Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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 PLEASE.
  • Morning snack and afternoon snack (We burn LOTS of calories)  NO PEANUTS OR TREE NUTS PLEASE.
  • An open mind to experiencing successes while learning from some failures along the way....

What are your Staff Ratios?
We staff all of our camps and programs at 6:1 camper to collaborator ratios or better.  

What is your cancellation policy?

If you decide to cancel prior to May 1, we will issue a refund minus $20 per camp session, per child  (covers our costs with Ultracamp service) .  

AFTER May 1, refunds are issued minus the $20 administrative fee only if we are able to fill your child’s place.
All registrations are non-transferrable.  Please plan accordingly prior to registering.  Thank you.

Are there discounts?
When multi-week or multi-sibling discounts are available they will be automatically applied at the time of check out when you use our registration system.  

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" and "registration".  Still not sure?  email

A class I want to sign up for is full, what should I do?
Join the Wait-list! We love wait-lists and use them to help make sure we achieve gender and age balances conducive to an amazing experience for every child and peer-group. If something is full, please join the wait-list if you want to go. 

What's the minimum age?
Tinkering School NC is for ages 8-12.  Organic Art Camp is for ages 6-12.

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!)

Do you offer Financial Assistance?
We strive to help families facing difficult situations who would not normally be able to afford our program due to extenuating circumstances.  Financial assistance is handled in a case by case basis and may or may not be possible.  Please email us to explain your situation plus be prepared to pay an agreed upon amount toward your child's registration. 

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.  More questions on this?  Don't let this be a "show-stopper"  Please drop us a line...

Can you accommodate children with special needs?

We are not set up to provide one on one care 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."  Any form of bullying, verbal or physically, or inappropriate language or content will not be tolerated.  Never hesitate to call if you have a concern.  We reserve the right to dismiss a student if a phone call home doesn't resolve the issue.

Summer Camps Apex, NC by Jordan Lake               

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