before you sign up for camp!

covid update (as of december 2020)

We are planning to run In-Person camps in 2021 starting with Spring Break Camps and continuing all summer. Spring Break will be our first In-Person camps since we cancelled our programs in March of 2020. Learn more about our plans for Covid Careful In-Person Camps

While we were NOT running In-Person camps, through most of 2020, we ran a full spectrum of HANDS ON VIRTUAL workshops via Zoom. During the pandemic we have offered over 20 different workshops including visual arts, dance, and design. Some of the things we liked about camp on Zoom: staying connected to our campers and making connections with new campers, continuing to share the things we love to do, including alum and campers who live far away, and sharing camp with more adults! We plan to include online workshops as part of our programing even after we get back to In-Person. Learn about our Winter 2021 Workshops!

The rest of this page addresses our In-Person camps!

choosing a camp

Each of our summer camps are UNIQUE and different from one another. ALL of our camps are AWESOME! But they each serve a slightly different age group and each camp has a very specific theme. These are not “one size fits all” camp experiences. Someone who wants to run around all day is going to be really happy at Toys and Games Camp—- and possibly really unhappy at Ukulele Camp.

It is WORKS BEST to choose your camp by reading the camp descriptions carefully, noting the age group for that camp, thinking about what your specific child would love, and including your camper in the discussion. It generally does not work as well to choose camps only on the basis of the calendar and when you need child care. Please contact director Louise Omoto Kessel if you want more guidance in choosing the best camp/s for your young person.

what to bring/what not to bring

ATTIRE: please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wrecked! We get seriously “down in the dirt!” with our play and projects here at Clapping Hands Farm!

– a lunch that can survive safely with out refrigeration.
– water bottles marked with your names

– a hat with a brim
– sunscreen as needed
– a complete change of clothes (we play in the rain and puddles and ponds here)
– a towel
– In cool weather: rain gear if you have it, layers, clothes you can be comfortable in outside

Electronic toys, pokemon cards, cell phones, ipods, cd players, and anything else that could interfere or distract from us creating our own fun this week at Clapping Hands Farm!

a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. camp day

(see art party and ukulele camp daily schedule below)

9:00 a.m.  Morning Games- campers arrive, stow their stuff in their cubbie, and head to the back field for Morning Games. These are a big variety of imaginative, active, cooperative games.

9:30- Morning Circle- we say our names, talk about the day, and have a song or activity to center us in graditude. During our camps for tweens and teens we also have ice-breakers and other get to know new people activities.  On Monday of each camp, we have an extended morning circle to go over our guidelines and give new campers a tour. We also provide a snack during this time.

10- 12 Morning Workshops- this might be two one-hour classes, with a switch at 11 a.m.  or one two-hour focus group, depending on the camp. This is where the big work with our teaching artists happen, diving into the theme for that week.  At Anything Goes Spring Break Camp we have choice classes in the morning workshop time AND in the afternoon.

Noon Lunch- during this time we eat lunch, do a chore with our buddy group and have some free time.

1:00- All Camp Thing. At some camps this is something different each day that we do as a whole camp. At Performance Focused Camps this is where we have additional rehearsal time.

1:45- Anything Goes- this is typically a two one-hour blocks and in each block we have several CHOICES and campers choose what they would like to do. More art! Canoeing and exploring! Games! etc. Anything Goes!

3:45- Buddy Group Time. Buddy groups are a small group of about 8 campers and two counselors. Buddy groups do a clean up chore at the end of each day and “check in” with each other about how each person’s day went. Buddy Group counselors look out for the people in their buddy group through out the day. We provide a snack during buddy group check in.

4:15 Closing Circle. We say our names, give appreciations for anything or anybody, talk about the next day, and share talent.

5:00 Campers Go home. Except on Friday, when parents stay for a sharing and a potluck. (NOTE: sharing only in 2021, no potluck, there just isn’t a good way to make a potluck covid careful.)

art party camp day

(NOTE: no Art Party Camp in 2021. We can’t run our camps for very young children without a billion counselors and part of our covid careful camp strategy is to keep our groups SMALL each week. Hoping to bring Art Party Camp back in 2022!)

9:00 Morning Circle—gather, play singing games, sing songs that get us moving, say our names, info about the day.

9:30 ART PARTY! a fantastic array of messy wonderful art projects to choose from! Paint, weave, sew, sculpt, build!

10:45 or 11:00 GUEST ARTIST. Usually a music or dance person! A different person every day.

11:30 LUNCH and Free Time— this is a time for everyone to visit and play together in one big group.

12:00 Anything Goes — this is the elective portion of the day. We will have all KINDS of activities for kids during Anything Goes—- more art, nature walks, canoeing, more games, water play, science experiments, yoga, construction toys, and the ever popular “concoctions table” Activities will be set up in on tables all over the yard and kids can wander from one to the other as they choose.

12:15 (15 minutes after Anything Goes begins)— PARENTS WORKSHOP runs concurrently with Anything Goes.
While the camp staff and children are doing Anything Goes, our guest artist of the day or one of our camp staff will offer an adult workshop each day for those who want to go and whose children want them to go! Keep in mind that during Anything Goes, the parents workshop is elective too! AND, Anything Goes for the children will be fun; parents are more than welcome to join in this fun with their children. Parent workshops have included art for grown ups, mime, making feather earrings, storytelling, singing, a private concert, nap time, yoga, a ukulele lesson, and more!

1:30 Clean up, check in, and SNACK

1:45 closing circle with appreciations and a story or song to send you on your way.

2:00 campers head home (staff meeting at 2:15)

ukulele camp day

9:00 a.m.  Morning Games – campers arrive, stow their stuff in their cubbie, and head to the back field for Morning Games. These are a big variety of imaginative, active, cooperative games.

9:30- Morning Circle- we say our names, talk about the day, and have a song or activity to center us in gratitude.  On Monday of each camp, we have an extended morning circle to go over our guidelines and give new campers a tour. We also provide a snack during this time.

10- 11:30 Morning Workshops in SKILL groups. Each camper will be assigned to a skill group for ukulele instruction. Skill groups are: complete beginners, advanced beginners, intermediate and advanced.

11;30 All camp Ukulele practice. We come together as a big group to practice the pieces we will play all together. And to share what we’ve been learning in our small groups.

Noon Lunch- during this time we eat lunch, do a chore with our buddy group and have some free time.

1:00- Ukulele choice classes

1:45- Ukulele choice classes

2:30- Buddy Group Check in and Closing

3:00 Campers go home. Except on Friday, parents come for a ukulele concert! and potluck snacks.

directions to clapping hands farm

From up river (Saxapahaw)— short cut! better than what your GPS will give you.

take 87 towards Pittsboro. On your way down 87 you will pass Silk Hope-Gam Springs road on your right, take the NEXT RIGHT onto Mitchell Chapel Road. Go to the END of Mitchell Chapel road and at the T intersection turn RIGHT onto Old Siler City Road. Go a short distance and turn LEFT onto Sarah’s Lane. Sarahs Lane will take you to a Stop Sign and you will be looking at 64 bizness. Turn LEFT onto 64 bizness and then make an immediate RIGHT onto Adolph Taylor road. This will T up to Alston Chapel Road. Take a RIGHT onto Alston Chapel, go over the Harlan’s Creek bridge and up the hill. Our drive way is on the RIGHT at the top of the hill after the creek.

From the West (Greensboro, Siler City, Asheboro):
Take 421 South from Greensboro to Siler City and 64  and head East on 64. Look for Hadley Mill Road. Pass Hadley Mill road and take the NEXT right onto Alex Cockman Road. Turn LEFT onto Alston Chapel Road and look for our driveway on the LEFT. 3348 Alston Chapel Road.

Keep going, we’re 3/4 of a mile from the paved road!

From the North (Chapel Hill):

Take 15-501 S. to Pittsboro. Along the way you will see a sign for 64 west. . . DON’T take it! come all the way into quaint, little, historic Pittsboro to the traffic circle around the courthouse and follow directions below. . .
From the East (Raleigh):

Take 64 West to Pittsboro. You will exit onto 64 business or “historic pittsboro” and follow the directions below. If you stay on the 64 bypass you will end up in Siler city far away from where you want to be! (If you accidentally do this, however, you can find us using the “from the west” directions above.)


  • Go around the traffic circle onto 64 West
  • Go to traffic light and turn LEFT onto 87/902. Al’s Diner is on that corner.
    after one block, take the FIRST RIGHT onto  Old Goldston rd. (OK, it’s really the second right, but the first right is a tiny road called Brown Street and when I tell people the “second left” they always miss it!) if you were to turn left at this same intersection you would go to Pittsboro Primary School (and the street sign on the left side of the road says “Pittsboro Primary School Road”). Just think “First Right” and you won’t miss it!
  • Once on Old Goldston you will go over a little creek bridge and then. . .
  • take the FIRST RIGHT onto Alston Chapel Rd. This is our road.
  • You will go about 3 miles. along the way you will pass Alston Chapel Church.
  • A couple more miles you will go over a creek bridge at Harlan’s Creek.
  • After the bridge count the driveways to the right and turn Right on the Fifth drive way.
  • There is a mailbox there clearly marked with 3348 and a sign says “Clapping Hands Farm” on the far side of the driveway.
  • We are 3348 Alston Chapel Road.


  • Now, here comes the interesting part. We live nearly a mile off the road.
  • You’ll see a sign about parking for fishermen, keep going.
  • Continue past gardens and past old chicken barns and over a pond past a field and through the woods. It is normal for people to think they made a wrong turn or have driven much farther than 1 mile! Just keep going!
  • At the end of the woods you will find  a clearing with various home made structures. That’s us.

Can’t wait  to see you!