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6 Summer Programs in Idaho for High Schoolers

What’s Covered:


Students in big cities like New York or San Francisco might have a broad variety of summer programs to choose from, but those located in more rural areas might worry they have none. Never fear though, in this post, we’ll give you the details on some great summer programs available in Idaho. While this might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about strong summer program options, there are some great choices available for high school students at local universities here. Keep reading to learn more about them and how you can sign up for these valuable summer experiences. 


Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers


Summer programs are important, not just for college admissions but for high schoolers in general. Through summer programs, teens meet other students with the same interests while pursuing academic or extracurricular activities. They gain knowledge, real world experience, and insight into potential career paths. Additionally, summer programs often provide a first look at life on a college campus. At many summer programs, you may find a place where you can be yourself and explore interests that may otherwise be overlooked. 


Summer programs are also an important component of college admissions. In fact, some colleges specifically ask how applicants have spent their summers. What are these adcoms looking for? At the very least, they want to see productivity. Are applicants using their time to pursue an interest, give back to the community, or contribute financially? Are they seizing an opportunity to better themselves? Successful college applicants will be able to outline what they have done over summer break to become a better student, explore potential career interests, or contribute to the family or community in another way. Summer programs are an easy solution for the question regarding summer activities. 


Summer Programs in Idaho


1. BSU Low Brass Camp


Trombone, euphonium, and tuba students gather for a week in early June to explore their instruments and build their skills. Focus groups sorted by ability address topics including chamber music, proper embouchure, breathing, tone production, musicality, ensemble playing, proper warm up techniques, instrument care, jazz improvisation, and performance art. A solo competition and final concert round out the week. 


  • College Affiliation: Boise State University
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost: $250, plus optional add-ons.
  • Deadline: May 13, 2022
  • Application Restrictions: Must have experience with low brass instruments.


2. BSU Chamber Music Camp


This camp consists of a multitude of musical activities, including “small and large ensembles, music theory, camp choir, musical theatre, music appreciation, as well as master classes in string, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, voice, jazz improvisation, and more.” The camp culminates with a “Chamber Camp Idol” skit and “Camp Finale” concert.


  • College Affiliation: Boise State University
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost: $280, plus optional add-ons.
  • Deadline: May 27, 2022


3. GenCyber Student Camp


Students learn and gain experience in the growing field of cybersecurity during this free, one-week camp. Students can expect to gain understanding of and experience with applied cryptography, Raspberry Pi 3 set up and security, threats, risks, network traffic analysis, penetrating testing, and virtualization practices.


  • College Affiliation: Boise State University
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost: Free
  • Deadline: Priority application deadline is April 24, 2022. Rolling applications will continue to be considered until spots are filled.
  • Application Restrictions:  First session is for females only. Second session is coed. See the registration page for details.


4. Summer Institute for Piano and Strings (SIPS)


This weeklong summer program for teenaged pianists and strings players provides the chance to rehearse, coach, perform chamber music, and perform in orchestra and choir. Students work with professional faculty members and camp counselors to bring their playing to the next level with daily sectionals, rehearsals and master classes. 


  • College Affiliation: Idaho State University
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost: $175
  • Deadline: May 27, 2022. 
  • Application Restrictions: Must have at least one year of music playing experience as a pianist or strings player.  


5. Dig’nIT Camps | Air Force Academy CyberCamp


This camp aims to introduce students to the growing world of cybersecurity through hands-on instruction and activities. Students learn how to protect their own devices and information while also applying their skills to bigger networks running Windows 7 or Ubuntu. The week concludes with a team competition simulating real cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals.   


  • College Affiliation: University of Idaho
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost and Deadline: 2022 camp registration and costs are not yet available. Keep your eye on this space to learn more.
  • Application Restrictions: Must be new to cybersecurity and must not be a veteran CyberPatriot Competitor.



6. Dig’nIT Camps | Java Coding Bootcamp


Participants in this weeklong camp can expect to learn basic Java programming language using Processing 2.0. Students learn through workshops and fun projects throughout the week, such as developing games. On the final day of camp, students present their projects in front of the group. 


  • College Affiliation: University of Idaho
  • Grades Eligible: 9-12
  • Cost and Deadline: 2022 camp registration and costs are not yet available. Keep your eye on this space to learn more.
  • Application Restrictions: None, but should be a beginner to intermediate Java programming learner.


How do Summer Programs Impact Your College Chances?


Some summer programs are more competitive than others, requiring letters of recommendation and standardized test scores, while other programs are open to all students within a particular grade level. Consequently, some summer programs are given more weight in college admissions than others.  


The four tiers of extracurricular activities are a good way to understand how colleges value activities outside of the classroom, like summer programs. The most impressive, prestigious, rare, and influential activities are placed in the top two tiers. A good example of a top-tier Arkansas summer program is the super-selective Arkansas Governor’s School.


Lower-tier extracurricular activities don’t hold the same sway with admissions offices, however, they are often still valuable. Less-selective and esteemed programs still show off your interests to potential colleges while highlighting your desire to pursue your passions. Many field-specific activities also help build the skills you need to ace everything from the essays to interviews you’ll encounter in the college application process. 


Curious how the summer program you participated in affects your odds of college admission? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of colleges and universities while also providing insight into how to improve the rest of your profile.

Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.