Jan/Feb 2021 Newsletter

Message from Khallori Cosmey (Camper)

My name is Khallori Cosmey. I’m 18 years old and I’ve been attending camp since the summer I turned nine. It’s hard to describe exactly what camp means to me. I’ve done it tens of hundreds of times, but nothing I ever say begins to sum it all up. When I first came to camp, I remember jumping right in. I was delighted at the welcoming attitudes and loving relationships I found at camp; the nonsensical fun made really deep sense to me. My earliest memories of camp are just a series of moments where I felt deeply comfortable to be completely myself without fear of being harshly criticized or not being accepted. My earliest memories of camp are a series of moments where I felt very specifically appreciated and understood. 

Since 2011, I’ve been back every summer. And in this way, Clapping Hands Farm has become synonymous with summer for me. What’s the point of warmer weather if I can’t spend it outside working, learning, laughing, and growing with all of my greatest friends? This past summer, camp wasn’t in session because of Covid, and it’s almost like summer didn’t happen. 2020 was a hard one for everyone. For me, it was filled with a lot of firsts. First car, first year of college, first time living away from home, first time (in a while) not being at camp for the summer. First time not making art cards at the picnic tables, first time not singing songs and saying names at the morning circle. First time not playing running games. When Louise told me that in-person camp was coming back, I was beyond overjoyed. I’m still beyond overjoyed. Last year had so many lows for me and for everyone and this year, I’m just glad that I get to have summer again.

~ Khallori

Space is Still Available for 2021 In-Person Spring Break Camp

We are offering TWO AMAZING CAMPS this spring! 

  • March 29- April 2 is CIRCUS RUMPUS CAMP! (ages 10-14) with the amazing Jef Lambdin! A week of juggling, movement &  theater games, big running games, outdoor adventures and clowning around! Jef the Mime is planning to show up with his playful self and a bag of tricks that includes: juggling, movement & theater games, mask making, mime, and clowning. Alex Nelson will also be on staff all week; Alex brings music to camp along with years of Clapping Hands camp experience and an ever-willingness to play a game or hang with “cloud watchers.” Louise Omoto Kessel will be dropping in with some projects, earth skills, hikes and other stuff. And Jimmy Magoo will make at least one guest appearance to lead a Big Game.
  • April 5-9 (ages 7-10) is EARTH ROMP CAMP! With Louise & Jan! Our mornings will be a grand mixture of: Wild Art, Earth Skills, Nature Exploration. Hikes, Running Around. Big games, frisbee golf, badminton, etc. Our afternoons will include all of the above plus some random additional stuff Louise and Jan can pull out of their hats like. . . drawing games, storytelling, comix, flip books, art, and who knows what else!

Learn more about our Spring Break Camps. 

Register now for Spring Break Camps.

Enroll Now for 2021 In-Person Summer Camp! See Full Schedule 

We’re offering an array of camps every week, in addition to zoom workshops, this summer from May 31- August 13. Here’s the complete schedule: 

  • Our Stories, Our Selves Camp. May 31- June 4, 2021. 9 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Women, adults. A journey of discovering and sharing personal stories and developing a sense of “thinking like a heroine” in everyday life; with Louise Omoto Kessel. 
  • Watercolor Painting Camp. June 7-11, 2021. 9 am- 3 p.m. Ages 10- Adult. Jump into watercolors, collage, finger paint, mixed media and drawing with fun experimental approaches to traditional art techniques, with Vessna Scheff. 
  • Toys and Games Camp. June 14-18, 2021. 9am- 5pm. Ages 7-10. Hula hooping, toy making, running around fun with Louise Omoto Kessel, Meghan Kerr, and Jan Burger.
  • Creative Writing Camp. June 21-25, 2021. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ages 13-19. Poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction with Sara Graybeal 
  • Teen Music and Dance Camp. June 28- July 2, 2021. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Ages 13-18. Hip hop, latin dance, contemporary, african, tap, music jams and more! With Teli Shabu, Andrea Lara, Kennard Williams and guests.
  • Ukulele Camp for Beginner and Intermediate Players. July 5-9, 2021. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ages 10- adult. (includes ukulele if needed). For absolute beginners, beginners, and beginning intermediate players with Sarah Perry and Alex Nelson.
  • Everything’s a Puppet Camp. July 12-19, 2021. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ages 7-12. All kinds of puppets and original puppet shows! With Jimmy Magoo.
  • Teen Art Hangout. July 19-23, 2021. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ages 13-18. Watercolor, upcycled clothing, drawing, zentangles, printmaking, photography and more.  
  • Ukulele Camp for Intermediate and Advanced Players. July 26-July 30, 2021. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ages 10- adult. For people with solid ukulele skills who are ready to push their abilities to the next level with Jimmy Magoo and Alex Nelson.  
  • Music Camp, Instrument Build & Play, Drumming, Jams and More.  August 2-6, 2021. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ages 10- adult. Build your own shakare or mbira and learn to play it! Drumming and dancing too! With Teli Shabu, Beverly Botsford, and guests.
  • Felting Camp. August 9-13, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., Ages 10-adult. Create wonderful things from colorful wool using wet felting and needle felting techniques with Louise Omoto Kessel. Complete beginners and experienced felters welcome. 


  • In-Person Camp. Please review our Covid Careful Camp Plans to learn how we plan to safely run camp in person.
  • Sign up early. We offer EARLY ENROLLMENT to this newsletter list until Feb. 15, when we will announce our camp season to the general public. Our 2021 camps serve a max of 15 campers each week and will fill.
  • 19  year-olds are welcome. Campers who turned 19 since last summer welcome—- fear not,  you have not been “robbed” of your last year as a camper! You can sign up for camps (even if they say 13-18) OR for any of the camps that include ADULTS!
  • Adults are welcome. Yes! We have one camp specifically FOR adults, Our Stories, Our Selves, and several that are for ages 10- adult. You can come to camp WITH your children for a special family camp experience, or you can come solo!
  • Camp Fee. We have raised our camp fee to $300/week for every camp to adjust for running covid careful camps. Please don’t hesitate to use our SCHOLARSHIP program if you need it for any reason. We want your family at camp!
  • Zoom Workshops continue this summer. These workshops are still being finalized but should include: silly songs and sing alongs, everything’s a puppet and teen art hangout workshops.

Learn more about our 2021 Summer Camp program! 

Register now for Summer Camp! 

We’re Hiring an Intern

Clapping Hands is looking for an intern/administrative assistant to help Anna (Detail Wizard) a few hours each week with random administrative tasks. This would be around 2-5 hours per week with the potential for more hours during the summer. 

This could include: updating databases, sending emails, calling volunteers and spending most of your time in spreadsheet land! We need someone that is reliable, communicative and flexible. This is a PAID position. Please reach out to Louise & Anna if you are interested: clappinghandsfarm@gmail.com or annamarie.chfarm@gmail.com

Volunteers Needed for Letter Writing Campaign

Do you know ONE or MORE friends or colleagues who love kids, art, or summer camp (and most importantly YOU!)  and might be interested in learning more about and possibly donating to our scholarship program? We are looking for more VOLUNTEERS to help with our Letter Writing Campaign! So far 11 people have written letters , 21 more have promised to do so, we need 8 additional volunteers to reach our goal of 40 letter writers. Our 11 letter writers have raised $2,225 of our goal of $6,000. We provide a beautiful letter, you add a personal note and send to YOUR friends and contacts. 

Want to participate? Email Alex Nelson at spoonnerz@gmail.com for information and to get involved!

Other Volunteer Opportunities Available

  • Farm Work Days. We can set up work times on your schedule to do outdoor work, clean-up and organizing. 

Fill out our Volunteer Form if you can help.



Donation Items Needed for 2021 Camp Season

Here’s a wishlist of things we need to help run camp  this year:

  • “TV tray tables” —- we need to have work stations for every person at camp and these  would work well, I think.
  • Badminton nets and rackets (a fun, good socially distanced game)
  • A macbook. Could be older, but still functioning.
  • Housing for staff. We are also looking for places for staff to stay near Clapping Hands Farm. We will need staff housing for spring break camp (March 25 – April 10) and possibly for all the weeks from May 31- August 15 for summer camp. House sits, airbnb’s offered at no cost, cabins in the woods, a place to pitch a tent with shower privileges will be very helpful.

LET US KNOW if there is anything you can offer. Email us at clappinghandsfarm@gmail.com.


Community News and Connections

  • A fundraiser has been started for local farmer Stephanie Faye to help her beat Stage 4 cancer. Please donate or help spread the word!
  • Jazz makes tie-dye clothing with love! Shop her online Depop store!
  • Edith McCaskill has been sharing cover songs on her Deja Belle youtube channel. Watch her latest videos!
  • Emma Rose Staley has been FOUND. She returned home to her family on January 21, 2021 and is safe.

Please let us know if you need assistance during this time! Or if you’d like to assist! There are some camp families who are struggling through this pandemic with basic needs and our clapping hands farm community is providing grocery store gift cards and other assistance.

Lastly, send your NEWS for the next newsletter or share it in our new facebook group!! Concerts, events, awards, baby births, marriages, sickness, help needed, your personal business classifieds. . . . we’d like to support, celebrate and connect people there!