Iowa Hero Academy


The Experience of a Lifetime

The Iowa Hero Academy is launching this summer providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity for young women aged 15-18 in Central Iowa to explore careers in firefighting, policing and the military. 

Empowering young women to become heroes in their community by developing leadership skills, confidence and the courage to serve others.

This camp is run by the Des Moines Police Department, the Des Moines Fire Department and the Iowa National Guard. It will take place July 17-22 at Camp Dodge in Johnston Iowa.  Applications are open through April 29.

Over the course of the week, our camp counselors, who are current first responders, will challenge campers to push their boundaries and discover potential career opportunities with a week’s worth of hands-on activities and guest speakers.

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What To Expect

The Iowa Hero Academy is a five-day, overnight camp designed to encourage young women to reach their potential by developing leadership skills, teamwork, and self-confidence.  

From the moment campers check in on July 17 to the moment they complete graduation on July 22nd, Iowa Hero Academy will engage participants with hands-on activities led by local female first responders with a passion for making a difference in their careers.

The Iowa Hero Academy is a hands-on career-based opportunity, but experience is not required. Participants will perform many functions of a professional firefighter, law enforcement officer and military personnel during this academy and may include wearing firefighter gear, climbing, rapelling, crawling, group exercises, ride-alongs and carrying heavy equipment.

This camp will teach young women essential skills that will help them serve their communities for a lifetime. 

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Applications deadline April 29, 2022
July 17 - 22, 2022
Camp Dodge in Johnston, IA
Phone: (515) 237-1391
Address: 2100 SE 5th Street
                    Des Moines, IA 50315

Application Process: April 1 - 29

Required for Complete Application:
  1. Registration Form
  2. Essay or Video Submission
  3. Letter of Recommendation
  4. Physical (Copy of current physical)
  5. Iowa Hero Academy Waiver
  6. DMPD Ride Along Waiver
  7. Measuring Instructions


  • Hands on training in firearm simulations, defensive tactics, hydrant and hose activities, search and rescue drills
  • DMPD ride alongs
  • Daily physical training exercises to prepare for professional physical requirements
  • Career panels and guest speakers including local heroes, emergency management leaders, and elected officials
  • Training and drills in firefighting, law enforcement, military exercises and effective emergency decision-making
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