Welcome to Pride Camp University!

What is Pride Camp University?

Iowa Safe Schools is excited to bring the Pride Camp experience to 6th-8th grade (ages 11-13) students through Pride Camp University. Structured in an interactive day-camp format, we can't wait to offer your camper new experiences that encourage students to be Confident, Healthy, Innovative, Qualified, and Engaged (to learn more about Iowa Safe Schools’ CHIQE standards, click here)

We also look forward to creating an environment where students are able to create amazing memories and lasting friendships with other LGBTQ and Allied students.

Since 2002, Iowa Safe Schools’ mission has been to provide safe, supportive, and nurturing learning environments and communities for LGBTQ and allied youth through education, outreach, advocacy, and victim services. Pride Camp University offers students not yet old enough to attend Pride Camp to engage in the activities and experiences that Pride Camp has to offer.

Enroll your camper in Pride Camp University today!


Getting ready for Pride Camp university

Communication with Families


 The Pride Camp Director will contact parents/guardians if their camper requires outside health care or emergency care, or if a camper needs to be picked up from Camp.

We ask that once campers are dropped off for the day, that families refrain from visiting Pride Camp University without first having a conversation with the Pride Camp Director. This will ensure that arrangements can be made for campers to remain engaged in daily activities.

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.

Camp Staff


We truly believe the Pride Camp team is the best in the country! Iowa Safe Schools is confident that staff and counselors of Pride Camp University have the right experience, special talents, empathy, and creativity to provide campers with unforgettable memories!

All Iowa Safe Schools staff have been thoroughly screened through a complete background check and criminal history check.

The Pride Camp Director is available to answer any questions that families have regarding Pride Camp University, staff, or programming.

Fun at Pride Camp University


Pride Camp University is designed for campers to have fun, build lasting relationships, feel a sense of belonging, and develop important skills!

Part of having fun at Pride Camp University includes staying hydrated, eating balanced meals, and coming to camp with an open mind and positive attitude.

What should my camper wear?


We ask that campers wear closed-toe shoes and socks daily. Campers will be participating in physically active games and challenges, as well as creating projects with various art supplies. As with any camp environment, camp CAN GET MESSY! 

We encourage campers to wear clothes that are comfortable and express their identity in a modest fashion. Please do not send campers in clothing with inappropriate language or references to drugs or alcohol.

What should my camper bring?


The cost of Pride Camp University includes continental breakfast items each morning as well as a brown bag lunch and all supplies and activities for camp. The only thing your camper needs to bring is a positive attitude and PRIDE!

Please do NOT bring the following items:

  • Money
  • Weapons of any kind; pocket knives, lighters, or matches
  • Tobacco products, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Pride Camp is a smoke-free and e-cig/vape-free campus.
  • Food, candy, chewing gum, or soda
  • 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
  • Pets (Service animals are exempt)
  • Sports equipment

Pick Up & Drop Off



Drop off begins no earlier than 8:30am and runs until 9:00am.

Pick up is promptly at 4:00pm. 

**Children not picked up at the end of the camp day will be supervised by Iowa Safe Schools staff. A fee of $1 per minute will be charged beginning at the conclusion of camp, payable upon pickup. For example, if a child is picked up at 4:25 p.m. who is in a camp ending at 4 p.m., there will be a charge of $25. Every attempt will be made to contact all of the approved and authorized people listed on the Registration Form. If no one on the list is reachable within one hour of camp concluding, and the child has not been picked up, the local police department will be contacted. 

Important information to know


Violation of Pride Camp Rules

Included in every registration packet is a Pride Camp Rules Contract that all campers must review with their parent/guardian before attending Pride Camp University Jr. These rules are created to ensure that every camper enjoys camp and all the activities they participate in, and make an safe and affirming space for all campers. 

Every attempt will be made to work with a camper who is not following the Pride Camp Rules

Restroom Accident Procedure

In the event a camper has a restroom accident, the following actions will be followed: Parents/guardians will be notified to bring replacement clothes for their camper to clean themselves up and change outfits. If a camper is not able to accomplish this on their own, parents/guardians will need to pick up their camper or help the campers clean up themselves.

Note: Iowa Safe Schools staff are under no circumstances allowed to clean up or change a camper who has had an accident.

Head Lice

If your camper is found to have head lice, they will be isolated and parents/guardians will be contacted and required to pick up their child immediately. In addition, all parents will be notified immediately in writing of the presence of head lice.

Tentative Schedule*

Day 1

8:30-9:00AM Registration & Breakfast Items   

9:00-9:15AM Camp Welcome & Chants   

9:15-9:45AM Icebreakers

Get to know your fellow campers and counselors with fun and interactive icebreaker games!

10:00-10:45AM The Genderbread Person Activity

Campers will explore gender, identity, expression, orientation in this activity designed to start the conversation of being a great ally!

10:45-11:30AM Who Am I? Collage Project

Identity and orientation are only a small part of what makes us amazing, unique people! Campers will have the chance to create collages of themselves and share with the rest of camp!

11:30-12:00PM Camp Games

Campers will participate in recreation and contests both indoors and outdoors!

12:00-12:30PM Lunch   

12:30-12:45PM Camp Games   

Campers will participate in recreation and contests both indoors and outdoors!

12:45-2:00PM Drag Potatoes

Campers will create drag personas out of art supplies and a potato! You are a fierce spud, show us what you tot!

2:00-2:15PM Bathroom Break   

2:30-3:15PM Building Your Brand and Influence   

Campers will learn create their own brand and discover who in their community they can influence with their story!

3:15-3:45PM Telling Your Story to Create Change  

We all have a story, now learn how to tell it! Campers will work together to find the best way to tell their story to influence others! 

3:45-4:00PM Camp Wrap-Up   

4:00PM Depart 

Day 2

8:30-9:00AM Registration &   Breakfast Items   

9:00-9:15AM Welcome & Chants   

9:15-10:30AM Communicating & Civil Dialogue

This hands-on activity will challenge campers to work together and get their hands dirty as the identify strange objects and learn the ins and outs of communication!

10:30-11:30AM Upstander vs. Bystander

Campers will learn the difference between being an upstander and a bystander, and how they can support students at their school when the see bullying.

11:30-12:00PM Camp Games   

12:00-12:30PM Lunch   

12:30-1:15PM Magnetic Slime 

Campers will take slime to the next level when they create their own magnetic slime to take home!  

1:15-2:15PM Tie-Dyeing 

2:15-3:00PM Trebuchet Toss   

Campers will learn about basic physics and mechanics when they create their own trebuchet and compete for longest launch.

3:00-3:30PM Drag Queen Death Drop

Special guests will stop by and teach campers some fierce drag moves!

3:30-4:00PM High School GSAs 

Campers will learn how to get involved in their high school GSA and create amazing change at their school.

4:00PM Depart  

Day 3

8:30-9:00AM Registration & Breakfast Items   

9:00-9:15AM Welcome & Chants   

9:15-10:15AM Rube Goldberg Activity  

Campers will compete in teams to build the most creative Rube Goldberg device!

10:30-11:30AM Allyship & You   

Campers will become amazing allies and practice skills in creating safe and supportive spaces for all students.

11:30-12:00PM Camp Games   

12:00-12:30PM Lunch   

12:30-1:00PM Water Balloon Volleyball   

1:00-2:00PM Pride Camp Bingo   

2:00-2:15PM Bathroom Break   

2:15-3:00PM Glitter Winter

A glitter war has erupted, and it is up to the campers to plan a rescue rocket to escape the turmoil! How will they work together?!

3:00-3:45PM Big Gay Rocket  

Campers will test their rescue rocket and learn about chemical reactions and physics in the process!

3:45-4:00PM Camp Wrap-Up   

4:00PM Depart