Food, Farm and Cooking Camps

Food, Farm and Cooking Camps
Image courtesy: Zenger Farms

It is hard to believe there are only three weeks left of school before kids are out for the summer. Do your kids have their summer plans laid out yet? What about enrolling them in a fun food, farm or cooking camp?

Farming and cooking are so popular among kids that many summer camp locations are offering programs that include agriculture and food-based activities. These camps help give your kids the skills and confidence they need to find, select, grow and prepare meals and snacks with Oregon grown ingredients. Food, farm and cooking camps can be the perfect companion to what your kids are learning at the school garden and your kitchen.

Each camp varies by what they offer, when, and to what age groups. There are camps for pre-K to high school, and they can range in length from day camps to weeklong half and full day options. Many camps have scholarships available. Explore your options with the youth in your life and see what sparks their interest.
 
There is still time to sign up for this summer, but spots are filling up quickly. Here are 17 camp ideas around Oregon geared towards hands-on, engaging experiences that immerse kids in agriculture and food.
 
1.     4-H Discovery Center & Farm Day Camps include camping, pet care and other activities for 6-10 year old kids in the Portland area.
 
2.     Audubon Society of Portland hosts the Berry Berryfun 2 camp for middle school aged students at farms around the Portland.
 
3.     Bauman’s Kids Camp, called To the Barn and Beyond!, is located in the Woodburn area. They have two weeklong sessions for grades 1-4 in July.
 
4.     Franciscan Montessori Earth School hosts both Gardening & Cooking, and the Field & Fork camps for pre K-6th grade in SE Portland.
 
5.     Living City in NE Portland has six different weeklong urban farming and cooking camps.
 
6.     Jean’s Farm at Mother Earth School Summer Camp has Waldorf inspired camps in SE Portland in July and August.
 
7.     Old McDonald’s Farm offers weeklong camps for all ages on a 68-acre farm. They are located in Corbett but have transportation from Lloyd Center in downtown Portland.
 
8.     Oregon Episcopal School hosts a dozen culinary and food-based camps for kids of all ages in SW Portland.
 
9.     Portland’s Culinary Workshop has lots of one day and a few weeklong camps.
 
10.   Rouge Valley Farm to School hosts weeklong Summer Camps at the Historic Hanley Farm.
 
11.   Sauvie Island Center in NW Portland has a variety of farm camps throughout the summer.
 
12.   Schibel Teaching Farm has camp sessions that take place on a working farm for kids preschool aged to grade six in the Bend area.
 
13.   Schoolyard Farms offers 1st-6th graders urban farming and school yard exploration in the Milwaukee area.
 
14.   Sur La Table hosts Kids & Teens Summer Cooking Series June through August in Portland.
 
15.   The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) offers both Kitchen Chemistry and Urban Farming as part of OMSI’s Summer Classes in the Portland area.
 
16.   Tracker’s PDX offers Animals on the Ranch in the Portland area and some camps in Eugene.
 
17.   Zenger Farm has a range of Urban Farming weeklong camps at the farm and wetland area in SE Portland including Fruitopia and Farm Friends.