November 2020 Newsletter

Message from Anna Marie (Detail Wizard of Clapping Hands Farm)

Hi everyone!

My name is Anna Marie and I am the Detail Wizard of Clapping Hands! I live in Pittsboro with my partner, J.R., our 6-month old daughter, Parula “Rue” and our silly poodle Toulie. We spend a lot of time in our gardens, playing outside, dancing and now experiencing life as new parents!

This past March, I was standing behind the check-in table at camp greeting our campers as they ran in. It was the start of our Tuesday Art Camp for Homeschoolers Spring session before spring break camps started. As each camper and parent arrived, I checked for camp forms, made notes about any specific needs and collected payments. Morning check-ins are some of my favorite days– I spend a lot of time behind the computer, confirming registrations and connecting with people through emails– but on check-in days, I get to put a face to the name! 

Before the pandemic, Louise and I would sit in the office playfully throwing foam balls at each other in between looking at the myriad of spreadsheets that makes up the behind-the-scenes of camp. And that’s much of what I do– plan, organize and facilitate the administrative flow so that camp can run smoothly on the ground (or on Zoom)!

In April, chaos hit. I was very pregnant and we were in the genesis of a pandemic and what do we do about camp?! I was about to disappear for a few months with my newborn and camp was up in the air. As I stepped away with my new baby, camp reappeared on Zoom and of course, the magic was there! When I began working again, I saw the strength of the Clapping Hands community. The support came in so many different forms, from help assembling kits to donations to delivering kits across the Triangle to Zoom tech support! I am constantly in awe of how our camp community comes together. THANK YOU!

We are now in the process of planning our in-person programs for 2021– all of which will be what we are calling “Covid Careful.” We understand that our knowledge of the coronavirus is always changing, but we plan to host camps next year that are safe, socially distant and FUN! Our camp sizes will be drastically smaller, which will create a pretty significant financial deficit for us, but the value of being able to gather (even six feet apart!) is immeasurable. We MISS seeing everyone, hearing the sounds of music and laughter at camp and we are determined to make it happen in 2021! We also plan on continuing to host some online workshops during the summer of 2021– so that camp can come to those families who might be at a higher health risk. 

One of the bigger goals of my job is to help Louise shift from spending dozens (literally!)  of hours each week planning camp to: telling stories! teaching fun classes! spending more time with family! experimenting with new crafts! We are steadily building our volunteer base, which is vital to achieving this goal. Having help with our farm workdays, our fundraising campaigns (see below for info about our Letter Writing!), administrative work, even experimenting with new games– all help us take steps closer to our goal of making Clapping Hands sustainable. If you want to know how you can help, our volunteer form is below or you can reach out to me directly at

~ Anna 

Attend End-of-Year Community Zoom Gatherings 

Each first and third Friday of the month (with some bonus zooms thrown in occasionally!) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Free and open to the entire camp community (campers, parents, counselors, staff) new people are welcome if they come WITH a friend who is already connected to Clapping Hands. 

  • Winter Dance Party! Three DJ’s! Disco, Latin, and more! – 12/4
  • End-of-camp SHARING for our fall workshops! Mbira, Felting and Quilting workshops will show their creations! (This will take the place of our usual Third Friday Art Hang Out!) – 12/18

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

2021 Workshop Overview

Moving into the new year, we are planning on hosting four virtual workshops from January through March. We plan to start in-person programs in late March, starting with two weeks of Spring Break camp and continuing every week through the Summer. Our Friday night Community Zoom gatherings will continue the first and third Fridays of each month. 

Next year, camp will be a bit different as we adapt to COVID Careful routines with smaller group sizes (12-15 people per camp). PLEASE be on the lookout for registration information and ENROLL EARLY; we realize with smaller group sizes some camps will fill up quickly! Our enrollment for the spring and summer in person camps will be in phases—-volunteers and staff will get the first notifications for our camp schedule, followed by our returning campers and then to the wide world!

  • SPRING BREAK CAMP- Look for registration information in our DECEMBER newsletter! And look for advance registration info by email.
  • SUMMER CAMP- Look for registration information in our JANUARY newsletter! And look for advance registration info by email.

Registration Now Open for 2021 Winter Workshops

Winter Workshops 2021! Starting this January, we have four amazing virtual workshops lined up! View more details here.

  • Drawing for Everyone with Emma Skurnick: Tuesdays from 1:00-3:00p, January 12-March 16, 2021. Ages 9 to adult.
  • Teen Art Hangout with amazing guest artists: Tuesdays from 4:00-6:00p, January 12-March 16, 2021. Ages 13-19.
  • Advanced Mbira with Teli Shabu: Saturdays from 11:00-12:30p January 16- March 20, 2021. Ages 10 to adult.
  • Quilting with Kate Hibbard: Saturdays from 1:00-3:00p January 16- March 20, 2021. Ages 12 to adult.

Learn more about our winter workshops including fees and how to register!

Register for Workshops!!

Letter-Writing Campaign Underway, Volunteers Needed

Love camp? Love our scholarship program? Our letter writing campaign is UNDER WAY and we need VOLUNTEERS! We supply a beautiful letter written by Louise and graphically designed by Edith McCaskill, YOU add a personal note and send it to YOUR friends, family, coworkers and contacts. Anyone who cares about children, art, nature, community and inclusion might be interested in knowing more about (and supporting) Clapping Hands! Sending even a few well placed letters can have a very big effect, especially when you are part of a team of 40+ volunteers who are sending 200+ letters! Last year we raised over $8000 and we want to repeat that this year!

We have a donor who gives $10 for EVERY LETTER SENT; this means if you send 10 letters you automatically raise $100 for our scholarship program, whether anyone donates or not! We also have a team of matching donors who will match any donation over $125 dollar for dollar.  Our letter writing campaign is a critically important fundraiser and a GREAT way to support Clapping Hands from home. Email Anna or Alex to get involved or to sign up via our online form!!

View our beautiful fundraising letter!

Sign up to volunteer! 

Help Wanted for Work Days at the Farm

Work days at the farm are happening once a week on a varied schedule and we are having fun and getting a LOT done! Fill out our volunteer form to join this team!

Thank you! Conner & Owen Durso, Cosmo & Mardi Magoo, Michael & Walker Smith, Emily & Ana Clancy, David & Finn Yale, Karen and Rex Jeremiah, Shelley & Malaika Sams—- Our WORKDAY at the FARM team!

Fill out our Volunteer Information Form if you would like to help!

Meet the Staff

  • LOUISE- program design for spring break, summer, and fall, hiring, program development for in person COVID careful programs. volunteer program design
  • ANNA- financial stuff -budgets and accounting, admin in general including registration, supervising volunteers helping with admin, big picture, letter writing campaign
  • SARAH- program development for in person COVID careful programs, standing by to help teach and lead camps in summer 2021
  • EDITH- social media, website, communication, publicity,  enrollment/outreach, 2021 gofundme
  • ALEX- volunteer coordination, program development for in person COVID careful programs, enrollment/outreach
  • MARI- intern-  social media, community zoom, google classroom support, 2021 gofundme, photo and video organizing

Community News and Connections

Jimmy Magoo, Sarah Perry, and Louise Omoto Kessel share SONGS AND STORIES at:

  • Jimmy Magoo’s Facebook Live on November 29th 7 p.m.
  • Cool Creek Farm Dec. 11 (rain date Dec. 12)

In addition to our Facebook page, we created a private Facebook Group where you can stay connected with Clapping Hands Farm community members! Join our FB Group! 

Also, 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 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!