School is out and the sun is shining. Usually that would mean that kids are preparing to head off to day camps, summer school, sports camps and even sleep-away camps!
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into many summer camp plans for kids. Thankfully, several local Nebraska organizations have risen to the occasion, providing virtual summer camps for kids all across the state. These programs will keep your children happy—and safe—while we all work through the COVID-19 crisis.
UNO is Nebraska’s metropolitan university, consisting of over 15,000 students and is nestled in the heart of Omaha. During the summer, they normally offer a wide range of in-person children’s programs, from sports to computer science. But this year, things are happening a little differently.
While all of their on-campus youth events have been canceled, they are providing a special “Techademy” online that aims to show students at an early age the fun in IT. Created for children in grades 5-10, this program gives students the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities while learning new concepts, tools and skills. Classes range from bioinformatics to web development and Scratch programming. Click here to see the full workshop lineup and to register your child.
Omaha Girls Rock is a year-long camp program that teaches youth about the power of music and creative expression. Through songwriting, skill-based instrument instruction, collaborating with a band, using technology as a creative tool, and understanding the “Herstory” of women in music, they empower young adults and children to be positive participants in their world.
Right now, their after school programs and summer programs have gone virtual! They are currently offering two online summer camps—one for teens and one for kids ages 4-9. Both provide fun activities for kids to do online as well as instrument instruction, dance parties, workshops and more. Click here to learn more and to register!
Photo courtesy of Young Nebraska Scientists
Young Nebraska Scientists is a program through the National Science Foundation that offers science, technology, engineering, math and STEM education to Nebraska K-12 students. Their ultimate goal is to encourage youth to pursue STEM paths later in life.
During the summer, they are planning to offer a few Cyber Camps for middle school and high school students that will be completely online. During the first one, June 3-6, they’ll be discussing cybersecurity and how to use critical thinking skills to address and solve problems. This camp will be led by the University of Nebraska Kearney professors along with other guest lecturers. Click here to learn more through their Facebook page. Be sure to follow them on social media to keep up with updates on future Cyber Camps!
This local community college, with locations in Blair, Millard, Bennington, Gretna, Papillion, Fremont and West Omaha, has been educating locals since 1974. Their popular College for Kids program is one of the best summer programs for children in the state, offering classes in coding, baking, art and more.
Their 2020 College for Kids Program has gone virtual due to the pandemic, meaning that all their classes are now available online! Click here to read their massive list of class offerings—from Digital Music to Chef School to Roblox Makers.
The eclectic collection at the Joslyn Art Museum spans from ancient Greek pottery to pivotal 20th-century paintings, and includes more than 11,000 pieces. While they are closed to the public right now as a result of COVID-19, they are still offering plenty of interesting online programs to help keep your family busy and creating!
Those in their virtual art camps will meet daily on Zoom, exploring themes inspired by works from Joslyn’s galleries. Museum studio staff will guide students through art-making challenges and projects related to the weekly camp themes. Camp supply kits are also available for purchase and include everything that campers will need for the week. For a full list of virtual camps and descriptions of each one—click here.
Cornhusker Forensics Summer Institute has been going strong for over 14 years. Created by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, this camp is a speech camp that helps to hone the speech and debate skills of middle school and high school students.
For the safety of their students, they’ve decided to hold the camp online this year. It will run from July 13-19 and kicks off with Zoom coaching sessions every day. Throughout the week, participants will receive emails with links to video lectures and worksheets, and will have one-on-ones with coaches. The goal is to leave the camp prepared for the upcoming speech season. For more information or to register, click here.
Graphic courtesy of the Rose Theater
The Rose Theater is home to the Omaha Theater Company—the only resident, touring, professional theater company in Omaha and one of the largest in the country! In addition to putting on some of the best live performances in Omaha every year, they also provide invaluable arts education to children.
This year, they are providing all of their summer arts education programs online! Their “Virtually Awesome Summer Camp” will feature unique, one-on-one interactions with campers along with crafting, acting, dancing and more. They are also rolling out a wide range of online workshops that your kids can join, from digital acting workshops to junior improv. Click here to register for camp or to check out their full summer lineup!
Have a great summer!
No matter how you decide to spend it, we hope you have a great season!