2020 spring and summer camps dates & descriptions as of 12/30/2019

Our 2020 Summer Camp DATES were CHANGED and UPDATED to this FINAL VERSION on 12/30/2019. If you looked at our dates before that time, please LOOK AGAIN because most of the dates have changed. The public school calendars are running later than previous years and it took us a few tries to rework our schedule!

“The days are filled with music, art, nature, and play. The kids are encouraged to be problem-solvers, leaders, artists, and forces of compassion.”
— Emma Skurnick, parent and teaching artist

COVID 19 update

  • Our summer camps at Clapping Hands Farm have been cancelled. 
  • HOWEVER!!!! We have an array of amazing ONLINE WORKSHOPS led by some of our talented camp staff and hope to have information here about them on this page by May 22! Come back! 

waiting lists

Some of our camps are full, but it is always a GOOD IDEA to get on the waiting list. Space often opens up, and this year in particular I think everyone’s plans are up in the air. Also, people who are on our waiting list THIS YEAR, will get an EARLY registration opportunity (along with our returning campers) next year. 

April 6-10, 2020 for ages 7-13, 9 am – 5 pm, $250 or $60/day- cancelled, COVID-19

This is Spring Break for Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham County Schools, Lee County Schools, and Emerson Waldorf School 
Unfortunately, the rest of the Spring Breaks, including for some schools we LOVE working with (Willow Oak, Empowered Minds Academy, Hawbridge, Durham County Schools) are spread out on different weeks and we didn’t think we’d have enough campers from just ONE school. 🙁

Anything Goes Camp is a generous helping of All Things Fun at Clapping Hands Farm! Come join us for the week, or a day, or anything in between!

FREEDOM TO CHOOSE is the signature feature of this camp. Campers choose what they want to do from a menu of offerings for each morning and afternoon! Activities are a delicious array of art projects, nature explorations, engineering challenges, games, performing arts, and any number of creative silly or serious experiences (see more detailed list of possibilities below)! Staff create the offerings for each morning, and the afternoon is compiled 100% from campers requests – “anything goes!”

Spring Break Camp is a great introduction to camp at Clapping Hands Farm and gives a sampler of many of the activities that get explored in a deeper way during our week-long summer camps:

  • Outdoor skills and adventures: fire-making, hiking, canoeing, exploring, fort-building, nature journals, letter-boxing, map and compass work…
  • Building, engineering, and toymaking: carpentry, engineering challenges, take-apart-and-fix-it workshops, hydraulic robots, air-powered rockets…
  • Art projects of so many kinds: painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, felting, fiber arts, glue gun fun…
  • Music: ukulele classes, singing, drumming…
  • Creative writing, theater games, storytelling…
  • Games: big all-camp running games, capture the flag, rainbow tag, six feathers, sock wars…
  • Random crazy wonderful fun: shaving cream experiences, cloud-watching, tree-climbing …

ART PARTY CAMP- cancelled, COVID-19
TWO WEEKS: May 25-29, 2020 and June 15-19, 2020 for ages 2-8, 9 am – 2 pm, Family campers: $225 first child, $200 each additional child. Bridge Campers $250. By-the-day: $45 first child, $40 each additional child. Babies under 2, $50 for the week; $10/day. 

may art party has room. june art party is full—- but please get on our waiting list.

“Art Party Camp is thrilling.  It is a smorgasbord of messy art projects and drumming workshops and mud. You might find stilt walkers or tap dancers or reflexology. But it is the focus on each child that is magical: every toddler gets a junior counselor as their ‘one-on-one’ partner. Each young counselor brings remarkable warmth and attention. You have to see it to believe it.”
— Laurie Kennington, parent, former counselor starting in 2000

Art Party is a family camp for parents and young children to enjoy together. Each day the Clapping Hands team sets out a spectacular array of visual art explorations, and each day a different Guest Artist shares music and dance experiences for all-around fun time. At our ART PARTY, come ready to: finger paint; make colorful slime; play in shaving cream; draw with pastels, colored chalk, and other mediums; learn to embroider on burlap or sew your own stuffed animal; make your own toys; and so much more! Much of the day will be for adults and children to enjoy together. Each afternoon we offer a workshop with our guest artists specifically for the creative exploration and rejuvenation of PARENTS while other artists and camp counselors work with the CHILDREN. Singing games provide a lively morning circle and our day ends with a closing circle and a story told by Louise.

We invite children ages 5-8 to come with their parents OR to come on their own, as “bridge campers.” With its shorter camp day and lots of counselor attention, Art Party can “bridge” these young campers to being ready for our full day “big kid” camps. All the Art Party activities are the razzle dazzle of this joyful week, while a small group of “buddies” and a special counselor provide a nurturing center. The Bridge Camp option is available for the full week only. Children 4 and under must come with a parent or another special adult in their life, and many parents of the 5 and up crowd WANT to keep coming and do!

NOTE about June Art Party:  PRIORITY will be given to campers who are signing up for the WHOLE WEEK. Day by Day campers will be confirmed space permitting.

“We have never found another activity that achieves the balance of structure and freedom that Art Party has—there is a predictable and coherent schedule for each day with the freedom for kids and parents to choose what they want to do all along the way. As a parent with a kid who thrives on predictable schedules but doesn’t want to be told what to do, Art Party became the gold standard.

As a mama, Art Party is where I get to rest and feed my heart and soul with the things I can’t get anywhere else. At Art Party—with Louise, Mardi, the Clapping Hands Farm team—parents have permission to be present with their children and also take a breather. If I say that I want to be interrupted in workshop if my kiddo is missing me, I know I can trust that someone will come get me if I am needed. My kids know this too and it gives them the space to need me less…because I am right there. But compared to the fabulousness of camp, I am so boring I am rarely needed. Art Party fills a special niche for parents with young children in this way—I don’t know of any other program like it where parents can rest and relax and still be present for little ones in a supported and well supervised environment. It really is summer camp for the whole family.”
— Sandi Osterkatz, parent


June 29- July 3, 2020 for ages 7-13, 9 am – 5 pm, $250

toys and games camp is full, but please get on our waiting list. 

A joyous week of pure playful fun! A week of romping and running and creative cooperative games, along with some traditional favorites (yes! Capture the Flag!). Jan Burger, the king of play, joins us to lead games; Louise Omoto Kessel will lead the Toy Making workshop. This year’s featured projects have not yet been selected but previous years have included everything from traditional folk toys to hydraulic robots! Your children will spend the week entertaining themselves and one another using simple materials and raw imagination! Old fashioned toys and handmade games—cats cradle, dominoes, hop scotch variations from around the world… In the afternoon during Anything Goes, some of our favorite toy making projects will return: parachutes, stomp rockets, hula hoops, homemade board games, nine-men’s-morris are all on the list of possibilities. For those that require MORE running around, there will be plenty of running game options in the afternoon as well! This is a great “entry level” camp for younger campers and new campers.

Music & Dance Camp- cancelled, COVID-19
July 13-17, 2020, for ages 9-16, 9 am to 5 pm, $300 

If you love to move, drum, play, jam, boogie down; if you love to create and collaborate with others; if you love all kinds of music or you’ve always wanted to be part of a band (even if you’ve never played an instrument); if you can’t stop moving when there is music on, or you have always wanted to learn to dance—THIS CAMP IS FOR YOU!

Our mornings will be spent diving into a MUSIC or DANCE focus group of your choice. The rock star staff for this camp welcomes campers with no previous music or dance experience AND is completely prepared to inspire and challenge campers with significant music and dance passion and training. Each focus group will perform in an informal sharing for families and friends at the end of the week.

2020 Music and Dance Focus Groups!


This is the fourth summer of Jazz at Clapping Hands Farm. We enjoy watching experienced and brand new musicians come togethter into a woriking ensemble in one week of summer camp!  See a sample from one of  previous summers HERE!

Instructors for this focus group not yet confirmed, check back for updates! 

LATIN DANCE with Andrea Lara!

Originally from Colombia, Andrea was born in a family of artists. Her mother, a folklore dancer and her father a songwriter and musician, influenced on her the love for music and dancing. At a very early age Andrea was dedicated to learn different Latin American folk dances at school of arts where she attended in Bogotá. She joined a Latin American folk Dance company where she participated in different performances like Tango, Flamenco, Mexican Jarabe Tapatio and other folk dances for seven years. Andrea came to the U.S five years ago and has been teaching at Walltown Children’s Theater in Durham. Andrea led a gorgeous workshop at Music and Dance Camp last summer and we are delighted to have her back! Come enjoy the sounds and rhythms that will transport you to the roots of Latin America! Want to hear the sounds you will be dancing to? Thornato – Gaita Gaita, San Lazaro, Vivir Mi Vida.



We’re in conversation with a wonderful hip hop teacher and as soon as we confirm I’ll reveal all here! Check back. 

Afternoon choice classes during the part of the day we call Anything Goes will offer further exploration in the realm of Rhythm, Music & Movement as well as a merry mix of all things Clapping Hands (games, hikes, archery, canoeing, art projects, delicious reading, juggling, circus arts, brain teasers, fire-making…who knows? Anything Goes!)

ARTS FOCUS CAMP- July 27-31, 2020 for ages 13-18, 9 am – 5 pm, $300

cancelled, COVID-19

The heart of Arts Focus Camp is simply that it is a camp for TEENS. If you are a camper ages 13-18 who wants to be part of a joyful, creative, diverse, fun, outdoor camp community—we hope you will consider joining us! This is an opportunity to work closely with a working artist in their chosen discipline. YOU choose an ARTIST-LED FOCUS GROUP that you want to spend two hours creating with each morning. We provide an array of focus group choices aimed to engage a wide range of interests and learning styles. Visual Arts, Literary Arts, Music, and Movement are usually in the mix.


We will have  a fantastic variety of focus groups—in the aim to have “something for everyone”! Coming soon!

UKULELE CAMP- August 10-14, 2020 for ages 10-adult, 9 am – 3 pm, $300 includes a ukulele to take home, $250 if you already have a ukulele

cancelled, COVID-19

Learn to play the Ukulele in a week! Yes, this is possible! Summer Camp Magic makes it so (or just do the math…it’s the time equivalent of MONTHS of weekly music lessons!). Learning to play music with FRIENDS, it turns out, also enhances the process! This will be our fourth year of Ukulele Camp and we are now teaching on four levels from absolute beginner to advanced. No matter where you begin, you will be blown away by the progress you can make in a week. Every camper who doesn’t already have a ukulele gets one to take home at the end of the week. Our Ukulele orchestra will give an informal “concert” for family and friends on Friday! Adults have enjoyed this camp week solo or with their children.