June 2020 Newsletter

message from louise (founder and director)

Dear Clapping Hands Farm Camp Community,

We have officially started our Summer 2020 programs online: WE DID IT! We are meeting on Zoom and felting, building, dancing and connecting. It feels great to see everyone.

In bringing our programs online, I wanted to provide a LITTLE screen-time that would launch LOTS of offline creativity. I’m absolutely satisfied with those ratios, and that feels good!

One delightful perk of the Zoom Workshop process is the no-geographical-boundaries aspect! Anna Martin, one of our original campers, now living in AZ, is on our planning team for the Community Zoom Gatherings on Friday nights; Mia Kaplan, a former counselor and camper now living at Penland School of Crafts in the mountains is volunteering to help with our Intro to Felting workshop; Mina is assisting with the Quilting and Sewing workshop from London; Hank and Laurie are joining the Design Challenge workshop from CT! Kate Hibbard will be teaching quilting from an island in Rhode Island! Very cool!

One of my big goals this summer is to build the volunteer leadership in our community and to think deeply about sustainability for CHF (those two things being clearly related). Volunteer leadership is definitely happening and will benefit us way beyond this pandemic summer. The planning team for our Friday Night Zoom Gatherings makes me giddy with happiness! It is so exciting to see current and former campers run this thing. Even the planning meetings are FUN! And never do I feel more like a camper MYSELF than on Friday nights. LOVE IT! (Come join us! Summer Fridays 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.)

Summer 2020 PROGRAMS!

online workshops

Our online workshop offerings are yummy, hands-on, creative experiences! The Art Party workshop sets up parents of young children to do LOTS of projects with their kids and even provides most of the materials! Kate Hibbard’s Quilting & Sewing workshop invites you to create beauty with fabric! Story Bridges is a workshop for ADULTS with Louise Omoto Kessel—-Louise has taught storytelling workshops drawing on cultural identity and heritage for museums around the country, including our own Ackland Art Museum, the Peabody Museum in MA, and the Smithsonian. This is the first storytelling workshop she’s led in a long time and she is very excited for Story Bridges!

Quilt & Sew, Art Party, and Story Bridges are the first three workshops beginning in early July. . . several more starting mid-July! All enrolling now! Scholarships available. We are HAVING FUN in ZOOM; please join us and spread the word!

Here’s the lineup for workshops starting in JULY!

    • One of the big differences for us on the back end of these online workshops is the additional step of providing materials to each camper. We need to know how many kits to assemble and then you need to pick up the kit (we’ll have drop-off points at the farm, in Chapel Hill/Carrboro, and in Durham).
    • Aim to register AT LEAST ONE WEEK before a workshop begins, which gives us enough lead time to get the supplies to you!
    • This summer you can share camp with friends and relatives who live out of town! Along with your people right here!
    • Talk about camp. Post on email lists you are part of! We have a new person, Edith McCaskill, helping us with social media and promotion. She’s making us look good on Facebook and Instagram! Follow and Like our pages. Comment and Share our posts. Post pictures of you and your kids doing our online workshops— #clappinghandsfarm, #campmagic, #CHFArtParty etc.
  • ALEX NELSON is available to do 1-1 ukulele and guitar lessons via Zoom. This is not a CHF program, but you can contact Alex directly to set it up. More info in the Community Connections section at the bottom of the newsletter!

community zoom gatherings! every friday night all summer! 7:30- 9:30 p.m.

This volunteer-run Community Gathering on Zoom rotates between the following:

TALENT SHARING – people from the camp community share stories, songs, dances, tunes, jokes, artwork, poems, etc!

ANYTHING GOES – an array of activities run by campers, counselors, parents, staff.

GAMES NIGHT – a selection of games aimed to have something for all players!


Below is the schedule. Keep checking our COMMUNITY ZOOM GATHERING WEB PAGE for more details, including the Zoom registration link for each week’s gathering.

The whole camp community is welcome. Campers, counselors, teachers, parents and alum! You are also welcome to bring a friend; new people must come with someone already connected to camp.

JUNE 26 special event!!!! Shake it off, DISCO DANCE PARTY! 6/26/2020 7:30 p.m.

Come as you are or DRESS UP! You are invited (if inspired, no pressure) to light up your room; impress us with your disco ball or LED lights! Come DANCE!





These gatherings are FREE (donations gratefully accepted) and VOLUNTEER-RUN. We have a wonderful group of people making this happen —– let me know if you want to join us!

family concert!

By popular demand we are leaving our Kick-off Concert with Jimmy Magoo, Khallori Cosmey and Zakele Grabowski up on our Clapping Hands FACEBOOK PAGE! Enjoy! and THANK YOU to Jimmy, Khallori, Zak (and Jared, behind the scenes) for making a wonderful concert!

august 2! big wonderful variety show fundraising concert!

Save the date! We are planning a BIG WONDERFUL VARIETY SHOW with camp performers as a FUNDRAISER for our scholarship fund! Stay tuned for details!

crowd funding campaign

Coming soon! Khallori Cosmey and Sarah Perry are working on our Crowdfunding video for 2020. Because of social distancing, this will be an extra important fundraiser for camp. We hope to bring small groups of camp friends together to visit, tell stories, and work on making our campaign a success. This should launch in July; stay tuned for details!

stuff needed:

  • Altoid Tins
  • old wool sweaters or blankets (moth holes are fine)
  • socks

help needed:

  • Volunteers to assist with our online WORKSHOPS. . . this includes counselor roles and tech support roles.
  • Volunteers to help with TASKS AT THE FARM that can be done with social distancing. Organizing, helping bring in firewood, helping to pack kits for workshops.
  • Volunteers to help with ADMIN TASKS, computer-based stuff that can be done from home.
  • Volunteers to help with FUNDRAISING.
  • Volunteers to help with our camp SOCIAL MEDIA pages!

Fill out our VOLUNTEER INFORMATION FORM HERE if you would like to help!

thank you!

It’s all worth it now that people are doing delightful projects with their young children, learning to felt, and building mbiras! But, I’m here to say that the process of providing kits for people to do art with us from home was surprisingly challenging. The pricing, packing and delivering of those workshop kits was . . . intense! My deepest appreciation to:

  • Casey and Emma Hayes and my daughter Makayla for many many hours of help packing the Art Party boxes (picture measuring 1/4 cup of googly eyes into snack bags, counting bundles of 50 pipe cleaners, on and on for 25 projects’ worth of materials!) and Casey returned to help with the packing and delivery of the felting kits.
  • Teli Shabu, who ventured into the kit-building abyss for his workshops too!
  • Trey DeWolf, who cut foam blocks for felting kits AND made multiple trips from Durham to Clapping Hands Farm and back again to deliver pieces and parts to and from Teli, and then deliver kits to pick-up points in Chapel Hill and Durham.

Camp finances changed overnight when we stepped from our best and earliest enrollment ever to . . . canceling camp! I am thankful to the camp families who redirected their camp fees to our online program before we’d even invented it yet; to the MANY families that donated all or part of their camp fees in lieu of a full refund; and to those families who allowed us to wait a bit before returning their money. A camp mom whose kids haven’t come to camp in years also showed up with a generous donation of money, time, and moral support right when we needed it most. With a little help from pandemic unemployment for some of our staff (for which we are also grateful) —- we are staying afloat! Thank you!


community news and connections!

  • Alex Nelson welcomes inquiries for 1-1 ukulele or guitar lessons via Zoom and is open to providing some scholarships as needed. Contact Alex directly at 336-926-2016 or spoonnerz@gmail.com
  • Jimmy Magoo has a Facebook Live Concert every Sunday 7 p.m.! Wonderful stuff! Also check out his Patreon Page!
  • Khallori Cosmey has a YouTube channel with a growing collection of her original songs and covers.
  • A camp family in Pittsboro is in search of a lawn mower. If anyone has an extra one to give or loan I can put you in touch.
  • Please let us know if you need assistance during this Corona thing!
  • Send your NEWS for the next newsletter! Concerts, events, awards, baby births, marriages, sickness, help needed, your personal business classifieds. . . . we’d like to support, celebrate and connect people here!