Overnight camp is HERE! WE WANT YOU!!


We are educators with a passion for the outdoors. Our vision is to provide a quality camp experience for students from the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. We are proud to offer a wide range of activities at the historic Lula Sams property in Brownsville, Texas. We have been operating outdoor education and day camp programs since our inception in 2015. We are excited to launch overnight summer camp in 2019. This will be the only camp of its kind in South Texas. We hope that you enjoy exploring our website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Camp Rio
280 Fish Hatchery Rd.
Brownsville, Texas 78520

Summer Day Camp

Summer Day Camp at Camp RIO is a dynamic, five-day outdoor adventure experience with activities such as paddling, archery, slingshot shooting, geocaching, yoga, fishing, and sports. Each adventurous day is facilitated by a leadership staff known as Camp Guides, which are experienced naturalist and outdoor educators.

Outdoor Education

We provide adventure-based learning tailored for your students, teachers, staff and administrators. Students spend the day exploring the natural world through activities such as archery, plant and animal identification, team-building, canoeing, and many others.

Adventure awaits at IDEA Camp Rio

Overnight Camp

We are very excited about the launch of overnight camp here at Camp RIO, We will be offer 4 one week sessions during the summer of 2019. During this week long adventure, campers will engage in a wide range of activities and during the evening, special programs will be offered. Campers will be sleeping in our brand new air-conditioned cabins. So with all of that being said…. grab a s’more stick and meet us over by the fire pit! 

Family Camp and Retreats

Starting in 2019, Camp RIO is excited to offer both corporate retreats and family camp to our ever expanding program offerings. Stay tuned for more information in the new year for these programs


Canoeing • Geocaching • Plant and Animal ID • Photography • Survival Skills • Archery • Tomahawks and Slingshots • Land Stewardship • Team Building • Nature ELA • Animal Encounters • Riflery • Hiking • STEM Activities • Orienteering • Natural History and much much more!

Our Story

Camp RIO at Lula Sams sits on approximately 85 acres of predominantly untouched wildlife preserve. The land was originally developed as a girl scout camp and was gifted to the community by the Earl C. Sams Foundation in 1953. It served many girl scouts until the 1990s. The property is filled with various native plants and animals that in most places in the Valley have long been eradicated by urbanization. IDEA Public Schools, in coordination with the Valley Land Fund, is working to preserve this unique piece of land so that generations to come may enjoy it in its natural form.

Adventure awaits at IDEA Camp Rio