message from louise (founder and director)




This was our TWENTIETH summer camp season! We started in 2000 and Michael Grathwohl, Sara Graybeal, Robert Malka and Dave Tate’s daughter Becca were some of our original campers! Makes me smile a lot thinking that these people and so many others have been around camp for a LONG TIME and are STILL coming back! 

We had a really FINE camp season! Mardi Magoo, Alex Nelson, Sarah Perry, Teli Shabu and myself all shared the “DIRECTOR” role with a broader base of shared leadership than ever before. We also had more help from INTERNS and LEAD COUNSELORS than in the past, both leading up to camp and during the camp season as well. 

The biggest news would have to be that our ARTS ADMINISTRATOR search was fruitful! We HIRED someone! Anna Marie Wright to be exact, The Detail Wizard of Clapping Hands Farm, and she is WONDERFUL, organized, and LOVES her JOB! And I LOVE having company in the admin realm of camp. 

We have more sustainability than ever before in terms of sharing the work and having an amazing team, especially during the summer camp season. Now we are working the other side of the sustainability balance. . . . . having more help takes more MONEY.  So, as we close out the camp season, my attention is on fundraising! We need to shore up each of our 3 major fundraising projects and find some additional matching donors in order to keep everything in balance. 

our go fund me campaign!

Our Go Fund Me campaign end date had been extended to SEPTEMBER 30 with some adjusted goals! We have a FEW MORE DAYS and I want to finish strong! We are closing in on our $6000 goal, with just $594 left to go, I’m pretty confident we will make it! I also have a goal of having 100 donors—-achieving this will be more challenging—- we have just over 50 as I write this on 9/27. Over 300 people participated in our 2019 camp season as campers or staff. . . . . when I look at it that way, and think about all their parents and grandparents and friends and social media pages. . . . it’s not impossible! Please consider DONATING or SPREADING THE WORD! 


tuesday art camp

An art camp for homeschoolers each Tuesday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fall-Winter-Spring.


saturday art camp

An art camp for EVERYBODY, Saturdays in November and December focused on making GIFTS, ZAWADI and hand crafted items to celebrate KWANZAA with. Adults, Teens, and Families! Children 8-12 welcome with an adult. Registration not up for this camp yet, check back, and save the dates: Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. November 5- December 14.

ukulele classes with Sarah Perry

Beginning Ukulele Class Monday afternoons at Clapping Hands Farm!


ukulele band

Ukulele Band Practice most Sundays 2-4 p.m. Alternating between Clapping Hands Farm and a location at the Chapel Hill/Durham border.

homecoming day november 29th

We are planning a day of special events at the farm on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We’re hoping lots of people currently involved in camp and lots of alumni from years past will turn out to have fun and help us celebrate 20 years of summer camp at Clapping Hands Farm! Think big games, art, music, and a campfire. More details soon. But save the date!

volunteer opportunities




  • FUNDRAISING– We need hosts for fundraising parties, help creating our next crowd funding video, and people who will send fundraising letters to friends. Nothing is more essential to the soul of Clapping Hands than our “no one turned away” scholarship program.
  • WORKDAYS AT THE FARM! Come to the farm and work outside with friends and help us bring in firewood, clear brush, mow grass, and fix things!
  • VOLUNTEERS at CAMP! Tuesday Art Camp & Saturday Art Camp- we can use volunteers to lead projects, assist with projects and work with young people!
  • WASHING THINGS and returning them clean. Laundry and dishes.
  • CLEAN UP & ORGANIZING all the fun stuff we use for our Art Projects need to be kept in order and put away.
  • ADMIN TASKS there is a lot of detail work on spreadsheets and paper behind the scenes. If you can commit to a REGULAR weekly time of at least 2 hours/week you could be trained on some of those tasks.
  • REMEMBERING GARDEN we are creating a special place for our camp community to remember loved ones who have died. Come help clear and create this space.

Interested in VOLUNTEERING in any of these ways? Please fill out this simple form to get plugged in.



Or contact us at

community news

We want all your news! I want to list your performances and events! I want to know when people are graduating, moving, needing help, looking for a job, offering help, needing help! I want your birth announcements, news of illness and death. I want your updates, blogs, videos, things you are proud of etc. All of this will go on the NEW PAGE on our website for Community News. Please send your news !

  • Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s Summer Show is PLAYING for ONE MORE WEEKEND! Clapping Hands Farm people are in the show! Lisa Turner, Makayla Graybeal, Holmes Graybeal, Jan Burger, Donovan Zimmerman, Claudia Lopez, Danika Moody, Sarah Howe! To name a few! Forest Theater, Chapel Hill. Saturday, 9/28 7 p.m. with an opening act at 6:20; Sunday, 9/29 7 p.m. with an opening act at 6:20; and a matinee Sunday 9/29 at 3 p.m. with an opening act at 2:20 p.m.
  • GRADUATES! We had so many counselors who graduated this year!
    • Alex Nelson graduated from UNC School of The Arts with a degree in Classical Guitar! He spent all of July and August at Clapping Hands Farm and is now putting together a schedule of composing, teaching, working and saving up for some international adventures!
    • Kathleen Weber O’Melia graduated in the Spring as a life long homeschooler and is now a Freshman at Oberlin and  teaching tap at a local dance school!
    • Beyla Munach graduated from Hawbridge last spring and is now a Freshman at the University of Vermont!
    • Lenore Ramos graduated from  Jordan Mathews and is now a Freshman and Bonner Scholar at Guilford College!
    • Jesenia Schwankl graduated from Northwood High School in Pittsboro and is now a Freshman at Warren Wilson College!
    • Eli Day graduated from Woods Charter School and is now a Freshman at Kenyon College in Ohio!
    • I feel sure I must be forgetting some people! So, SEND YOUR NEWS!