The World Food Programme (WFP) offers yearly health and nutrition summer camps hosting vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese children and aiming at improving physical, mental and social well-being while contributing to better social cohesion. The present study aimed to assess the 2019 WFP summer camps’ effectiveness in reaching the intended outcomes and to provide recommendations for improvement. A multi-method approach using (1) quantitative student pre-/post-surveys (n 443), (2) focus group discussions and (3) key informant interviews and surveys (n 42) was adopted. Mean test results showed improvements in nutrition (4·79 (sd 1·9) v. 5·34 (sd 2·7); t(269) = 4·51, P = 0·000) and life skills knowledge (4·97 (sd 1·9) v. 5·55 (sd 2); t(294) = 4·52, P = 0·000) but no improvement in health knowledge and social cohesion scores. Qualitative data revealed positive changes in social cohesion and an increase in health knowledge. In addition, there was a positive attitude towards the summer camps from students, instructors and administrators specifically regarding the integrated content, snacks and atmosphere of fun and learning. The main weaknesses identified were the short time to prepare for the camps, shortage in instructor training and short camp duration. There were also points of debate regarding sexual and reproductive health-related topics and how they should be delivered. All in all, the camps were shown to be a commendable initiative for incorporating an integrated and holistic approach in the support of education and development among vulnerable children and adolescents.