1955 - 1956
Director: Paul Simmers
Advisor: George F. Kramer
- Richard L. Heintz (Fall)
- James "Doak" Walker (Spring)
- Vice President: Don Wagner
- Secretary: Marjorie Jones
- Treasurer: Steck Brink
- Best Act: "The Twilighters" Mixed Doubles Balancing - Nancy Sigman and Bob Philips
- Best Female Trouper: Marjorie Jones
- Best Male Trouper: James "Doak" Walker
Birth of the Tumbling Terps
"Ten years ago a troupe was born. The Father, Dr. David A. Field, decided to name it "Gymkana" because it combined the characteristics of gymnastics and showmanship. It grew from a mere 6 members to its now impressive size of 30 members. Gymkana obtained the nickname "The Ambassadors of Good Will" through its extensive trips along the East Coast, Idaho, Montana, Bermuda, Iceland, and the Azores. The highlights of this year's season have been several overnight trips to the western part of Maryland, a 4 day Thanksgiving trip to Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and also a 10 day trip touring and entertaining the servicemen of the 3rd Army area in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama."
1956 Home Show Program
With the departure of Conrad Yunker, the Gymkana Troupe again found itself without a Director. In late September, the members voted to have Paul Simmers, President and Best Trouper the previous year, serve as Director. George Kramer, who had returned from Southern Illinois University to accept a teaching position in Montgomery County, also continued to offer assistance in and out of the gym.
With the completion of the construction of Cole Field House, the Troupe moved its practices from the Old Gym to a gym in Cole.
For its tenth annual Home Show, the Troupe chose as its theme, "Cartoon Capers" with each of the acts as a takeoff of a popular comic strip of the time. The program put together for that show is one of the most elaborate ever produced by troupers, using a separate comic strip to introduce each act.
There is a story behind the trampoline act, ‘Tarzac’ (comic strip shown below), as told by Paul and Margie Simmers,
“We will never forget the time that the trampoline act, Tarzan (Paul Simmers), Jane (Margie Jones) and Cheetah (Chet Whitten, complete with monkey costume - he had long arms and even walked like an ape) had figured out that it would be great to have Tarzan make his entrance swinging onto stage with his famous Tarzan yell. Two ropes were rigged so Tarzan could dramatically swing from one rope to the other. On opening night, the synchronization of the ropes went askew and Paul ended up hanging on for dear life and sliding down the second rope to the tune of painful rope burns which he had to endure for the rest of the show. Those were the good old days!”
And so, with a little pain and a lot of hard work, Gymkana had completed its first decade.
- National Training School
- Howard County Senior High School
- Military Bases in Georgia and the Carolinas
- Cole Field House Basketball Halftime
- Home Show
- Perryville Grammar School
- Fort Meade
- Bradsbury Elementary School
- Hereford Junior-Senior High School
- Thanksgiving trip to military bases in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia
- Cedar Knoll School