September 2020 Newsletter

Message from Louise (Founder and Director)

Dear Clapping Hands Farm Camp Community,

In the past couple of weeks I’ve felt the exhale of “Ah! Our busy summer camp season is over!” With our Fall programs up and running with an intentionally low key schedule— I’m enjoying a little space in my life to breathe again!

There is a lot to celebrate about our summer workshops! Who knew we could bring camp via zoom? But we did it! We had an End of Summer Zoom Gathering for all our workshop participants to show off what they’d done! It was the online equivalent of our Friday night potlucks and sharing at the farm—- we even all brought ice-cream and popcorn to the zoom call so sharing food could be part of it! I’ll admit—- the move to online was more work than I anticipated, and by this Friday Zoom, I was toast! But this gathering was SO UPLIFTING and glorious! I’d been very present for ALL of it as it was happening, but to have it all in one place was amazing! We did a lot of amazing creating and connecting this summer! The work was gorgeous. . . the quilts and felted objects and mbiras! There was dancing, and people playing their talking drums! It was fun and inspiring and filled me up. 

Our Fall workshops are the best and the sweetest morsels from our summer on zoom, and have the wonderful pace of running for 8-12 weeks. I’m LOVING my felting workshops and am enrolled in the quilting class as a camper :-)! I’m amazed to realize that I want to continue offering online workshops even after we can get back together at the farm.

But IN-PERSON at the farm is definitely on my mind these days! I’m quite confident we can be back in person in 2021. I’ve been visiting in-person programs as a storyteller this fall and asking lots of questions. I’ve been going to meetings for camp directors offered by the health dept. I’ve asked Jan and Sarah and Jimmy to meet with me to dig into the topic of “covid careful” running games. I’m meeting with staff and volunteers about what covid careful camp programs might look like at Clapping Hands. I’m proceeding slowly, not so much out of a sense of caution at this point, but because I have a personal desire to pace myself this Fall-Winter-Spring (I need a breather and to tend to some family priorities and to put energy into the rekindling of my storyteller self!) But all in all, tho I expect camp in 2021 will look different than pre-pandemic summers. . . it’s my goal for you to have your feet on the ground at Clapping Hands Farm!

~ Louise

Community Zoom Gatherings on Friday Continue

The whole camp community is welcome at these gatherings. campers, counselors, teachers, parents and alum! You are also welcome to bring a friend; new people must come with someone already connected to camp.They’re held on the first and the third fridays of each month, with a bonus 2nd Friday gathering in December! They are a wonderful way to get a hit of camp community, we have a good time and would love to see you there!


  • OCT- 10/2 Talent Share; 10/16 Art Hang Out
  • NOV- 11/6 An Evening of Storytelling; 11/20 Art Hang Out
  • DEC- 12/4 Winter Dance Party; 12/18 Art Hangout

We’ll also host a special end-of-camp sharing for our fall workshops on December 11th.

Our Community Zoom Gatherings are FREE (donations gratefully accepted) and VOLUNTEER-RUN — let us know if you want to join the community zoom planning team. We meet to plan on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 8-9 p.m.

You can view the schedule at your convenience and register in advance on our website.

Register for Community Zoom

New CHF Camp Community Facebook Group

Please join our new private facebook group for active members of the camp community! A great place to share family news, post pictures of your amazing creations, ask for help or support, provide some inspiration, and stay in touch with your camp friends!

Join Facebook Group



GoFundMe and Letter Writing Campaign Updates

Early this month, we surpassed our $6,000 goal for our GoFundMe campaign. Including the matching donors, we raised over $10,000 for scholarships which is great! THANK YOU everyone who donated or spread the word. If you haven’t seen the wonderful video created by Khallori Cosmey and Sarah Perry—- you don’t want to miss it and our GoFundMe campaign is still available to view and donate! Our fundraising letter campaign will roll out in October and we will be looking for volunteers to help with that! We’ll be sending out information about that in acouple of weeks and I hope lots of you will want to help!

Make a Donation

Volunteers Needed

  • Volunteers to send out fundraising letters this Fall! We provide a beautiful letter, you add a note and send it to people you know.
  • A volunteer to assist Edith McCaskill in creating vibrant social media posts for camp.
  • Volunteers to help with WORK DAYS AT THE FARM. There are many tasks that can be done with social distancing. Organizing, helping bring in firewood, helping to pack kits for workshops, etc.
  • Volunteers to help with ADMIN TASKS, computer-based stuff that can be done from home.
  • Volunteers to help with FUNDRAISING.
  • We need a team of volunteers to be “on call” to forward and share our posts on SOCIAL MEDIA.
  • We need team leaders who will be the point person for a small group of volunteers, and help us get turn-out for our various work days, programs and projects.

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

Community News and Connections

  • Jimmy Magoo, Sarah Perry, and Louise Omoto Kessel will be sharing songs and stories at a Woodland Social Distanced Concert brought to you by Sparkroot and heart2heart, at Sparkroot on the Moncure Pittsboro Road. Friday October 9, 6:30-9 p.m. Rain Date Saturday October 10, same time. Recommended for ages 12 and up. Please RSVP to for more information ***This concert offers limited, invitation-only seating availability to accommodate social distancing. Thank you for understanding!***
  • Louise Omoto Kessel is telling stories in person or virtually for a different group each week! Are you involved in any groups that are meeting in person? Would you like to create a covid careful event either in person or virtually? Please contact Louise if you would like to set up a storytelling performance or would like to be notified of upcoming events where you can come hear some stories! Use this new email:
  • 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
  • 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.

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.

Also, 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 here!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!