Activities

This camp sends kids home with dinner for 4 every night and we’re SO here for it

Can someone please invent Laundry Camp?

There it was, in a post on my Facebook feed: literally the most amazing summer camp I’ve ever heard of: “[My daughter] is attending Culinary Farm Camp this week. It’s essentially a week on a farm where kids are taught how to grow, butcher, and cook things. The best part? She brings home dinner for four EVERY DAY this week! That’s right, no shopping or cooking needed.” It’s through a program at Green Button Farm, located in Bahama, North Carolina.

So, yeah: Childcare, expert instruction and a fully prepared dinner for your family at the end of each day. Plenty of summer camps will teach your kids to cook, but who’s sending them home with dinner for four?

And this isn’t a plate of spaghetti with a few meatballs from the freezer section. Oh, no. We’re talking about Handmade Tortillas, Honey Mustard Glazed Pork Loin with Corn Salsa and something that sounds amazing called “Chinese Twice Cooked Pork with Sesame Noodles”. The camp is for eight to 12-year-olds who get instruction from local professional chefs. They spend each day alternately caring for animals, learning about gardening and preparing gorgeous meals to take home.

A boy jumps while riding a broomstick 17 unique summer camps in Toronto It’s so brilliant the only question is: Why aren’t all summer camps doing this?! Just think of how cool every camp would be if it translated into something useful at the end of the week.

Like, how about Dog Obedience Camp? I’ve got a nine-year-old and a pair of unruly Labs who bark every time our neighbours walk by. I can see dropping all three of them off each morning and by the end of the week enjoying something closer to Westminster than our daily flashbacks to “Marley and Me.”

And that’s not all. Maybe it’s the four cups of tea I’ve already had today, but this marriage of personal instruction with practical help around the house has got me thinking. These camp ideas are admittedly more out of the box, but as the mom of four small kids, I’d totally sign any of them up:

  • Home Organization Camp. Learn how to put things away! From toys to clothes to the random game pieces, Legos and tiny figurines weirdly gathered in bags and left under their beds, every single item really has a home and your child will love learning how to find it.
  • Historical Laundry Camp. Your kids can have clean clothes the old-fashioned way! Bring your whole family’s hamper. On Monday, we’ll wash clothes in a fresh water stream. With real rocks. On Tuesday, we’ll graduate to a washboard on the porch and by Friday, your kids will be using a modern washing machine (and soap!) with all the appreciation God intended.
  • Personal Finance Camp. Tour the stock exchange, form a human pyramid based on the projected cost of college by the time each child graduates from high school, put things in an Amazon shopping cart but resist the urge to buy them, host a yard sale (a tie-in with Home Organization Camp) and bring home $20 for your family at the end of the week!

Right? All pretty solid suggestions, if you ask me—but until they become real options, those homemade tortillas have my name on them. Like literally. Just as soon as my rising fourth grader whips them up while I’m at work next week. You win, Green Button Farm’s Culinary Camp! We’re in.

Read more:
45 things to do with kids in Toronto this summer
8 tips for cooking with kids