Not Your Typical Gay Camp….

Pride Camp is an epic, life changing program for LGBTQ and allied youth in Iowa to learn, grow, and connect with each other.


Register for Pride Camp!

“The mission of Iowa Safe Schools’ Pride Camp is to provide a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ & Allied youth to learn valuable life skills and network with other LGBTQ youth in a supportive and nurturing environment.”


World Renowned Workshops

Gender identity & expression

Self Defense for the LGBTQ community

LGBTQ history

LGBTQ people and religion/spirituality

Leadership Development

Team Building

Gender Spectrums

Transgender Identities

Activism and community organizing

Self-Image Discussion

Queer safe relationship practices

Creative writing

Arts and Crafts

How to be an ally


Pride Camp Schedule*

Day 1

1:00-2:00pm                       Registration

  • Dorm, Team, and Track Assignments

2:00-2:45pm                       Welcome/Housekeeping (All Tracks)

2:45-3:00pm                       Break/Move to Track Room

3:00-5:00pm                       Workshop 1

5:00-5:30pm                       Break/Prep for Dinner/Networking

5:30-6:15pm                       Dinner

6:15-7:15pm                       Plenary (All Tracks)

7:15-7:30pm                       Break/Move to Track Room

7:30-9:00pm                       Workshop 2

9:00-9:30pm                       Get Ready for Bed

10:00-10:30pm                  Dorm Time

10:30pm                               Lights Out

Day 2

7:00am                                 Wake Up Call

7:20-8:00am                       Breakfast

8:00-9:00am                       Morning Plenary (All Tracks)

9:00-9:15am                       Break/Move to Track Room

9:15-11:00am                     Workshop 1

11:00-11:15am                   Break

11:15-12:00pm                  Lunch

12:00-1:00pm                     Afternoon Plenary (All Tracks)

1:00-1:15pm                       Break/Move to Track Room

1:15-3:00pm                       Workshop 2

3:00-3:15pm                       Break

3:15-4:00pm                       Group Activity (All Tracks)

4:00-5:30pm                       Workshop 3

5:30-5:45pm                       Break/Prep for Dinner

5:45-6:30pm                       Dinner

6:30-7:30pm                       Evening Plenary (All Tracks)

7:30-7:45pm                       Break/Move to Track Room

7:45-9:00pm                       Workshop 4

9:00-9:15pm                       Break

9:15-11:15pm                     Movie Night (All Tracks)

11:15-11:45pm                  Get Ready for Bed

11:45pm                               Dorm Time

12:00am                               Lights Out

Day 3

7:00am                                 Wake Up Call/Pack

7:45-8:30am                       Breakfast

8:30-9:00am                       Morning Plenary (All Tracks)

9:00-9:15am                       Break/Move to Track Room

9:15-10:45am                     Track Prep for Competitions

10:45-10:55am                   Break

10:55-11:45am                   Contests/Awards

11:45-12:30pm                  Closing Plenary

12:30pm                               Depart

**Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Pride Camp Packing List

This is a recommended list of clothing and equipment for a 3-day, 2-night Pride Camp. Make additions you feel will be appropriate for your comfort, but remember that storage space is limited. Label all items with your first and last names, using permanent marker or tape. Make sure to view items that are not allowed at camp!

We encourage you to consider Iowa’s consistently changing weather, as well as the inherent nature of camp activities when choosing clothing to bring to camp. Remember that camp is informal, and your clothes will get dirty! We ask that clothing brought to camp is reasonably modest in style and cut, and that any graphics or messages on clothing be tasteful and responsible.


To keep dorms clean and clutter-free, we ask that you pack and use luggage that will fit under your bed or in a closet. Bring a backpack or shoulder bag that can hold a rain coat, water bottle, notebook, and writing utensils

It is helpful for transportation if all your items, including pillow and sleeping bag fit in one or two clearly labeled pieces of luggage that can close securely.


  • Underwear and socks for 3 days
  • Short sleeve shirts or t-shirts for 3 days
  • 2 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 2-3 pairs shorts
  • 1-2 pairs long pants (jeans, sweatpants, etc.)
  • White cotton items to tie-dye (socks, tanks, shirts, bandanas, etc.)
  • Baseball cap or other hat with a wide brim (for sun protection)
  • Rain-jacket
  • Pajamas
  • Shower shoes or flip-flops
  • Comfortable close-toed shoes (athletic shoes or sneakers are perfect)

Hygiene/Toiletries Items

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Deodorant or anti-perspirant
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Comb or hair-brush
  • Body Wash
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), enough to apply several times a day
  • Insect repellant
  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses with supplies
  • Tampons or pads (if applicable)
  • Medications (prescription and non-prescription) All medications must be given to Pride Camp staff upon arrival and check-in to camp
  • Any other hygiene items that are a part of your daily routine

Bedding and Linens

  • Sleeping bag or XL twins sheet set for dorm bed
  • Pillow with pillowcase
  • Laundry bag
  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 washcloth
  • One beach towel
  • Plastic bag for damp items coming home
  • Mesh bag or shower caddy for bathroom supplies

Optional/Extra Items

  • Writing materials (pens/pencils, notebook, etc.)
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana

Lost & Found/Valuables

All your clothing, linens, possessions, and luggage should be clearly labeled with your first and last name. Unlabeled and unclaimed items that cannot be used at camp will be donated to a local charity organization in the fall. Iowa Safe Schools is not responsible for lost or missing items. Please leave valuable, cherished, or irreplaceable items at home.

Items That Should Not Be Brought to Camp

  • Weapons of any kind; pocket knives, fireworks, lighters, or matches
  • Tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Grandview University is a smoke-free campus.
  • Food, candy, chewing gum, or soda (except pre-approved for special diets)
  • Radios, music/DVD/video game players, iPads, iPods, Kindles, or other electronics
  • Inappropriate reading material (ex. offensive or violent pictures or content)
  • High-value items (expensive cameras, expensive jewelry, etc.)
  • Pets (Service animals are exempt)
  • Sports equipment like bats, sticks, bows, or other items that require special training for safe use
  • Vehicles or bicycles (camper may not have/use personal transportation at camp. Youth attending camp should plan to get a ride to camp, or check in their car keys when they check in for camp)

Personal Health & Hygiene

Campers are expected to care for themselves by:

  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Eating healthfully
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Showering
  • Changing into clean clothes regularly
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing hands often
  • Using sunscreen & insect repellent appropriately

Pride Camp staff will model the expectations and provide gentle reminders to campers, but families should set expectations regarding changing clothing and personal hygiene before your camper arrives at camp. Coach you camper to tell an adult if they feel hurt, ill, or if they notice an unusual symptom.

Sun Safety

Pride Camp recommends that all campers use sunscreen throughout camp, and take care of themselves by staying hydrated and taking advantage of shade and indoor activities on occasion.

Camper Health

The health and safety of Pride Camp campers is Iowa Safe Schools’ first priority. Iowa Lutheran Hospital is located one mile from Grandview University. Camp staff hold current first-aid and CPR certification.

For each camper, please provide current health history. Please complete this form carefully and thoroughly. Ensure that all prescription medications have a written, signed medication order. Campers who do not return completed medical forms will not be allowed to attend camp.


The designated senior staff member will keep and dispense all medications at camp during meals, at bedtime, or at other specified times. All medications must be:

  • Submitted to the camp staff during check-in
  • Kept in their original containers
  • Unexpired
  • Fully documented on the camper health history
  • Do not pre-sort medications

Prescription Medication

Must have the following:

  • Original pharmacy label showing the patient’s name
  • The prescription numbers
  • Date filled
  • Physician’s name
  • Name of medications
  • Directions for use
  • Expiration date

If a camper needs to carry their asthma inhaler or epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen) at all times, parents/guardians must send a second inhaler or auto-injectors to be kept the camp nurse in case of an emergency.

Health Communication with Parents/Guardians

The Pride Camp senior staff member will contact parents/guardians if their camper requires outside health care or emergency care, or if they have any questions regarding a camper’s health.

If a camper becomes ill or injured at camp, camp staff will call you to consult and may ask you to pick up your camper and seek treatment. All campers are required to provide proof of health insurance. Parents/guardians are responsible for paying the costs of any outside health care and prescriptions.

Register for Pride Camp!

Arrival and Departure

You may arrive at camp no earlier than 12pm June 12th, 2018.

You will reunite with your camper at the closing brunch, and families will depart immediately after. Remember to check for lost and found items, and pick up leftover medications.

Getting to Camp:


The following airlines serve the Des Moines International Airport and provide direct connections to cities throughout the United States:


American Airlines






From Des Moines International Airport

Head west on Cowles Dr.

Turn left onto Fleur Dr.

Continue onto Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy.

Turn right onto the I-235 E ramp.

Keep left, follow signs for I-235 E and merge onto I-235 E.

Take exit 9 toward US-69/E 14th St./E 15th St.

Keep right to continue toward Lyon St.

Turn left onto E. 15th St.

  1. 15th St. becomes E. 14th St.

Continue north on E 14th St. to Morton Ave.

Turn right (east) onto Morton Ave. and arrive at the Student Center.


From the west on I-235

Exit I-235 on the E. 14th/15th St. exit, and turn left (north) onto E 15th St.

  1. 15th St. becomes E. 14th St.

Continue north on E 14th St. to Morton Ave.

Turn right (east) onto Morton Ave. and arrive at the Student Center.


From I-35 or I-80 or I-235 from the east

Take I-235 West. Continue to E. Euclid Ave. exit.

Proceed right (west) on E. Euclid Ave. to E. 14th St.

Turn left (south) onto E. 14th St.

Continue south on E. 14th St.

Turn left (east) onto Morton Ave. and arrive at the Student Center.


For family or friends of camp attendees


Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown – 3.3 miles from camp, from $119/night

Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown – 3.3 miles from camp, from $116/night

AC Hotel by Marriott Des Moines East Village – 2.4 miles from camp, from $170/night

Des Lux Hotel – 3.4 miles from camp, from $164/night

Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown – 3.2 miles from camp, from $152/night

Des Moines Marriott Downtown – 3.6 miles from camp, from $149/night


Things to Do in Des Moines

Blank Park Zoo –

Science Center of Iowa –

Des Moines Art Center –

Jordan Creek Town Center Shopping Mall –

Cinemark 20 Jordan Creek and XD Movie Theater –

Iowa Cubs Baseball at Principal Park –

Walking Trails –

Waveland Golf Course –

Adventureland Theme Park and Adventure Bay Water Park –


Local Restaurants in Des Moines

Centro – $$ – $$$

Zombie Burger & Drink Lab – $$ – $$$

Fong’s Pizza – $$ – $$$

Gusto Pizza Co. – $$ – $$$

Jethro’s B – $$- $$$

Drake Diner – $$ – $$$

4th + Court Hy-Vee Market Grille – $ – $$$

Register for Pride Camp!

What does the registration fee include?

  1. Instruction by Iowa Safe Schools and other influential community leaders
  2. Pride Camp t-shirt, back pack, notebook, pen, and water bottle
  3. Daily activities and programming specific to the camper’s chosen track
  4. Camp-wide activities
  5. Campus room and board in one of Grandview University’s dormitories
  6. All meals from Tuesday evening through Thursday afternoon
  7. 15:1 camper to counselor ratio

Is Pride Camp at a summer camp facility?

Grand View’s 50-acre campus is in the heart of Des Moines. Campers will be housed in college dorms, and will eat 3 meals a day in the college dining hall.

Based on your responses to a few simple questions on your Registration Form, Pride Camp staff will do their best to place you in a room with other compatible campers.

Do I have to participate in all the activities offered at Pride Camp?

Of course! Pride Camp staff do their best to create engaging and interactive workshops and activities for campers. Participating in all camp activities will make your Pride Camp experience more memorable, and we strongly recommend that campers try their best at each event throughout the day. There will be opportunities for campers to choose an activity they are more interested in, and different learning tracks allow for campers to dive into subjects and areas that most interest them.

While staff will not force participation, campers are required to be with their tracks or teams during every all-camp activity.

How much extra money will I need?

Your registration fees cover all activities, meals, and lodging while at Pride Camp. Campers should not bring large amounts of money to camp with them, and staff are not responsible for any lost or stolen money during camp.

I’m not very athletic, will I have a good time at Pride Camp?

Yes! Pride Camp offers a wide variety of activities for campers to choose from throughout their stay. Not every activity is physical, and there will be opportunities for campers to dive into their creative side during camp. In addition, many campers will find that Pride Camp is the perfect place to step outside their comfort zone and try something new!

I have never been to a summer camp before. Will I feel left out?

No way! The first activity we do at Pride Camp is designed to allow campers to meet new people, and most of what we do is geared towards helping campers get to know their peers and make friends quickly. Going to camp for the first time can be scary, but there are tons of opportunities for campers to dive into things that truly interest them, and where they will find peers that enjoy the same things.

Register for Pride Camp!