Summer Camps      
Apex, NC by Jordan Lake               

2024 © Tinkering School NC      2092 Martha's Chapel Road, Apex NC 27523       |   919.585.1488   |        Email Us.

Frequently Asked Questions                                                      FEDERAL TAX ID NUMBER: 262-373434

What is your Tax ID number?​

How do I register? 
We use Ultracamp online registration. Click here.   Have a question?  Feel free to email Don at

What skills will my child learn? 
Your child will learn how to safely use a cordless drill, impact driver, carpentry clamps, measuring tape, hand tools, and hand saws - under adult supervision of course!  However, Tinkering School is NOT a carpentry 101 class, where you will learn the "right" way to build a birdhouse.  It is tackling large scale, open-ended projects using collaboration, team work, and imagination.  Counselors are "collaborators," not instructors, as there are usually several ways to approach a problem - like in life.

How come you do not show the exact project or theme for the week?
There are several really good reasons - all of which are for the benefit of your child's experience each week.  We follow the methods and key learnings of the original Tinkering School in San Francisco and this has been their successful rule of thumb for over 10 years. 

We take many factors into account, including ages, abilities, how many are returning campers, weather, what interests campers and the staff that particular week.  Our best work and coolest projects happen when campers come with an open mind and a desire to build -  and the staff is given space to be creative and in the moment. How else could you come up with a "two-story galactic space diner with a drive through window!?"

What's the minimum age?
Tinkering School NC is for ages 9 -12.  Must be 9 by week of camp.  We've found that the dexterity, focus, and staying power for Tinkering School NC really kicks in by age 9, which makes for a more enjoyable experience.
Tinkering School NC is for children who like to build in an open-ended collaborative environment with an emphasis on team work.  

What time can I drop off my child?
Camp hours are 9:00am-3:30pm.  Drop off is at 9:00am.  Early Drop off starts at 8:00am and is available to add-on at check out. 

What should my child bring?
Please keep in mind that your children will be outdoors for many hours at a time during the day.

  • Comfortable clothing that can get dirty.  (Seriously, whatever they wear may get dirty or even torn). 
  • Please bring a refillable water bottle clearly marked with your child's name.
  • Tinkering School NC is based on a working farm.  Rain boots are essential even for non-rainy weeks.  They allow us to explore in all of the woods, creek, farm animal areas.  Trust me, they are needed and will maximize your child’s experience here.  (A 2nd pair of old gym shoes won’t work.  Please buy a pair at Walmart for $15.  
  • A hat with a wide brim
  • Sunscreen  - please arrive with sunscreen already on!
  • Wear gym shoes for inside the workshop
  • Extra set of clothes
  • A healthy packed lunch - kids are often very hungry at camp.  NO PEANUTS OR TREE NUTS.
  • Morning snack and afternoon snack (We burn LOTS of calories)  NO PEANUTS OR TREE NUTS.
  • An open mind to experiencing successes while learning from some failures along the way....

What is your staff ratio?
6:1 camper to counselor ratio or better (4:1 during peak building time!)

Who are the Tinkering School NC counselors/collaborators?
Over the last 10 years we've had a wonderfully successful mix of school teachers, artists, and builders ages with a 18+ year old college student or two to mix it up for fun.  Our counselors love building with children.

Can parents participate and see what campers are building?
Parents are invited to come at 3pm on Friday for our 'Power Hour” at the Tinkering Workshop.  We first do a short demonstration where the campers are fired up to share their work with you.  Then campers use the power drills to dismantle the whole enchilada.  It is actually tons of fun and quite cathartic.  We usually wrap it up by 4pm.  Of course, you don’t have to come or if you leave earlier that is ok too.

Are there discounts?
Yes!  Multi-week and multi-sibling discounts are automatically applied at the time of check out when you use the Ultracamp registration system.  

Is there a payment plan available?

Yes, you can select a payment plan during checkout.  A $75 non-refundable deposit is required to register, then the balance is split into equal monthly payments (on 12/15, 1/15, 2/15, 3/15, 4/15), with the final payment due May 15th.

​PLEASE NOTE: your first installment will be charged on the 15th day of the month that you register, i.e. if you register between the 1st-14th day of month, you may get charged just days after paying your deposit at registration.  (Sorry, there isn't a different way to handle on ultracamp.)

What dates am I signed up for again?
Sign in to our registration system to check what dates you are registered for and wait-listed for. You can also search your email for "Tinkering School NC" .  Still not sure?  email

A class I want to sign up for is full, what should I do?
If something is full, please join the wait-list if you want to go.  You can sign up for more than one week.  You will be emailed once a spot opens for you.  Please register within 24 hours, or your spot automatically goes to the next person on the list...

Are there other Tinkering Schools?
Yes! There are programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and also in Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Buffalo and Bratislava. (Yes, Bratislava!)

Can you accommodate children with special needs?
We are not set up to provide direct one-on-one care/supervision for any campers.​ Our counselors are experienced with handling certain types of needs, but feel free to contact us if you'd like more information or have specific questions.

What is your behavior policy?
We strive to provide the highest quality experience for your children and want every camper to feel safe and happy.    On the first morning of camp we teach the "golden rule."  We have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for any form of bullying, verbal or physically, or inappropriate language or content.  Campers are required to cooperate with staff to ensure a positive and safe environment for all.  Never hesitate to call if you have a concern.  We reserve the right to immediately dismiss a camper without refund if a phone call home doesn't resolve the issue, including cancelling future summer camp weeks. 

What is your transfer, cancellation and non-attendance policy?

When you register your child, you are reserving space, time, staffing, and prepaid expenses whether or not your child attends the program.  Our detailed cancellation and refund policy is here and you are required to sign our waiver and policies agreements to complete your registration.  Please let us know if you have any questions, prior to registering.

What are the Covid-19 procedures?
There are no longer special procedures as the pandemic is over.   Finally.

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