Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who May Attend Chef Camp?
A: Chef Camp is a co-ed program for teens ages 13-18 (Entering grades 8-12 in Fall). Participants must be at least 13 years old and have completed the 7th grade to attend.
 
Q: Where Is The Camp Located?
A: Chef Camp's beach house home base is in the Northern Beaches area of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. (For security, the street address of the beach house is not included in information available to the general public. Parents will be provided with the address, and driving directions, after their child is fully enrolled)
 
 
Q: How Long Are The Sessions?
A: Chef Camp is an overnight sleep-away summer program. Sessions are 2-weeks. Campers arrive on Sundays and depart on Thursdays
 
Q: Do You Offer Airport Pick Up?
A: Pick-up/drop-off service is available to/from the Norfolk International Airport, in Norfolk VA, located about 2 hours from the camp. There is a fee for this service.
 
Q: What Is Included in Tuition?
A: All program activities, field trips, lodging, medical insurance, meals & snacks, and taxes are included in tuition.
 
Q: What should my child bring to camp?
A: A printable list is provided in the forms section of this website, under the “Enrolled Campers” tab.
 
Q: Can My Teen Request to Be Housed with a Friend?
A: Teens can request to be placed in sleeping rooms together. The maximum number of friends who will be placed together in the same room as a “buddy group” is 4. Buddy requests should be mutual, and of the same gender. There is a place on the application to request a buddy. Buddies can be be added after registration by calling or emailing the camp. 
 
Q: Where Do They Sleep ?
A: As its “base camp” the program is located in a beach house in the northern beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Teen-chefs stay in air-conditioned bunk rooms, complete with full bathrooms, and with camp counselors present for supervision. 
 
Q: What do they eat?
A: Teen-chefs will hone their cooking skills in real-life real-time situations as they operate the kitchen as “their restaurant” for the session and are responsible for all aspects of daily meal preparations. Participants are assigned to work as crews, sharing rotating responsibilities for everything from meal planning, budget management, and prep cooking to table setting, service, and sanitation.
 
Teens are provided with choices as they plan their menus. In general, meals will include a main entree, assorted sides including vegetable(s), and dessert. Fresh fruit is available at all meals, and a salad option will typically be included with lunch & dinner.  Alternatives to the entrĂ©e, such as cold cereal at breakfast and sandwich fixings at lunch and dinner, are also available for the camper who may not like what is being served. A vegetarian (not vegan) alternative is available.
 
Q: My child has special/medical dietary needs - do you accommodate?
A: This response applies to individuals who do NOT have life threatening food allergies!
For teens with special dietary needs, our desire is to partner with parents prior to enrollment  in order to work together to determine if the Chef Camp experience will be safe, positive and appropriate for their child. We try and work with parents if their child has special requirements, such as for a special diet. Typically parents will be asked to provide some foods in these cases. Please contact the camp prior to enrollment.
 
Q: My child has NON-MEDICAL food preferences - do you accommodate?
A: As it is a culinary program, we encourage participants to have an open mind, to try a wide range of foods and to participate fully in the culinary instructional activities. We will not "force" a participate to eat or handle any type of food which they find offensive. For teens with highly restrictive diets, parents will be asked to provide some foods in these cases. 

Keeping in mind that Chef Camp is a culinary instructional program, so we will not guarantee to be "free" of any type of food, ingredient or additive. Foods/allergens which may be present include, but are not limited to, peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, fish & shellfish. 

Due to the nature of the program activities, individuals who have severe (life threatening) food allergies may NOT attend Chef Camp!!!!
 
Q: How Do You Select The Staff?
A: Our focus first and foremost is on the quality of attention, support and care that each participant receives while attending. Counselors are selected for their maturity, caring attitude, ability to focus on the physical and emotional safety and well-being of the participants, genuine desire to work directly with children, and be an appropriate role model. 
 
Q: What kind of training does the staff have?
A: All staff participate in a comprehensive training program prior to the start of camp. This training includes topics on child development, behavior management, how to handle topics such as bullying and homesickness, emergency first aid, conflict resolution and teambuilding, how to instruct skills, etc., as well as topics related to program and activities. 
 
Q: What Type Of Screening Do Your Staff Have To Have?
A: All staff go through an application and interview process, have to supply references, and go through reference checks, go through a criminal history background check and an additional sex offenders background check, and participate in pre-camp training.
 
Q: What are the qualifications of your Camp Director?
A: Camp Director Diane Tyrrell has 30+ years experience in camps & professional youth development, is a Certified Camp Director, and holds a Masters Degree in Education.
 
Q: What if my child gets sick or hurt while at camp?
A: Should there be the need, local emergency rescue services are in quick proximity. Additionally, a hospital is located a short distance from the camp.
 
Q: Do You Provide Medical Insurance?
A: Each camper is covered by a Camper Illness and Accident Policy, which is provided by the camp at no additional fee. The camp does not require or collect family insurance information from parents.
 
Q: Are campers required to have a physical exam to attend camp?
A: Every camper is required to complete a Health History form. A physical exam signed by a physician is not required to attend camp. Health History form may be found under the “forms” tab, in the “Enrolled Campers” section of the website.
 
Q: My child takes medications, can you accommodate this at camp?
A: Medications brought from home will be distributed as required. Parents will be required to complete the Medication Administration Permission Form, and bring it along with the camper’s medications to check-in. Form may be found under the “forms” tab, in the “Enrolled Campers” section of the website.

Q: Can we visit during the session/can my child have visitors during camp?

A: For security, persons without official business will not be permitted on the property during a session. Chef Camp  has been designed as an “away from home” experience. It is disruptive to both the program and the participants to have visitors interrupt their activities. There are no visitation days during a session.

Q: Can I call and check on my child while they are at camp?
Of course! If parents feel they need to check on their child during the session they can call the camp office and we will be happy to talk to them!
 
Q: Can My Teen Bring Their Cell Phone?
A: While we do not encourage it, Chef Camp participants do have the option to bring their cell phone. However, with the understanding that use is limited to designated times only. Campers are to turn their phone in at camper check-in, and then will “check out” their phone for scheduled use times. Cell phones will remain in locked storage during non-use times.

Cell phones may be used during the designated times only. This is a one-and-done policy; failure to follow use rules and/or failure to turn in a working phone will result in confiscation for the remainder of the session. Parents who tell their child to keep/hide their phone, or send a "dummy" phone or phone "with no service" as a "decoy" will be fed to the sharks.

The camp does not provide WIFI.

All downloaded content on phones/electronic devices must be appropriate to be viewed by youth. Pornography is prohibited. Phones/devices with inappropriate content will be confiscated. The camp is not responsible for downloaded content – this includes what your teen watches or shares with others.

Cell phones with cameras may not be used in restrooms, bedrooms, or changing areas.

The camp is not responsible for the theft, loss, damages, or charges to a cell phone brought to camp, regardless of the circumstances.

Q: Why Only Designated Use Times For Cell Phones?

A: It is our intention to offer teens an experience that includes healthy face-to-face social interactions. Being away is an opportunity for your teen to experience a world beyond home. This allows them to develop autonomy, independence, and a stronger sense of self. It allows them to make new friends, take responsibility for themselves and their teammates, problem solve, and mature a bit. We also know it’s healthy for teens to take a break away from the constant stimuli of technology. 

Cell phones can be a HUGE distraction to the program, as they take teen’s attention away from the activities. With tuition paid, we assume you want your teen participating fully in the program activities - not spending their time texting, tweeting, posting, and playing video games....

Further, while we understand that parents are well-intentioned in providing a cell phone for their teen while they are away, there are various issues raised in a camp environment which we encourage you to consider before sending a phone with your teen-

Teens using cell phones while attending may compromise security - potentially endangering themselves or others. The camp has no control over who your teen may communicate with, in what format, or how often, and may attract the attention of individuals who may not have the best interest of your child in mind. Cyber-bullying has added another reason to limit use.

Additionally, cell phones are easily stolen, lost or damaged. With the high cost of many phones, we highly encourage parents to consider the costs associated with replacement.

The camp is not responsible for the theft, loss, damages, or charges to a cell phone brought to camp, regardless of the circumstances.

Q: Will my child need personal spending money?
A: Spending money is not required but is optional at your discretion. Teens may bring pocket money for use when out of camp during field trips. It is the responsibility of the camper to safeguard his/her money. The camp is not responsible for any loss!

Q: Does the camp provide linens?

A: Campers bring their own bed linens (sheets, pillow, pillowcase, and blanket) and towels. For campers who fly to camp, the camp will provide these items, included in the airport transportation fee.

Q: Is there laundry service for campers?
A: Campers should pack enough clothing to last the full 2 week session (11 nights, 12 days). 
 
Q: My child has special needs, can you accommodate?
A: Our desire is to partner with parents prior to enrollment  in order to work together to determine if the Chef Camp experience will be positive and appropriate for their child. The camp does strive to provide a camp experience for participants with various needs whenever possible. However, due to the nature of the facilities and activities of the program, we are limited in the types of accommodations that we are able to make for participants with special needs. Please see the Participant Requirements on this website. Contact the camp prior to enrollment!