Middle school students can participate in a free, five-day career exploration camp this summer through Northern!

Dakota Dreams at Northern offers incoming 7th and 8th grade students the chance to experience a week of college life and explore career paths through engaging activities and tours of area businesses and industries.

By week’s end, campers will have a better understanding of themselves, their future career interests, and how education can support their career dreams.


Sunday, July 9 – Thursday, July 13, 2023

(5 days/4 nights)  


This grant-funded camp is free of charge! All activities, meals, and lodging during the event are provided, including four nights in Northern’s Great Plains East Residence Hall. 

This opportunity is funded with federal dollars provided to the South Dakota Department of Education through the American Rescue Plan.


The Dakota Dreams camp will take place on the campus of Northern State University and include a day trip to Lake Area Technical Institute and industry tours in and around Aberdeen.  

NSU Campus Map  


Campers will experience:

Tentative Camp Schedule

A detailed schedule and packing list for the 2023 camp will be available soon!

Amenities and Support

  • Campus dining facilities - all meals, snacks, and drinks included
  • Bus transportation to and from off-campus field trip sites
  • On-campus housing (four overnights) in Northern’s Great Plains East Residence Hall
  • Resident assistants on call
  • 24/7 counselor supervision
  • Recreational and social activities

Eligibility and Application

The Dakota Dreams camp is open to incoming 7th and 8th grade students who live in or attend a public school in South Dakota. 

Apply Now

Campers will be notified of acceptance. Space is limited; preference will be given to students with need.  


For camper application help, email careercamps@sdbor.edu.

For questions about Northern's camp, email Britt Lorenz, NSU executive director of student success, at studentsuccess@northern.edu.  

Now Hiring: Camp Mentors

Employment dates: July 7 and 9-13, 2023

Position Details

Camp and career mentors work with Northern staff to support and guide camp participants in all aspects of the program, including in residence hall and dining facilities, during career sessions and social activities, and on field trips.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and reference list to Britt Lorenz by March 10, 2023.