Summer Opportunities for Students

Following are a number of summer programs that may appeal to students with a variety of interests and needs.

4-H Summer Camps and Trips

The summer programs offered at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey provide all youth a place to discover, learn, and grow. Youth do not have to be a member of 4-H to attend one of the many summer camps. The mission of Nebraska 4-H encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Amidst the beauty of the Nebraska National Forest, we are able to do what we do best: provide a life-changing summer camp experience for all youth! 4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore science in their everyday lives, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions.

Architecture & Interior Design Career Exploration

Architecture & Interior Design Career Exploration, sponsored by the UNL Department of Architecture, enables students in high school to investigate issues surrounding design and learn more about the design professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.

Big Red Summer Academic Camps

Held at UNL, these career exploration camps allow students in grades 10-12 to immerse themselves in a specific topic such asanimal science, weather and climate science, filmmaking, engineering, culinary arts, natural resources and Unicameral Youth Legislature; the camp culminates with a capstone event in which the student can showcase his or her work. These are residence camps, which provide housing and food for all participants. Tuition: $425-$685 (early bird fee and limited scholarships available).

Bright Lights

Serving elementary and middle school students in Lincoln, Bright Lights offers five weeks of half- and full-day camps in the summer to students who have completed grades K-8, as well as Camp Assistant volunteer opportunities for students who have completed 8th grade and up. Hands-on camps cover a wide spectrum of fun, unique, and engaging topics. Educational activities are provided in intensive, three-hour blocks of time, allowing students to pursue focused interests beyond the traditional classroom. Most camps take place at Roper Elementary School. Before care and supervised lunch available. Need-based scholarships can be applied for during registration.

Folsom Children’s Zoo

A number of classes and camps for children exist. Classes extend from preschool to age 12 and include a variety of topics: pony clinics, photography, zoologist club, and much more. Both half-and full-day options exist. The zoo crew offers the opportunity to help others enjoy their zoo experience.

Haymarket Theatre

The Haymarket Theatre offers one- and three-week camps for ages 6-18. Participants will involve themselves in full-scale productions. For more information, call 402-477-2600 or

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Guaranteed to be full of play and learning, these fun-filled camps are offered all summer long as well as when LPS is out of session during the school year.

Join us for one day, one week, multiple weeks, or all summer long…Camp Play is a place where we can all belong! With unique weekly themes that are sure to excite, our time together is sure to be bright. So pick your dates and sign up today, your kids will cheer and shout hooray!!

We take our camp responsibility seriously…the responsibility to provide a safe, healthy, and FUN environment where you kids can jive and thrive from the moment they arrive.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation Camps

These camps focus on health, nutrition, nature and fitness, and are designed to help young people experience healthier lifestyle choices through fun recreation day camp activities. Camps are held in a variety of locations, based on age (completed grades K-7). Need-based scholarships are available.

Lincoln Public Libraries

Offers teens of all ages and abilities volunteer opportunities:

  • Students who need to fulfill citizenship issues credit for graduation can volunteer with various departments and branches of Lincoln City Libraries. See your high school for details.
  • Students in grades 6-12 who are interested in a long-term assignment lending their time and talents to benefit their neighborhood are encouraged to contact their local library about the Youth Volunteer Program. The purpose of this program is to provide the library with assistance while teaching youth basic library skills and giving them an active role in their community. Tasks vary from organizing materials to helping with bulletin board to reading and reviewing materials.
  • Interested teens can also participate in a dialogue with library staff concerning library programs and services for their age group. Contact your library for more information. To volunteer, contact Outreach Services at 402-441-8546 or call the library of your choice for more information.

Lincoln Public Schools Summer Technology Program

The Lincoln Public Schools Summer Technology Program is provided for students entering grades 4 through 9 in the fall of 2022. The goal of the program is to provide upper elementary and middle level students a fun, exciting, and challenging opportunity to explore their interest in computers and technology.

Lincoln Public Schools Summer Music Camps

LPS offers a number of music camps for students during the summer break.

LUX Center for the Arts

The LUX Center for the Arts offers a variety of classes and camps for students beginning at age 5 through high school. At their camps, students will explore new art techniques, work with real artists, and make their own artwork while learning and refining their own artistic abilities. LUX summer camps are led by our skilled teaching artists who will guide your child through hands-on learning in a fun and friendly environment.

They offer spring break and summer camps for K-12 in painting, drawing, pottery, and more. Register for a morning session (9am-noon), lunch care (noon-2pm), and an afternoon session (2-5pm) during the same week to make it a full day camp. Before care is also available (8am-9am).

Morrill Hall, University of Nebraska State Museum Camps

They provide half day camps for students to explore natural history and science topics through hands-on activities. Tuition is discounted for members. Sessions include:

  • Mini and Mighty: Explore insects underfoot that often get overlooked! Campers will be examining our crawly invertebrate friends and their importance to the world around them by interacting with live specimens, collecting samples, and even creating their own mini exhibit.
  • Elephants, Dinos, and Rhinos, Oh My!: Nebraska has a rich fossil history from sea monsters to elephants in our backyard! We will lead young paleontologists on a journey through time, looking at some of the gigantic creatures that used to call Nebraska home. Campers will have opportunities to work with actual fossils as we use them to investigate these great beasts and what they can tell us about how they lived.
  • Space Camp: Join us on a voyage through the solar system and the universe beyond! Campers will investigate phases of the moon, explore Earth’s rotation and revolution, and come face to face with larger-than-life meteorites in our planetarium.

Nebraska Now Program

Looking for a real head start on your transition to college? As a high school student you can take real college classes taught by real college professors to earn real college credit through Nebraska Now.

Nebraska State Historical Society’s Nebraska History Museum

The Nebraska State Historical Society offers workshops over the summer for groups of ten or more. Topics include Time Machine of Fun: The 1920s, Working Dogs and Game or Job?

Nebraska Writing Project Workshops and Camps

I/We Love to Write Workshops at UNL provide two-hour workshops each day for students in grades 2-5, 6-7, and family writing for children and adults in the evening. The Young Writers Camp is three hours daily for students in grades 9-12. Scholarships are available.

Pioneers Park Nature Center

Various classes exist for all ages and all abilities, as well as guided hikes, activities, demonstration, classes, and winter camps. All programs have a common theme of interpreting natural history of the Central Great Plains. In addition, summer camp programs focus primarily on 6 to 12 year olds, and junior counselor positions are available for 13 and 14 year olds. All camps focus on environmental education, using hands-on activities led by trained staff. Registration begins March 1 and continues throughout the summer. The mission of Pioneers Park Nature Center is to interpret the natural history of Nebraska and the Central Great Plains; to promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and awareness of our natural environment; to practice and foster a conservation ethic; and to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and a peaceful retreat for people.

SAIL Camps

A strings day camp for elementary and middle school students that provides opportunities for students to learn how to play a stringed instrument, expand their current stringed instrument knowledge, and perform with a large string ensemble. Beginning and advanced levels are available.

Southeast Community College Child Development Center Summer Camps

The Southeast Community College Child Development Center offers a Summer Camp Program for school aged children during the 11 week summer break at Lincoln Public Schools. Pell eligible students may qualify for greatly reduced rates! Fees: $130-$160.

Summer Theatre Arts Academy

The Theatre Arts Academy offers two 2-week programs in the summer for ages 9-13. Participants learn acting, movement, and singing. Any student with an interest in theatre is eligible for this program, but auditions are held in spring.

UNL Glenn Korff School of Music Summer Camps

Sessions include:

Show Choir Camp: entering grades 9-12, including graduates
Summer Chamber Strings Institute for high school students
Middle School Band Camp, students entering grades 6-8
Cornhuskers Summer Marching Band Camp for students entering grades 9-12, including graduates

Young Nebraska Scientists Camp

Conducted by Nebraska EPSCoR with support from the National Science Foundation to encourage youth participation (grades 9-11) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning with a hands-on approach in and outside of the lab.

Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln

Serves students ages 6-17 in half- and full-day camps, each focusing on a particular play or production. Students explore their creativity through a variety of dramatic media and production techniques. Some camps require previous stage experience. For more information, call 402-417-4137.

Ad Astra Program

The Ad Astra program at Creighton offers gifted youth in post-6th to 8th grades a week-long introduction to stimulating academic-based classes and social activities not usually encountered in the middle school experience. Ad Arete summer sessions are held for qualified students in grades 10-12. Courses vary from foreign languages to computer programming, the arts, and more. Visit the web site or call 402-280-2843.

Aim For the Stars Summer Science and Math Camp 

University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Durham Science Center Eight weeks of camp are offered throughout the summer for students between grades pre-fourth through pre-eighth. Sessions cover a variety of science topics and emphasize hands-on learning to excite students about math and science. See more details at the UNO web site: or contact For information about camps for ninth graders call 402-554-4999 or 1-877-UNO-CAMP (866-2267).

Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival

(formerly the  Wind on the Buffalo Grass Summer Enrichment Camps) workshops are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please call the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise at 308-345-8122 or email to register for these offerings.

Camp Kambi

Henry Doorly Zoo offers a variety of zoo day camps and overnight camps for ages 5-13 and up. Contact Education Office, (402) 733-8011, or 3701 So. 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68107.

Camp Shakespeare

Camp Shakespeare is two weeks of fun workshops, learning about sword fighting, wearing costumes, and acting, all while gaining hands-on experience performing the works of the world’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. The goal of Camp Shakespeare is to help kids shed the fear of Shakespeare’s text, and to discover the magic and fun of the Immortal Bard through performance. The camp is open to ages 8-18 and is housed at Creighton University Dept. of Fine Arts as part of Shakespeare on the Green, workshops and hands on experience.

Camp Summergold

Camp Summergold is a residential arts and science-based (STEAM) camp for girls 11–17 celebrating its 5th Anniversary. Site: The Leadership Center, Aurora, Nebraska. Offering one extended week from June 3–10. Programming includes the camper’s choice of one extended investigation in Painting, Engineering, Paleontology or Acting. Other camp activities include a carnival, dance class, woodworking, poetry & creative writing, yoga, improv for theatre, crafts, movie night, trips to Edgerton Explorit Center and Plainsman Museum, water park swim party, Bingo, campfires and much more. Tuition: $695 (need-based scholarship applications available). Accredited through the American Camp Association. Info:, or 402-474-2206.

Carol Joy Holling Camps

These camps provide week-long camps for grade 1-12. Outdoor activities include high ropes course, boating, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking. For information call 402-944-2544.

Central Honors Institute

The Central Honors Institute (CHI) is held at Central Community College  on its Columbus Campus in Columbus. CHI is a one-week residential academic camp for Nebraska students who have completed the sixth or seventh grades and have demonstrated academic accomplishments, leadership and maturity among their peers. Students must complete an application and submit a recommendation from a recent teacher or counselor to be eligible to attend the camp. CHI campers attend classes during the day, socialize with peers in the evenings and experience life on a community college campus, complete with dorm food and residence halls.

College for Kids

Located in just a few miles from Mesa Verde National Park, Crow Canyon allows school groups (grades 4-12) to experience archaeology in one- to five-day programs. For more information, call 800- 422-8975.

Crow Canyon Archeological Center

Located in just a few miles from Mesa Verde National Park, Crow Canyon allows school groups (grades 4-12) to experience archaeology in one- to five-day programs. For more information, call 800- 422-8975.

Educational Robotics Training

Two levels of robotics training are available this year, with beginners starting July 11. Those who have already had training begin July 12. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and registration (for either one or two people) is $250. Classes are held at ESU 3, 6949 S. 110th Street, Omaha.

Fontanelle Forest Nature Discovery Day Camps

Fontenelle Forest Nature Discovery Day Camps provides science-based thematic learning through play. Camps rare divided by age group: Discoverers (preschool, ages 4-5),  Adventurers (ages 5-8), and Explorers (ages 8-12) and provide learners such opportunities as canoeing the Great Marsh, taking a low ropes course challenge, and building a kit. For general inquiries, email

Human Society of Nebraska Camp Kindness

The Humane Society of Nebraska Camp Kindness in Omaha offers a variety of summer camps for students between ages 6 and 13. Seniors (ages 10-13) meet in the morning. 8:30-noon, while juniors(ages 6-9) meet 1-4:30 p.m. Eight one-week sessions are available.

Joslyn Art Museum

Ages 4-teens. Most camps meet Monday-Friday for one week. Financial assistance may be available.

KANEKO Summer Kids Camps

Omaha. Students ages 12-15 will engage with local professionals to learn about Video Game Design, Architecture Design and Virtual Reality! Dates: June 4-Aug. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday (four-day camps). Tuition: $250 (KANEKO members, $225). Info:

Launch Leadership Summer Workshop

Students entering grades 6-12 learn leadership skills. Dates: June 19-23 or July 17-21, Wayne State College. Cost: $350. Scholarships available.

Nature Discovery Summer Day Camps

Fontenelle Forest welcomes you to a summer of discovery and learning in a place where the quiet wild of nature offers an unparalleled opportunity for your child to learn. Nature Discovery Day Camps feature science-based learning through play. Our staff is committed to providing your child with high quality, positive experiences. Whether your child canoes the Great Marsh, takes a low ropes course challenge or builds a kite, we’re sure that they will bring home memories and knowledge that will last a lifetime. Ages 4-14.

Nebraska Theatre Caravan/First State Summer Theatre Academy

Students have the opportunity to work with the professional actors and technicians of the Omaha Community Playhouse and the Playhouse’s professional touring wing, The Nebraska Theatre Caravan, and become part of an original production commissioned specifically for the First Stage Academy. For two weeks in the summer, students ages 12-18 will work intensively with theatre artists. Auditions normally are scheduled in April, and the Academy runs two weeks in June and two weeks in July. Applications are available in January. Direct questions to Greg Scheer at 402-553-4890 ext 114 or email at

Oxbow Animal Health

For children with a passion for animals and veterinary medicine. Camps are available for students in Second Grade through high school, and teach about a variety of topics including animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition and behavior, interacting with animals and mock surgeries.


The Peter Kiewit Institute

This unique program is designed to provide rising high school juniors from throughout the region who excel in mathematics or science with a three-day developmental experience in information science, technology and engineering. Faculty from PKI will lead students in a variety of hands-on workshops focused on familiarizing them with a range of topics such as bridge construction, civil engineering, water supply/contamination,  and visual animation.  Thanks to a generous donation from the Holland Foundation there is no cost to students invited to attend.  Selection criterion is based upon academic achievement as well as community involvement, and leadership .  For more information contact (402) 554-3333.

Prairie Hill Learning Center Day Camps

Prairie Hill Learning Center near Roca offers camps that are outdoors and environment-focused (with everything from Music Camp to Mars Camp.)

Scholars Academy at Central

Scholars Academy at Central is a challenging and enriching residential camp in communications, math and science for students who have completed grades 6, 7, or 8. Located at Central Community College campus in Hastings, the week-long program is a competitive one, requiring high ability students to meet entrance criteria. For more information, contact Constance Malloy at 402.705.9342

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum Adventure Camps

Ashland. Educational programming in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts. One- and five-day camps with space, robotics, aviation, and survival themes, grades 1-8. Dates: June 4 – July 27. Tuition: one-day camp, $75; three-day camp, $200; five-day camp, $325. Discounts apply for three- and five-day camps and members. Before- and after-care ($5 each). Info: or 402-944-3400 Ext. 204.

* New Camps: Amazing Race, focuses on finding clues and solving mysteries; Energized, explore circuitry and learn about potential and kinetic energy interactions; Superhero Science, explore the science behind the fantastic abilities of a superhero. Campers will also build their own digital superhero, origin stories, and arch nemesis.

* Additional Camps: Robotics, Robotics Max, Above and Beyond, Astronaut Academy, Build It, Build It Bigger, Drone Challenge, OH SNAP! Circuitry, Game On – LEVEL UP! and Spy Games 2.0: The Next Mission.

Young Nebraska Scientist Summer Camps

Young Nebraska Scientist Summer Camps are week-long camps designed to provide hands-on experiences for students in 7th-8th or 9th-12th  grades who want to learn about science and interact with scientists. The various camps cost about $200-$250; scholarships may be available. A variety of topics are available across Nebraska; the web site provides details about each camp. Please note that each camp has different application deadlines.

Concordia Language Villages

Concordia Language Villages provides cultural and language immersion programs. Located in a variety of towns in Northern Minnesota, these camps seek to create thoughtful and informed students who understand the impact of cultural understanding.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation enables high-ability middle and high school students with financial need to realize their full academic potential. Through the Young Scholars Program, the Foundation has to date supported 600 students from across the nation, providing them with individualized educational advising combined with comprehensive financial support from the 8th grade through high school.

Beginning in the eighth grade, the Young Scholars Program, working through fourteen on-staff educational advisers, enables students to:

Participate in high-quality academic and extracurricular opportunities in their local community, on college campuses, and around the globe.
Develop the knowledge, talents, and leadership skills to be significant contributors to their field of interest and society at large.
Set and reach academic and talent goals that will prepare them to be competitive, well-informed applicants for our nation’s best colleges and universities.

Oxbridge Foundation

Primarily for students in grades 10-12 (some for 8-9th graders), Oxbridge Programs provide summer programs abroad at Oxford and Cambridge, England, Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain.

Summer Enrichment Program (SEP)

Sponsored by the University of Northern Colorado, SEP selects students in grades 5-10 who would benefit from different educational programs. Some scholarships exist. For more information, call 970-351-2683.

Summer Institute for the Gifted

Summer Institute for the Gifted is the ultimate three-week academic, recreational, and social summer program for gifted students in grades K-12.  SIG offers eleven residential programs in seven states and six day programs in four states. Choose from over 50 challenging academic classes including Engineering in Action, Cosmic Collision, Mysteries in History, Crime Scene Investigation, Fencing with Foils, Broadway Beckons, and more. Residential programs are for grades 6-12. Summer day programs are for grades K-12. National Society for Gifted and Talented offers some scholarships for students who would like to defray their costs for attending Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG).

University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education

Ranging from science, technology, math, art, writing and leadership, the courses are recommended for students in grades 2 through 11.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University summer programs exist for a variety of ages and purposes, focusing on the needs of gifted youth, particularly those who are mathematically and verbally precocious.

Women’s Technology Program at MIT

MIT is seeking 40 female juniors to be selected for a summer program following their junior year. MIT is looking for females who love and excel at math and science; have little or no engineering or computer science background; would like to experience hands-on activities designing and building engineering projects; enjoy problem solving and collaborative learning; and want to spend 4 weeks challenging their minds, working intensely in an academic environment, and making friends from around the U.S.