Got a Budding Chef at Home? Sign Them Up for These Cooking Summer Camps

If your child loves to cook, bump those skills to the next level with a week at one of these cooking summer camps. By fall, you'll be able to hand over kitchen duty to a trained chef ready to show off that newfound expertise.

Kids learning how to cook in a cooking class.Shutterstock / Arina P Habich

We all know about the traditional summer camp experience—canoeing trips, campfires, tons of mosquito bites. But today, new camps are popping up offering more unique experiences catering to culinary kids. Check out these cooking-focused camps for kids of all ages who can’t wait to hone their skills in the kitchen.

Green Mountain College Vermont Summer Academy: Pultney, Vt.

Does your middle or high schooler aspire to be a professional chef? At this cooking summer camp in Vermont, teens get hands-on, real-world experience creating meals—appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert—sourced from local food as much as possible. Students create dishes tied together with themes, such as breakfast, pizza or vegan foods, and get to eat their finished creations. Along with cooking skills, they learn kitchen safety basics.

For grades 8-12.

Campus NYC Culinary Arts Summer Program and Cooking Camp: New York City, NY

Billing itself as the premier culinary arts summer camp in the United States, CampusNYC’s cooking summer camp offers plenty of time for culinary instruction, restaurant tours, guided visits to specialty grocers, and evenings spent exploring New York City’s cultural gems. The days’ menus feature locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and showcase international cuisine.

For ages 12-17.

Explo Culinary Arts at Wellesley College: Wellesly, Mass.

Held at Wellesley College, this summer camp offers teens a chance to learn everything about the culinary process—from shopping to plating. Professional chefs and a fully stocked commercial kitchen give campers a taste of cooking as a career.

For grades 8-10.

Pali Adventures Summer Camp: Running Springs, Calif.

At this cooking summer camp, your child can specialize in culinary studies while socializing with campers focused on other interests, from motorsports to fashion to acting. Culinary campers cook dishes inspired by the world’s cuisines and gain skills they can showcase when they return home. Fridays feature an “Iron Chef” style cooking competition—what kid wouldn’t love the chance to show off their chops?

For ages 8-16.

Kendall College Summer Culinary Camp: Chicago, Ill.

Kendall College’s cooking summer camp gives your child the chance to specialize. Different weeks highlight different skill sets, from basic culinary skills to baking and pastry to food photography and styling. Campers can also explore Chicago’s sights, theatre and restaurants. Plus, campers who enroll in Kendall College receive a $1,000 scholarship toward tuition.

For ages 13-18.

If you ask us, this sounds like way more fun than bug spray and sleeping in tents!

If you miss that real camp experience, try these at home!
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Stephanie Thurrott
Stephanie Thurrott has been a freelance content creator for more than a decade. She'd put her signature seared duck breast, turkey stuffing and homemade whiskey sours up against the best of them. Just don't ask her to bake.