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July 15-19, 2019 | Des Moines, IA


Not Your Typical Gay Camp….

Pride Camp is an epic, life changing program for LGBTQ and allied youth ages 14-18 to learn, grow, and connect with each other.

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Campers & Families

Pride Camp is the first camp of it's kind in the midwest, and we want you to be a part of the experience! 

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If you have lots of energy, enjoy both group and one-to-one interaction with campers, and have worked with youth before, this could be the role for you! 

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Pride Camp is a unique opportunity for businesses and organizations to engage with LGBTQ and allied youth across the state of Iowa. Partner with us, and help us make this summer unforgettable for campers as well as your staff.

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About Pride Camp


80% of LGBTQ youth report severe social isolation in high school…

It is easy to think that LGBTQ students have it good here in Iowa. We passed the Anti-Bullying and Anti-Harassment Act of 2007, amended the Iowa Civil Rights Code to include gender identity and sexual orientation in 2007, and won marriage equality in 2009.

The work is over right…? Wrong.

Iowa Safe Schools works with thousands of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning students in all 99 counties of Iowa, and an overwhelming majority have expressed feelings of loneliness, discrimination, sadness, and lack of interaction with other student like them.

Pride Camp is looking to change that.

The mission of Iowa Safe Schools’ Pride Camp is to provide a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ & allied youth ages 14-18 to learn valuable life skills and network with other LGBTQ youth in a supportive and nurturing environment. Pride Camp is an epic, life changing program for LGBTQ and allied youth to learn, grow, and connect with each other.

Pride Camp is not your typical gay camp, and is the first of it’s kind in the Midwest to offer a safe space for students in an overnight, summer camp format.

The Impact of Pride Camp

Studies show that being able to speak with a supportive and caring adult can have a significant positive impact for a student, particularly those who feel alone (GLSEN, 2015). Pride Camp is so much more than something for a student to do over summer vacation. We are helping build the resiliency of youth who identify with a marginalized population, and are building tomorrow’s leaders today.

Many LGBTQ students in Iowa live in rural communities where they are the only “out” student, and don’t get to interact with other LGBTQ or allied youth. Pride Camp is a safe space for all students to connect with peers, learn important life skills, and create amazing memories.

Details for Check-in on Monday, July 15th

  1. Please plan to arrive at Grand View University no earlier than 10:30AM on July 15th. Registration will be in the main lobby of the Student Center (2811 E 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50316). Parking is available on the South side of the building on the corner of E 14th Street and Morton Ave., as well as side streets. There will be yard signs along E. 14th Street as well with the Pride Camp logo.
  2. Remember to have all medical and liability forms turned in. Turning camper forms in      prior to camp will expedite the process of getting checked in and on to your dorm room. If campers do not have medical and liability forms, they will not be allowed to attend Pride Camp. We will have extras of forms available if needed at registration. If you have any questions about forms, or if we have received your forms, please connect with me. There is also still time to settle your remaining balance for Pride Camp, which can be done online or over the phone. If you have questions about a camper’s      balance, please connect with me as soon as possible to avoid any delays in checking in.
  3. Campers will receive dorm room assignments and room keys at check-in, and find Pride Camp swag on the beds in the dorm rooms. Remember, there is a $75 fee for      any lost, damaged, or un-returned key cards, which is the responsibility of the camper to pay. Iowa Safe Schools staff and counselors will be available to help campers find their dorm room and get settled in, and we invite families to stay for pastries in the Student Center.
  4. Campers will be staying overnight in the dorm rooms Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and camp concludes at 12:30pm on Friday, July 19th. Once campers are on campus, we ask that they stay on campus for the duration of camp. If there is something that a camper needs, please connect with a staff member to assist you. Bedding and linens are NOT provided for the dorms so please bring sheets or a sleeping bag with for your camper. You can find a complete list of recommended items to bring for camp here: A reminder that extra money is not required or recommended at Pride Camp (though there are vending machines on campus). Iowa Safe Schools is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property while attending Pride Camp.
  5. It is the responsibility of the camper to ensure they take their medication at required times during camp, and medications will not be administered by staff. You can find a list of other recommendations for preparing for camp here: under “Preparing for Camp”. If a camper requires food to take with medications, we will ensure there is fresh fruit or small bags of crackers      available.
  6. There will be a camp-wide Talent Show on Thursday evening! Campers are invited and      encouraged (though not required) to participate, and there will be small amounts of time throughout the week to practice or coordinate a talent with other campers. Talent Show sign up will be available during camp, and campers should bring any props they need for their talent. If you have any questions, please connect with me.
  7. Campers can be picked up on Friday, July 19th at 12:30 in the Student Center.

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You can also call our Pride Camp Planning Team