Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who May Attend Chef Camp?
A: Chef Camp is a co-ed program for teens & youth ages ages 11-18. 2 week sessions are open for teens ages 13-18/entering grades 8-12. Chef Camp Jr is available in 1 week sessions for youth ages 11-13/entering grades 6-8. Rising 8th graders have the option to attend either the 1 week or 2 week program.

Q: Where Is The Camp Located?
A: “Home base” for summer 2018 is located in historic old town Manteo on Roanoke Island – just across the causeway from Nags Head in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This exciting location is within short walking distance to many of the restaurants our young chefs will be visiting, as well as nearby farmers markets and fishing marinas, and only a 10 minute drive to life-guarded beach access! (For security, the street address of the 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 for teens ages 13-18/rising grades 8-12 are 2-weeks. Sessions for youth ages 11-13/rising grades 6-8 are 1 week. Rising 8th graders/13 years old have the option to attend either a 1 week or 2 week session.

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 Child Request to Be Housed with a Friend?
A: Participants can request to be placed together. The maximum number of friends who will be placed together in the same room as a “buddy group” is 4, based on space available. Buddy requests should be mutual, and of the same gender for housing. Buddies can be be added after registration by calling or emailing the camp.

Q: Where Do They Sleep ?
A: Participants stay in air-conditioned bunk rooms, complete with full bathrooms, and with camp counselors present for supervision.

Q: How is housing assigned?
A: Campers are assigned to housing based on gender and age, with every effort made to accomodate buddy requests. Housing is limited by the number bedrooms and bunks in each. As such, we are unable to offer “gender neutral” housing; campers must select either male or female housing at the time of enrollment.

Q: What do they eat?
A: Participants 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.
Participants 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 entrée, 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 prepared. A vegetarian (not vegan) alternative is available.

Q: My child is a vegetarian and does not want to handle or cook meat when attending. How do you handle this? 
A: As it is a culinary program, we prepare a broad range of foods and encourage participants to try new things. However, we do not “force” participants to handle, cook, or consume anything they are opposed to.
Q: My child has special/medical dietary needs – do you accommodate?
A: This response applies for those who do NOT have life threatening food allergies! For youth with special dietary needs, our desire is to partner with parents prior to enrollment in order to work together to determine if Chef Camp will be safe, positive and appropriate. 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.
Keep in mind that Chef Camp is a culinary instructional program and cannot 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 culinary program and activities.

Q: What Type Of Screening Do Your Staff Have To Have?
A: All staff go through an application and interview process, supply references, and go through reference checks, criminal history background check and an additional sex offenders background check.

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, the Outer Banks 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 to campers 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.
Note that while camp staff are trained in basic emergency care, the camp does NOT have a nurse or medical Doctor in residence on site, so all medications must be able to be self-administered by the camper, without assistance.

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 (252)489-5959

Q: Can My Child 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 participants an experience that includes healthy face-to-face social interactions. Being away is an opportunity for your child 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 youth to take a break away from the constant stimuli of technology.

Further, cell phones can be a HUGE distraction to the program, as they take attention away from the activities. With tuition paid, we assume you want your child participating fully in the program activities – not spending their time texting, tweeting, and posting.

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. We do not operate a “camp store”. However, teens may wish to make purchases at field trip locations or pick up a beach souvenir. To help prevent loss of cash (or overspending), we strongly encourage the use of pre-paid or re-loadable credit/debit cards, where you can control adding funds as desired, and may be replaced if lost. It is the responsibility of the participant to safeguard their 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. Does not include beach towels.

Q: Is there laundry service for campers?

A: We do not provide laundry services. Be sure to pack enough clothing to last the full session! 2 week sessions are 11 nights, 12 days. 1 week sessions are 5 nights, 6 days

Q: My child has special needs, can you accommodate?

A: Our desire is to partner with parents prior to enrollment in order to determine if the Chef Camp experience will be positive and appropriate for their child. The camp strives 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 we are able to make for participants with special needs. Please see the Participant Requirements on this website.