Don’t waste your summer! While summer can be a great time to relax and recharge, it’s also the best time to build skills and push yourself to reach your goals.

San Francisco Summer Art Experience

San Francisco, California (portions virtual in 2022) | July | Grades 10-12

The on-campus Pre-College Art Experience (PCAE) program is a four-week program offering students a glimpse into college life while meeting other young artists and exploring a variety of art and design fields. The program accommodates students from all educational and artistic backgrounds interested in exploring an education in art and design.

Camp Shakespeare

Omaha, Nebraska | July | Ages 8-18

Over two weeks, students work with the professional artists and educators of Nebraska Shakespeare. Campers are given the tools to understand Shakespeare’s 400-year-old version of the English language and analyze his broad array of exciting and complex plots and characters. Students share their “Shakesperience” by performing for audiences at Nebraska Shakespeare’s Shakespeare on the Green in the final days of the camp.

LEAD Global Summer Learning Institute

Various universities (some are virtual in 2022) | June-July | High school juniors graduating in 2023

Students participate in experiential activities through applied learning facilitated by college professors, case studies, joint masterclasses, and virtual corporate site visits. Campers also prepare competitive pitch presentations for the LEADing for Life Challenge. The Challenge allows scholars to compete for seed capital to develop their enterprise idea further to make meaningful change in the world․ 

National Youth Leadership Forum: Business Innovation

Various Locations | July | Grades 9-12

Define yourself on an interactive journey that includes hands-on business experience, site visits to leading corporations, and exposure to the knowledge and skills necessary for success in high school, college, and beyond! College credit is available.

4-H Nebraska Summer Camps

Nebraska | June through August | Ages 16-18

Summer camp employees are trained to help provide active, hands-on, fun, and cooperative outdoor programming designed to develop respect for self, others, and the environment. We hire a team that will constantly encourage campers to grow up to be the absolute best they can be!

Big Red Summer Academic Camps

Lincoln, Nebraska | June | Grades 9-12

During the week-long camps, participants will work with our university faculty to explore the topic of their particular camp, like filmmaking or crop science. After spending several fun-filled days on campus, participants’ families are invited to attend a special capstone event where youth showcase their achievements. Scholarships are available.

University of Nebraska-Omaha—Summer Scholars Program

Omaha, Nebraska | June-July | High School Juniors with 2.75 GPA, application required

The Summer Scholars Program is a college preparation program. Selected students participate in leadership building and career exploration, take a UNO college academic course (3 credits), and experience college life through an engaging, interactive, virtual pre-college program. Free.

University of Nebraska-Omaha College of Arts & Sciences Aim For the Stars Camps

Omaha, Nebraska | June-August | Grades 3-10

Weekly camps are half-day or full-day, with before and aftercare available. Camp choices vary by grade level, and some are girls-only. Aim for the Stars has been the premier hands-on, informal science and math-oriented summer camp in the Omaha metro area. The aim is to ignite the inner scientist in all who come to camp.

University of Northern Colorado Leadership Enrichment Program

Greeley, Colorado (Virtual in 2022) | July | Grades 11-12 

The Leadership Enrichment Program (LEP) focuses on understanding one’s personal, unique gifts and talents, learning about leadership styles, and developing traits and characteristics of leadership. The curriculum is developed and differentiated according to basic principles of gifted education, providing a unique opportunity for enrichment not ordinarily possible in regular classrooms.

Lied Center for Performing ArtsSummer Camps

Lincoln, NE | June, July | High school

The Triple Threat Broadway Intensive is a five-day workshop, for intermediate to advanced students interested in a career in musical theatre. A team of four Broadway and professional theatre artists will lead classes to strengthen skills in voice, dance, and theatre. In the Lied Center Piano Academy students participate in private lessons and masterclasses, engage in career-development workshops, and explore what life is like as a professional musician. 

iD Tech Cyber Camps

Various Locations (virtual in 2022) | Ages 13-18

Whether designing games or programming a robot, campers spend their summer unleashing technology. Industry professionals designed courses at the Tech, Digital Media, and Gaming Camps and tested them at Giant Campus for fun, relevance, and instructional impact. Campers do hands-on projects and learn new skills in web design, gaming, digital photography, graphics, video production, programming, robotics, and general computing.

Engineering Summer Program, University of Wisconsin—Madison

Madison, Wisconsin | Grades 9-10 (one-week virtual program) and 11-12 

Engineering Summer Program (ESP) is a free three-week residential program for rising junior and senior students. The curriculum includes math, physics, chemistry, engineering, and technical communications. Other structured programming such as industry site visits, field trips, guest lectures, workshops, and faculty mentoring help students better understand the field of engineering and its applications.

Summer Engineering Experience, University of Dayton

Dayton, Ohio | late June | Grades 9-12 

High school students join the University of Dayton for a summer engineering experience. They will interact with engineering faculty and students, design robots, solve engineering problems, and network with professional engineers. 

Student Conservation Association Youth Programs

Various Locations (virtual programs available) | Ages 15-19 | 3-12-month programs

Are you a high school student who is passionate about conservation? Do you like working as part of a team to get things done? Do you love being outdoors? Join an SCA Crew and plug yourself into SCA’s nationwide network of young conservationists – thousands of students who are as passionate as you are about preserving wildlands, protecting nature in urban areas, and keeping the planet green. 

Nebraska High School Press Association Summer Workshop

Lincoln, Nebraska | July | Grades 9-12 

Choose from workshops on editorial leadership, yearbook, journalistic writing, video production, newspaper productions, and digital photography. Get to know other student journalists from across the state and learn from the highest quality professionals that the journalism education world offers. Scholarships are available.

National Teen Leadership Program

California (2022 details not yet available) | Grades 8-12

Three days and two nights long, the National Teen Leadership Program encourages students to understand that it is within their power to help those in need and to show peers how they can contribute. Its mission is to empower, motivate, and inspire teens to creatively and positively influence their community.

YMCA Leadership Training Programs

Estes Park, Colorado | June-August | Grades 10-12

Over two weeks in beautiful Estes Park, grow in confidence and communication skills by participating in adventurous activities like hiking, rafting, backpacking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

AGAM Mathematics Summer Camp at UNL

Lincoln, Nebraska (virtual in 2022) | July | Grades 10-12 

This weeklong summer mathematics camp for high school students provides a stimulating and supportive environment. The camp is open to all students who want to develop their mathematical abilities and interests. Participants learn about the exciting mathematics of codes, interact with peers who share an interest in mathematics, and work with mathematics graduate students and professors. Financial aid is available. 

Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program

Urbana-Champaign, Illinois | June-July | Grades 9-12

WYSE High School Summer Camps at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering are designed to provide STEM-interested students the opportunity to experience advanced curricula at one of the best engineering schools in the nation and the world. The camps offer exposure to different areas of engineering through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and interactions with various students, staff, and professors in those fields.

Michigan Math and Science Scholars Program

Ann Arbor, Michigan | Two-week sessions in June & July | Grades 10-12 

Michigan Math and Science Scholars (MMSS) exposes high school students to scientific developments and research and encourages the next generation to develop and retain a love of mathematics and science. Students participate in exciting research at the University of Michigan.

National Institutes of Health—Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP)

National Institutes of Health laboratories (hybrid in 2022) | Eight weeks minimum | Rising seniors

High School Summer Internship Program (HS-SIP) provides an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. 

Omaha Jazz Workshop, University of Nebraska—Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska | June 5-10 | Grades 7-12

Budding musicians can enhance their skills through instrument and voice master classes, improvisation, and the performance of combo big band, and/or vocal jazz music. This week-long camp concludes with students performing as the opening act for an internationally renowned jazz artist. Scholarships are available.

Iowa Summer Music Camps at the University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa | June | Grades 7-12

The Iowa Summer Music Camps offer students musical training and experience, including group instruction, master classes, and classroom instruction in most phases of instrumental music. The entire program is an invaluable experience for young people, not only in music but also in human relations.

Marching Band Camp, University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska | July | Grades 9-12 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Cornhusker Summer Marching Band Camp fosters leadership, fundamental marching, and performance skills in all areas of the high school marching band. Participants receive intensive instruction from clinicians on an individual and group basis. All campers perform in a finale exhibition in Memorial Stadium on the final day of the camp. 

Summer Music Camps—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida | June & July | Grades 7-8, 9-12 

Florida State University offers camps in multiple areas of musical interest, from Honors Piano to Choral Ensemble, under the direction of FSU faculty members.

World Affairs Seminar

Waukesha, Wisconsin (virtual option in 2022) | late June | Ages 15-18 

Hundreds of students worldwide meet at the World Affairs Seminar to discuss the pressing global issues while learning about each others’ cultures. Students spend their days listening to experts speak on various topics related to globalization, international relations, human rights, arms control, and the environment. Local service organizations (such as Rotary Club, Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists, Key Club) often provide scholarships.

American Legion Boys State

Various locations (some virtual) | Various dates | Rising 12th Grade

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each participant becomes a part of the operation of his local, county, and state government. At American Legion Boys State, participants are exposed to a franchised citizen’s rights, privileges, duties, and responsibilities. The training is objective and practical with city, county, and state governments operated by the students elected to the various offices.

American Legion Girls State

Various locations (some virtual) | Various dates | Rising 12th Grade

The American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program has provided students all across the country the opportunity to participate in a hands-on citizenship training program for over sixty years. Students learn government by actually creating a mythical state through the election of public officials on local, county, and state levels and then by carrying out the duties of these respective offices.

Research Science Institute at the Center for Excellence in Education at MIT

Cambridge, Massachusetts | Summer | Rising 12th Grade | Application Deadline: January

RSI scholars first participate in a week of intensive STEM classes with accomplished professors. The heart of RSI is the five-week research internship where students conduct individual projects under the tutelage of mentors who are experienced scientists and researchers. During the final week of RSI, students prepare written and oral presentations on their research projects.

Summer Science Camps, Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, Michigan | mid-June | Grades 10-12 

These science camps promote scientific literacy, instill a deeper appreciation of science, and the idea that science is both exciting and practical.

Illinois Aerospace Institute Summer Camp, University of Illinois

Urbana-Champaign, Illinois | June and July | Grades 9-12 

Many students have some experience with aerospace through model rockets, remote control airplanes, or a family member who is a pilot. But no experience is necessary—just an interest in learning about aerospace engineering. Students will learn about topics regarding aerospace engineering through classroom sessions, laboratories, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.

Nike Advanced Soccer Camps

Various locations | Sessions in June, July, August | Grades 9-12

Nike Advanced Soccer Camps have attracted some of the country’s most respected and accomplished soccer instructors and coaches. They stress what a camper needs to play at the next level in college.

Champions are made during the off-season. Summers are the perfect chance to explore your interests, refine your skills, and practice hard to accomplish your goals! Take advantage of summer programs like these to grow and develop—and stand out on college applications.

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