to have an outdoor show in late May. Not the same as Juggle Jam, but it may be a possibility.)
2. If we are NOT allowed to perform JJ23 in person, the next-best potential thing may be to plan and choreograph group routines to be recorded in person for a quasi-digital show (to be streamed/posted later). This option will likely necessitate outside funding to pay for auditorium rental and video services due to no ticket sales revenue.
3. If we're NEITHER allowed to perform in person NOR able to receive funding to rent a facility/hire a videographer to record group routines (and/or if rosters further deplete / our remaining members prefer not to plan/rehearse a show), then our last-ditch plans for 2nd Semester would be to simply approach our 2nd Semester weekly clubs as a mirror of our 1st Semester: juggling skills, workshops, contests, games, and consistent connections—but not working toward a big production (whether recorded or performed live) in May. Much remains to be determined.

Our goal is to open our 2nd Semester registration on Monday, January 4, 2021, with a three-week window to register for the remainder of the school year.

Given so many unknowns, we realize that some families may choose to opt out of our 2nd Semester if concerns over health or a potentially altered plan (e.g., no JJ23 in the "worst" case scenario) make continuing less desirable. But we'd like to offer our services for 2nd Semester even if the "only" focus is our weekly club traditions without the annual "Juggle Jam High" that so many of us have loved for so many years.

Please contact me or Head Coach Erica Liddle with questions or concerns. As always, the coaches and I appreciate inquiries about mid-year club day switches of any kind or to let us know of any Jugheads discontinuing. Thank you!

Club Spotlight: 
—Erica Liddle (Class of '14), Head Coach 

Advancing Skills And Friendships In Advanced Club
Advanced Club is a technical and relational bridge between Rec./Intermediate and Elite/Ultimate. It’s a place where Rec. and Intermediate “graduates” merge and meld into a larger group of peers, juggling co-conspirators, and friends. Many in this year’s club especially enjoy bonding over a long game of four square. Everyone is asked to join almost as soon as they walk in the door, and the game usually lasts until meeting at 4:15! These Advanced-level four square players have a solid grasp on juggling basics. Now they’re ready to expand their repertoire. 
Much of the Advanced Standards list consists of pairs of endurance records and tricks (e.g. 100 dominant hand throws with 3 clubs & 5 tricks with 3 clubs). The endurance abilities provide a foundation that make tricks possible, and the tricks push members to juggle more fluidly and recover more consistently. Recovering from awkward passes and self-throws is crucial in the multi-person passing patterns Advanced members begin to learn. Sounds like a lot, right? It is! And that’s part of why Advanced juggling is so exciting and full of potential. If learning to juggle in Rec./Intermediate is like learning the alphabet and basic words, Advanced juggling is like expanding vocabulary and using that vocab to write complex sentences.
In a season of life where inconsistency has become one of the few constants, coming to club each Monday is a welcome routine. Some look forward to Challenge Warm Ups (an Advanced Club special) or unicycle distance races, others to ceiling height for 5 rings or passing 7 clubs, and still others to sitting and chatting. Last month’s decision to take a break from eating snack at club was met with some disappointment, as snack is a favorite time for many. However, a number of students expressed that adding snack at home to our precautions is worth the temporary loss if it means we can stay open more safely. We are thankful for the students coming to club, and we are thankful for the students staying home. Students and leaders at home, we respect and appreciate your choice to pause Jugheads attendance as a part of your dial-back efforts. Know that we miss you and that you’re invited to join in the four square when you return!

Advanced Jugheads are: 7th graders Jo Isaac E., Luke S.; 8th graders Caleb B., Kacy C., Elliot P., Max W.; freshmen Max M., Allegra N., Serena N., David S.; sophomores Miriam D., Daniel M., Jordan M.; juniors Lauren C., Rebecca D., Gracie L.; seniors Brody M., Ben M.; Volunteer Sophie K.; Assistants Nathan D., Aedan E.; part-time support staff Paul Arneberg, Joyce Miller; Coach Erica Liddle

Advanced Club celebrating Ben M.'s 18th birthday on 9/21/20.

SLT Voice: 

—Sophie K.:
5th Year Jughead; Advanced Club Volunteer; Elite & Ultimate Club member; High School Junior

As a first-year SLT member also involved in Elite & Ultimate, I have been very busy and it has been hard for me to find balance. I have found that writing poetry, like juggling, is a good creative outlet. As a Volunteer in Advanced Club, my hope is to inspire the Club members to do great things.

In life we must always keep balance
In order to not go astray
Mix hard work with all of your talents
A recipe for a good day
'Cause life requires focus
For all the things that challenge you
But that’s not your magnum opus
That will surely follow soon
After hours of your work
You will need a change of pace
Doing something you enjoy
In a different mental place
You can find me playing piano 
When I need a rest from life
Doing something that I know
Always brings me peace from strife
And that; my friends, is balance
Pretty simple through and through
Take each tumble and each challenge
Turn it into something new
'Cause even if we’re stuck at home
And it feels like time has stopped
You don’t even have to roam
To make it out on top
So use your talents wisely 
Give yourself a lot of grace
And then we can be back together, meeting face-to-face

Balcony view of Elite Club celebrating Thomas C.'s 18th birthday on 11/17/20.

JUGHEADS Community News

  • CONGRATS to November's 3 Club Endurance champs: freshman Max M. (Rec.) and 6th grader Evan S. (Intermediate)! 7th grader Luke S. won 4 Rings (Adv.), and for the 3rd straight year (!), sophomore Isaac C. won both 5 Rings (Elite) and 5 Clubs (UC)! About half of all competitors at all club levels achieved records, reinforcing the purpose of these contests: to improve everyone's abilities even though formal competition is the excuse.
  • Our 16th annual Winter Juggling Showcase is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 13. Even if we're limited to a digital show with submitted act/emcee recordings, prospective acts and emcees/skits should download and fill out an online application for performers and submit it Student Director Lizzy V. by 1/31/21. (We also have forms on site at Emmaus.) Needless to say, we're holding loosely our expectations of holding a live show just over three months from now, but the SLT + Staff are moving forward with planning in hopes of any form of a Showcase.
  • SUMMER CAMPS 2021 are tentatively planned for June 7-July 9 (25 weekdays/50 half-day camps) at Emmaus—Bloomington. Reg. info. in March; SLT apps are due by Sat., April 17.  
  • Collector DVDs: Juggle Jam 6 (2004) through Juggle Jam 20 (2018): 1=$10, 2=$15, 3=$20.
  • Festivals & Trips Update: We now have confirmation that both of our traditional regional juggling festivals, MadFest (mid-January in Madison, WI) and Mondo (mid-February in St. Paul) have been cancelled. IJA (July 12-18, 2021) remains doubtful. The one week we've booked with relative confidence is our 4th annual JBC (July 25-30, 2021) at the ARC near Osceola, WI.
  • Upcoming SLT Meeting: 1/9/21, 9-Noon @ Emmaus Youth Room (or possibly on Zoom).

Paul poses with Colin Revere (Class of '09; 4-year SLT member; IJA gold medalist) and his newlywed bride, Emily, moments after their wedding on 10/24/20. Several grads from the Classes of '07, '09, '11, and '13 were in the wedding party and in attendance. Congrats to Colin & Emily! 

Paul's Platform

The Poetic Series '20-'21:


"Paul's Poetic Platform" Series Note

This 10-part poetic series covers a wide variety of general and personal topics with acrostic, one-word rhyming titles from A through J. December's topic is highly significant to the vitality and longevity of this company. Our leadership structure has seen much development over the past 26 years, both on the adult and student levels. This poem is dedicated to everyone who has or has ever had a part in sharing the burdens and blessings of leadership at JUGHEADS.  —PRA


JUGHEADS began way back in Ninety-Four;
Ten kids, one club and a Coach—nothing more.
By spring, we multiplied to twenty-two, 
So Captains were chosen to help the milieu.
We next grew to thirty-nine, then fifty-three,
So Wise Guys staff joined us as Coaches with me.
As newly named "JUGHEADS" by century's turn,
Assistants were added to teach and to learn.
The Specialist role goes back to Year Three
With juggling and dancing moves far beyond me!

As we came of age, our structure matured:
Officers, Interns, and staffing assured.
By Two Thousand Nine we had full staff and more
And peaked with a full gross of kids (minus four)!

As rosters diminished and Coaches resigned,
This Founder attempted to coach self-assigned.
That lasted a while, but in Juggle Jam Twenty
I reached my own peak and then burned out a-plenty! :-/
It's not that I gave up on youth; au contraire
But "doing it all" I must no longer dare.
I feed on connections, like so much farm silage
But realized, "It's not the years; it's the mileage."

Our three current Coaches all double as grads
With wide-ranging talents and skill-sets in scads!
Erica's now coaching all three top groups
And driving the SLT through training hoops.
Josh and Christine coach our younger-side youth
Keeping things lively and fun—that's the truth!
Our Specialist, Joyce, has no such alum ties,
But served our first jugglers way back in Wise Guys!

This year's SLT is a full baker's dozen
Working together like unified cousins.
Assistants and Volunteers work after school
From menial jobs to ideas they pool.
Captains and Officers serve both our nights
Helping their peer-members strive for new heights.
Although we are staffed for a hundred or more,
Each leader is never expected to bore!

My struggle with burnout and career discontent
Once made me fear that this comp'ny was spent.
But two years ago, renewed revelation
Confirmed that there's newfound strength in delegation!

I now rotate one club-day home every week; 
For supplementary work, God's face I seek.
It's true, I'm now part-time, in mid-career tweak, 
With grand hopes of writing and maybe to speak.
It could be that Wendy & I will just eke
Our living out through varied jobs (past our peak?).
Though tempted to coast and be unduly meek
We trust the Lord's promises to help the weak.

This company endures through much tribulation;
It thrives from persistent grassroots dedication.
Our team far surpasses the sum of its parts;
Our mission: to bless individual hearts.
Each member, each leader, each staff has a place
In making this program a dear, precious space.
The future's unknown; it's hard to now dream.
But solace we find in our strong leader-team.

Coach Erica leading an Ultimate Club meeting with her own birthday version of "Ask Erica" on 10/1/20.

Developing Youth Through Juggling Since 1994,
Contact Us
Head Coach (plus Advanced, Elite & UC): Erica Liddle, 952-688-6536
Intermediate Club Coach: Josh Nelson, 763-458-6677
Rec. Club Coach: Christine Therens, 952-807-4353

Floating Parent Specialist and Emmaus Church Liaison: Joyce Miller
Copyright © 2020 JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company, All rights reserved.

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