Summer-End Update / School Year Preview
Here is my promised summer-end update, including five topics: latest roster numbers, coaching changes, office move, Moore or Less, and quick reminders.
Please pardon the length, especially in the "Coaching Changes" section. Although we'll post all updated staff bios on Labor Day (and link them in our Sept. newsletter), I deem that my announcement of new staff members / revised roles is a key element deserving elaboration, especially since trusting / knowing the adult leaders is crucial to any youth organization! I also indulged in the exciting update regarding Moore or Less at the State Fair...
1st Semester 2019-2020 REGISTRATION
As of Thursday, August 29, we officially have 92 Jugheads registered for the coming school year! This includes seven returning members who have given written confirmation without registration.
Here is the breakdown of roster numbers by Club day:
Thursday Rec. Club—20 members
Friday Rec. Club—28 members
Advanced Club—25 members
Elite Club—30 members
Ultimate Club—15 members
We're glad to have matched last year's overall roster (an answer to prayer), with the likelihood of a few more kids joining in next week or two. With seven staff (up to three at a time) and 14 student leaders (up to five at a time), we're well-staffed to accommodate up to 120 members! All five weekly clubs have a good balance of solid numbers and a mix of seasoned veterans, Jugheads moving up club levels (and/or adding club days), and brand-new rookies to both Rec. Clubs.
Although I'm a far-ahead planner, sometimes things change with short notice. In late July, Coach Ben Hestness (Class of '09) resigned from Ultimate Club, citing his year of coaching (culminating with the IJA Teams bronze medal nine weeks ago tonight) as "one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done" and that "I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life." So we certainly parted on good terms! The Ultimates and I wish Ben well in his life and career.
The company must go on, and I'm pleased to announce that Erica Liddle (Class of '14) is the new Ultimate Club coach! She'll remain coaching three days a week, but in order to dedicate her time to U.C. in addition to coaching both Elite and Advanced (on top of her full-time hours at Patisserie Margo bakery in Edina), she is stepping down from coaching Thursday Rec. Club. Erica is a very conscientious person and coach on so many levels, and she'll use her love for theater, education, juggling, and all aspects of our company and its history to dive into her revised coaching role. Erica will also serve as my Assistant Director for Juggle Jam 22 (May 15 & 16, 2020).
As Erica was my first choice to be the new U.C. coach, Christine Therens (Class of '09) fulfilled my first choice as the new Thursday Rec. coach! Christine was an eight-year Jughead and our first grad who made it to Elite Club but was never in U.C. nor on the SLT. Despite her immersing less than our student leaders or varsity-level jugglers, Christine asserts that her childhood, adolescence, and life was significantly affected by her membership here. Her love for our company was re-ignited through her involvement in our epic Juggle Jam 20 in 2018, leading her to volunteer with the Lost is Found (LiF) ministry this past year. Now, Christine is eager to be on our staff for the first time, supplementing her full-time work as a special needs paraprofessional at Creek Valley Elementary School in Edina. Formerly Christine Johnson, our new Thursday Rec. coach married her college sweetheart, Scott Therens, just four weeks ago on 8/3/19 in Minneapolis.
Finally, the trifecta of new staff faces was made complete when we filled a revived role: Chris Lovdal (Class of '11) is our new 1st semester U.C. specialist! Chris will work nearly every week from October through mid-January helping to implement Coach Erica's vision for the varsity team, tapping into his own nine years of Jughead experience at all levels; five full or partial years as a coach or specialist; and medal-winning IJA competition experience in Teams, Numbers, and Joggling. Chris is an actuary and lives in St. Paul.
The JUGHEADS on-site office is moving!
JUGHEADS is moving...but only down the ramp :-). St. Stephen's Church has asked us to relocate our office to make room for their growing Children's Ministry, which will center on using both our current office space (the Wooddale Room) and the Creekside Room. We are happy that they have found a very good alternative office space for us: the Hummel Room, right off the JugCave. Our new office shares the same wall where we put out our props every day, with a nice view of the creek and close proximity for all props & snack supplies.
We are asking for 8-12 willing members & parents who love organizing to help us this Saturday, August 31, from Noon–4pm (any time length is gladly accepted!). Sign up using using this link if you are available and would enjoy settling us in to our new on-site headquarters. We also need two or three people who are skilled with tools to disassemble and reassemble our big fridge and possibly tweak our Acolyte Room storage area, so sign up if that's you. :-) Thank you!
Moore or Less: State Fair Talent Contest Grandstand Finalists!
On 8/5/19, I wrote, "In the high-hopes event that Rebecca & Maya win their Teen Division (on 8/28/19) and join the feats of four other acts of Jugheads who advanced to the Grandstand, I'll include that good news in my next update on 8/29/19." Well, they WON! Rebecca Elaine Moore and Maya Moore Nowak, aka Moore or Less, will grace the Grandstand for the 2019 Finals of the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest!
Of the other nine Jugheads comprising the four other acts that have made it to that iconic stage in a highly competitive and wide-ranging talent contest, Rebecca & Maya are not only the first Jughead girls to make it to the MSF ATC finals, they're the first ones to do so without even having (yet) been members of Elite Club! However, their lack of club level was eclipsed by two straight summers of camp season passes, plus being members of both Advanced & Friday Rec. Clubs this past year. Needless to say, their honor is certainly well-deserved and hard-earned!
As the girls warmed up last night, Mrs. Tammi Moore snapped a great pic with the two State Fair mascots, Fairborn and Fairchild (see below; even their shoes all matched! :-). Our main prayer was for the considerable wind to die down before they took the stage as the last act of the night around 6:45 p.m., but also for the girls to perform with excellence and joy, and for fair judging (no pun intended). (The girls' three drops could have been a deal-breaker for some judges who don't understand or appreciate juggling or variety acts in general, but I discern that the girls' stage presence, improved costumes, and dance moves more than remedied their rare drops which didn't disrupt their flow or composure.) Our prayers were answered, and they're headed to the historic Grandstand for a 7:30 p.m. showtime on Sunday, Sept. 1 in front of up to 10,000 people!
(Aside: Of the six Teen Division and six Pre-Teen Division acts last night, every act was a solo—except Moore or Less! Cheers for the teamwork that JUGHEADS fosters, aptly represented by these two most recent Juggle Jam "Poster Girl" award winners. :-)
Anyone who will be at the Fair on 9/1/19 or who want to make a special trip to support our company's first Grandstand appearance since The Five of Clubs won the Teen Division in 2010, the show itself is free (general seating) and the only requirement is admission to the Fairgrounds. The gates open at 6 pm and the show runs from about 7:30-10 pm followed by fireworks!
Growing up in Roseville, I spent many late summer nights watching the State Fair's Grandstand fireworks from a hill in my neighborhood near Snelling Avenue. To this day, Wendy & I attend the ATC Finals nearly every year due to the quality/variety of talent, the enjoyment of the outdoor venue, our love of the best State Fair in the country, and as a rite of passage to end our summer. It's a privilege and joy to have "two of our own" in the Finals for just the 5th time in company history! Congrats, Moore & Nowak families, and the staff and student leaders who helped them thus far!
Lightning Round Reminders:
Thank you for supporting us for another year, whether as active member-families or long-time friends/fans/alumni who continue to cheer us on from the sidelines. Here's to another great year of JUGHEADS!
- All school year clubs resume starting Tuesday, 9/3/19. Hours: 3-6:30, with 4-6 pm as our core structured time. (UC: 6-9:30, with 6:30-9 as our core structured time.)
- There is no Advanced Club on Labor Day; Advanced will resume on Monday, 9/9/19.
- MEA Juggling Camps are pending (Oct. 17-18, 9-Noon / 1-4). Please email any Jughead's preliminary interest in attending MEA Camps if they are offered.
- Our September Newsletter will be emailed on or around 9/11/19. Thereafter, I'll aim to publish that timely tradition by the 7th of each month (except April/May, for a combined release around 4/22/20, three weeks before Juggle Jam 22).
- Other than our emailed newsletters, Wendy & I take care to not use this email distribution list more than an average of 1-2x every month even during our busiest season of January-June. Communication is crucial, but we won't exploit this service.
Developing Youth Through Juggling Since 1994,
Founder & Director, JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Co., LLC