Summer is around the corner and its camping season. Kids of all ages are enrolled in programs for everything ranging from science, dance, and sports to debates. But have you considered a cooking camp for this summer?

If you have children ages 8-16, here are five reasons you should consider enrolling your kids in a cooking camp:

1. With the ever growing popularity of the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, children and teen are fascinated by the celebrity chefs. They eagerly wait to see what Rachel Ray is whipping up or who the next Iron Chef is going to be. The cooking camp gives the kids an opportunity to experience an upscale kitchen hands on. Many of them offer “record your own TV show” at the end of each camp. They are bound to feel like a Food Network Star!

2. Learning about international cuisine exposes the youth to different cultures. Most camps include education into their curriculum. Whether it’s learning about regional cuisines of the USA, or around the world, the little explorers are going to have a fun time and return to the school year equipped with a better understanding of food, spices, and countries.

3. In addition to cultural awareness, kids are also introduced to cooking vocabulary and techniques, tools and utensils, basics of etiquette, nutrition and safety. They even get to practice their math skills when measuring and mixing. A cooking camp is a great way for kids to learn early on about how to make proper choices while dining out as they would be informed on ingredients and nourishment.

4. A cooking camp is a great way to getting kids an early start on eating healthy and participating in family meals. Imagine your child moving away from his/her favorite fast food restaurant and PB&J sandwiches, into a whole new world of preparing nutritious home cooked meals.

5. Cooking camps inspire and excite the creativity kids have packed in the. It allows them to put their curious minds to good use, in the safety of a professional kitchen and learn from experts. Especially if the child is inclined to a career in the culinary arts, it’s a great way of experimenting and having fun at a young age. Needless to say, they would also learn the benefits of cooperation and working with each other.

Some of you may have already scouted on your kid’s camps and booked months in advance. If you are one of those procrastinators, it’s still not too late. Classes typically range from $250-350/ week depending on the school. They are held for 4-5 hours each day and lunch is provided. If you are in the Atlanta area, check out Hal’s Kitchen (opening in June) or the Cook’s Warehouse for enrollment information.