Post-Spring Break Update for "All Things JUGHEADS"

Dear Current JUGHEADS Families,

Although it seems like months, it's only been two weeks since my last company email update. We've all experienced innumerable newscasts, podcasts, articles, conversations, and shutdowns since then, all which have re-defined our lives, hopefully only temporarily. These unprecedented events related to COVID-19—with ramifications far exceeding health precautions—have unfolded on a global scale unlike virtually any other crisis since World War II. We're all adjusting to distance learning, working from home (if even possible), and social (aka physical) distancing.

On this last weekend of our official JUGHEADS Spring Break, this update confirms the next five weeks of closure; online alternatives to connecting as weekly Clubs; and setting revised expectations and timelines for key events.

NOTE: I plan to give (more brief) Weekly Wednesday Updates for the next two months, excepting only the weeks when I post our April/May JUGHEADS Journal (April 16 or 17) and Summer JUGHEADS Journal (around Memorial Day Weekend).

1. All Clubs (as we know them) are cancelled for the next five weeks: March 30-May 1. This is due to the dual authorities of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (who closed all public schools through May 1) and the Executive Committee of St. Stephen's Church (who closed facilities to all groups through May 1). Even now, I don't take this self-evident decision lightly, as my instinct is to always try to find a way. However, short of something significant changing in the near future, we must refrain from all indoor group activities as a company for the next five weeks. (NOTE: I say "indoor" intentionally; future weekly updates may include the offer and option of holding some Club meetings in an Edina park if group consensus and local authorities both allow.)

2. Daily Club Meetings: As a way to stay connected during this time, the Coaches will facilitate Club Meetings for 60-90 minutes during the remainder of our company (and society) shut-down. Members of each Club are invited and encouraged to join the online Zoom video chat meeting at 4 p.m. on their respective Club day(s). (See instructions below.) For instance, we could have up to 31 people participate in Advanced Club's meeting this coming Monday, March 30 at 4 p.m. led by Coach Erica and attended by four SLT members, 24 Advanced Jugheads, and myself. Such meetings will include personal updates, trick demonstrations, and brief updates on Club routines. Ultimate Club will meet on Zoom at 6 p.m. on Thursday nights. All Clubs will receive emailed instructions from their respective Coaches. Student leaders should plan to join the call a half hour early at 3:30 pm in order to help plan the meeting and volunteer to lead a trick demo or other section of the meeting as assigned by the Coach.

Most upper-level Jugheads have their own props, but if your Jughead does not have any props at home, we encourage him or her to make some juggling balls. Socks + rice is our recommended method. This is a fun at-home project and it's a great use for colorful socks that no longer have a match! :-) To mimic the weight of our standard juggling balls, you can add pennies to the rice to achieve these weights: Red ball size: 3.9 oz, Green ball size: 4.8 oz, Black ball size: 6.3 oz. 

3. April SLT + Staff Meeting: Our next scheduled leadership meeting will be held as planned on Tuesday, April 7 from 5:30-7:00 p.m., but held on Zoom rather than in the Commons at St. Stephen's.

4. Coach Erica and I will send a series of emails and links to encourage juggling at home and even rehearsing "Rock This Town," "Reach," and Club-based routines. 

5. To be painfully blunt, Juggle Jam 22 as we had planned it will not happen. There are three main reasons for this stark and devastating reality: 1) We don't know if groups as large as ours will even be allowed to meet in the Hopkins Auditorium immediately after the closure of public schools lifts in early May; 2) even as facilities re-open, we'll be tremendously ill-prepared to put on a full show since only one of our five clubs has (mostly) finished choreography and had a rough run-through (Friday Rec.'s "Beauty and the Beast" on 3/13); and 3) even if we are given the go-ahead and granted permission to perform a live show, we may be restricted by an audience even large enough to pay for renting the Hopkins High School Auditorium. These are all unfortunate realities. But please read on for a spark of hope...

6. Some version of Juggle Jam 22 on May 15-16 will happen. The difference between "Juggle Jam 22 as we had planned it" and "some version of Juggle Jam 22" may simply be the staff producing an online show which will include the following: samples of Club routines (logistics of filming to be worked out later); specialty acts & skits (see #7); video montages of "Rock This Town" and "Reach"; and our traditional "Senior Presentation" and "Awards Slide Show" (both digital anyway).

7. Winter Showcase acts must still apply in writing for JJ22 Auditions. The application deadline for both JJ22 Specialty Act Auditions and Summer Camp SLT positions has been extended by one week to Monday, April 6. Both types of applications may be submitted via email or U.S. Mail; audition time slots are no longer applicable. The Audition Panel will meet online on 4/14 after reviewing and evaluating all specialty acts (who apply in writing) based on the professionally-produced Winter Showcase video filmed on 3/14. A total of 8-10 acts (or fewer, if fewer apply) will be chosen for JJ22 (in whatever form the show takes) and announced by Noon on Wednesday, April 15. 

8. Summer Camps are still on as of now; the discount deadline is extended from April 1 to May 17. I openly acknowledge that our summer camps may take a huge hit due to the double-whammy of: 1) parents' comfort level for youth activities, and 2) widespread financial hardships. (Like the threat posed by the novel coronavirus among us, no one seems immune to money struggles at present.) 

On the other hand, Coach Erica quipped during our directors' meeting yesterday that many parents and kids will be very eager to get out of the house in June! Structured, productive, positive relational activities in the wake of long weeks being cooped up inside may be a God-send for those interested in and affording summer camps.

We plan to hold all five weeks of camps at this time, but that schedule may be amended if we have too little interest to even pay for our rent or Coaches. If we need to amend the schedule, we'll make that announcement in my weekly Wednesday updates and monthly newsletters. Meanwhile, it would be helpful to hear from a few die-hard camp families if COVID-19 has changed your plans (for better or for worse) in terms of your family's participation in our summer camps. (The same goes for JBC, July 5-10. We're moving ahead as planned, but would like to know if prospective JBC campers' plans have changed.)
Wendy stated to Erica & me yesterday that the theme of our JJ22 logo ("Catch-22") and motto ("The more you juggle, the more you drop") is fitting for this current global crisis. We need each other more than ever, yet we're kept apart by a virus we can't see. We have reached high for an excellent annual production for the past 22 straight years, yet this year is proving to have many "drops" well out of our control (to put it mildly). 

Frankly, my heart breaks for this situation, and for my part, I must share that I'm sorry this is happening. I'm truly sad for this situation. For all practical purposes, all of our expectations for the next two months must be revised in the extreme. Thinking of our 93 Jugheads, from our youngest child (2nd grade Rachel S., our "Rudy" for JJ22), all the way to our 11 seniors (including young adult Eli Kenyon, the first 11-year Jughead in company history), this situation brings me to tears even as I write. All of our company's efforts boil down to blessing and developing individual lives, and although we're keen to continue facilitating those blessings, the methods and modes will take different forms for several more weeks.

(Two of my dearest friends among our 98 grads, Brett Kissell ('09) and Kelvin Ying ('07) both separately used the word "tragic" when I recently mentioned to each of them the possibility of JJ22 being cancelled/severely revised. I name them to indicate that many mourn with us at this time.)

So, while "the show MUST go on" isn't always even possible, "the Spirit of JUGHEADS WILL go on," God willing, so long as we have supportive parents, eager members, a servant-hearted SLT, and a caring, competent and well-rounded staff to keep it alive whether or not any given set of expectations are met.

I half-promise that this will be my longest weekly general update ;-), aiming to save some topics for my two remaining monthly newsletters and some wordy explanations emailed to targeted sub-groups (SLT, Club members, Auditions, summer campers, JBCers, etc.). On behalf of our staff (Wendy, Erica, Christine, Joyce, Betsy, Chris) and our 14-member SLT (Jared A., Jacob D., Grant D., Kayla M., Isaac N., Elizabeth S., Josie C., Kayla P., Nathan D., Noel D., Lizzy V., Aedan E., Ben S., Maria H.), we thank you for understanding our situation, sticking with us through these very tough times, and looking to come out on the other side of this crisis with a deeper appreciation of what our community means to each other especially when we're forced apart. 

Paul Arneberg
Founder & Director
JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company, LLC

Instructions for connecting on Zoom:

1. Before the first Club meeting:
––  Download the Zoom app to your smart phone (ZOOM Cloud Meeting by Meet Happy), or
––  Download Zoom onto your laptop or desktop. Choose “Zoom Client for Meetings” at the top of the page. Open the downloaded file and follow any on-screen instructions.

(You can choose to set up a user name and password if you want to, but you don’t have to. You only need that if you want to schedule meetings.)

2. When it's time to join the meeting: Go to the Zoom homepage, click on "Join a Meeting” at the top right, and paste the meeting ID into the box. (Your Club Coach will email your meeting ID to you.) If you would like to practice, you can type/paste this meeting ID: 985-826-270. (Note: This is the Friday Rec. Meeting ID...if someone else is practicing at the same time, you will see them on the call as well. :-) 

If you are having technical difficulty, you can call Wendy at 612.229.3348 and she will try talk you through things.

3. Enjoy chatting with everyone!

Wendy & Chip video chatting with her family via Zoom.
Paul Arneberg, JUGHEADS Founder, Director & Head Coach cell: 612.978.9707
Wendy Arneberg, JUGHEADS Office/Operations Manager cell: 612.229.3348
Advanced, Elite & Ultimate Club Coach: Erica Liddle, 952-688-6536 /
Thursday Rec. Club Coach: Christine Therens, 952-807-4353 /
Friday Rec. Club Coach: Paul Arneberg, 612-978-9707 /

Friday Rec. Parent Specialist: Joyce
Friday Rec. Club Movement Specialist: Betsy

JUGHEADS Location: St. Stephen’s Church • 4439 W. 50th St. • Edina • 55424

Copyright © 2020 JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company, All rights reserved.

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