Now accepting Camp Assistant applications!

Students & Registration

What is Bright Lights?

Bright Lights, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has offered summer learning adventures to elementary and middle school students in the Lincoln, Nebraska community since 1987.

Who does Bright Lights serve?

Half-day and full-day camps are available for students who have completed Kindergarten through 8th grade. Register by the grade the student is in as of spring 2023.

Where is the program held?

The main program site is at Roper Elementary School, 2323 S. Coddington Ave. The remaining classes are held at community sites. Please see our Maps and Directions page for a list of community sites.

When is the program held?

For 2023, our camps weeks will be June 5-9, June 12-16, June 19-23, June 26-30, and July 10-14. Half-day camps are from 9 AM-12 PM or 1-4 PM. Full-day camps are from 9 AM-4 PM.

When and how do I get a copy of the camp schedule?

The Camp Schedule will available on this website in January 2023.  Sign up for our monthly eNewsletter to get all of the latest Bright Lights updates.

When is registration?

Registration opens March 4, 2023 at 8 AM. Registration is open until camps are filled or until 1 week before camp begins.

How can I register?

Register at BrightLights.org beginning March 4, 2023 at 8 AM.

Aren't your camps always full?

Each year, there are always some camps that are more popular than others. Some camps fill quickly because, due to space and equipment limitations, only a small number of students can be accommodated. We have never reached 100% capacity – so there are always spots open somewhere! Encourage your student to make a second and even third choice in case his/her first choice has filled. You may choose to place your student on a waitlist, in which case no payment is collected unless a spot opens up. However, we cannot guarantee if or when a spot will open up, and in the meantime your student may miss out on registering for other camps where spots are still available.

What is the waitlist?

If the camp session you requested is currently full, you can be put on a waitlist for the camp by adding it to your cart and completing the registration process. If you are on the waitlist and someone cancels out of the camp, we will contact you and payment will be due at that time. If you have any questions about this process, please call us at 402-420-1115 ext. 46.

NOTE: In order to complete the scholarship application process, you must register for a camp in which spots are open. We cannot award scholarships to waitlisted applicants; only registered students will receive a scholarship.

Are your camps STEM/STEAM based?

Bright Lights strives to offer hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) opportunities in almost all of our camps. Expanding the original STEM concept to include the letter ‘A’ for art and design allows the important inclusion of creative thinking, collaboration, experimentation and exploration into the equation. We recognize the significance of all of the STEAM elements and how they prepare students for future educational opportunities and careers.

Is Bright Lights a program for identified gifted or high-ability students only?

No. Bright Lights’ diverse and content-rich camps engage students and build both their academic and non-academic skills. The half-day and full-day camp opportunities allow students to pursue educational activities in focused areas of interest and to maximize their out-of-school time with expanded learning opportunities.

My child is older/younger than the listed grades. May I still register him/her for the camp?

Bright Lights offers summer camps that are high-interest, hands-on, and STEAM-based. Teachers create the differentiated content and assign a grade range for their camp. These ranges are based on the content taught, the interest levels of students at different ages, and keeping students in age-appropriate social groups. For example, allowing a 2nd grade student into a camp with 5th graders may be content-appropriate, as the 2nd grader is advanced in his/her academic knowledge, but given the gap in ages, it may not be socially appropriate. Bright Lights teachers make every effort to differentiate lessons and activities, adjusting to meet students’ needs and interests in order to create an enjoyable and challenging experience for each and every participant.

How many students are in a Bright Lights camp?

Primary classes average 17 students, while intermediate and middle-school camps average 20 students. With one teacher and two assistants, each camp has a staff-to-student ratio of approximately 1:7.

Can students from out of state register for camps?

Yes. Bright Lights has no residency requirements and approximately 10% of our students each year come from outside the Lincoln area.

How do I pay for camps?

Payment must accompany your online registration. Credit cards and e-checks are accepted. Need-based scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis and additional documentation is required. Apply at the time of camp registration; the scholarship deadline is May 1, 2023.

What is the Program Fee?

Standard Program Fee
Half-Day Camp: $135
Full-Day Camp: $280

Voluntary Price Options
Half-Day Camp Option A: $150 ** Option B: $200 ** Option C: $250
Full-Day Camp Option A: $300 ** Option B: $400 ** Option C: $500

What are the Voluntary Price Options and why are there different prices?

The Standard Program Fee for a Bright Lights camp covers only 54 percent of the actual program cost for a student to participate in one camp. The Voluntary Price Options give families the opportunity to help close the gap between the actual cost of $250/$500 for a half-day camp versus the standard program fee of $135/$280. This extra contribution helps cover program costs associated with classroom supplies, classroom rentals, teacher salaries, background checks, health and safety and much more. The contribution is completely voluntary.

Will selecting Option A, B or C qualify as a tax deduction?

Choosing price option A, B or C does not qualify as a tax deduction.

What are camp fees?

Camp fees cover unique materials needed for a specific camp, such as art supplies, rental fees, food for cooking, lab expenses or field trip fees.

Does Bright Lights provide a snack to students?

Bright Lights does not provide a daily snack to students during half-day camps for two main reasons. First, as our registrations have increased, so have the number of students with food-related allergies. We want to be abundantly cautious and not expose any student to food that might be dangerous to him or her. Second, we want the three hours spent at Bright Lights to be full of hands-on learning and amazing instruction, which is what our families pay for and expect. Students will still go outside (or in the gym on hot days) for about fifteen minutes in the morning and afternoon to take a movement break with their friends and get re-energized for camp instruction. Water is always available before, during and after breaks.

Is all-day care available?

Yes, Before Care and Lunch Care are both available at Roper Elementary School during Program Weeks 1, 4 and 5. Before Care is available from 7:30 – 9 AM at a cost of $20 for the week. Lunch Care is available from 12 – 1 PM at a cost of $15 for the week. Before Care is not available at offsite locations. Lunch Care is included for full-day camps. Students must provide their own sack lunch. Preregistration is required for Before Care and Lunch Care.

How will I know if my child is registered?

Registrants will receive an immediate email confirmation after submitting payment. Please ensure that you have entered a valid email address at the time of registration.

What financial aid is available?

Scholarship applications are reviewed after the deadline and awards are based on financial need until available funds are depleted. Each student is eligible for ONE partial scholarship that can be used toward either a half-day or a full-day camp during Summer 2023. More information can be found by clicking on the link above.

What is Bright Lights' address and Federal EIN?

Bright Lights, Inc.
5561 South 48th Street, Suite 220
Lincoln, NE 68516
Federal EIN 47-0708499

What are the Student Classroom Expectations?

Please see Bright Lights Policies and Registration Guidelines.

What is Bright Lights' refund policy?

A minimum of $15 per camp will be charged if a student withdraws through April 1. A minimum of $50 per camp will be charged if a student withdraws between April 2 through May 15. After May 15, no refunds will be issued unless a camp is canceled by Bright Lights. The $5.15 processing fee per camp is non-refundable.

If your plans change and your student is unable to attend their registered camp, we will make every effort to place the student in an alternate choice. We do not charge a rescheduling fee if the student transfers to a different camp within the same summer.

If you need to switch camps, please contact the Bright Lights office at 402-420-1115 ext. 46 or email registrations@brightlights.org. A student may be transferred to another camp by Bright Lights staff at no additional charge. If you choose to register your student for another camp online yourself and then want to cancel the initial registration, the above refund policy for cancellation will apply.

What health support is available at Bright Lights?

A school nurse (LPN) is on staff at the main site (Roper Elementary) when camps are in session during weeks 1, 4 & 5. See the medical policy found in the Policies section of our website. Health support is not available at off-site locations.

Teachers, Camp Assistants and Volunteers

Who are the Bright Lights teachers?

About 50% of Bright Lights’ teachers currently teach or have taught for Lincoln Public Schools. The remaining 50% come from other school districts, universities, or the community. Teachers must complete an interview process, pass a background check and attend an orientation session each year. Visit the Teacher page on our website for additional details about the pay and requirements. Please contact Renee Ford, Executive Director, at rford@brightlights.org if interested in teaching a summer camp.

What if I want to assist in a camp?

You can! Camp Assistants are what we call our volunteers. Applications are accepted online annually beginning in March. High school students who have completed eighth grade or higher, college students, and adults may apply. Assistants may volunteer for more than one camp and/or assist as a summer office volunteer. Background checks are completed on volunteers 19 years and older. To learn more about Camp Assistant positions, please visit the Assistants page.


How do I donate to Bright Lights?

Tax-deductible donations help make the program cost more affordable to Bright Lights families. To make a donation, please visit our Donor page. Thank you to our Camp Sponsors!

Can I direct a donation to a specific program area?

Yes, designated donations are welcomed. Donations may be directed to a specific area of program costs, such as need-based scholarships, camp sponsors, health and safety initiatives or the annual fund. Donations may be made in memory or in celebration of someone, and certificates will be mailed in recognition of this honor.