By Ali Lewis, JWI Database & Web Manager
Last week, I took a week of vacation from JWI. Instead of a much-needed week at the beach, I spent the week as a camp counselor at Girls Rock NC’s camp in Raleigh, NC. I have been involved with GRNC for a few years. My first experience as a camper myself in 2008 at a women’s rock camp weekend, and I’ve done a few other small volunteer things. But this was my first full immersion into their week-long camp.
So what is camp at Girls Rock NC? Girls come to camp. They form bands. They write a song and the accompanying music. And at the end of the week, they perform a show.
Sounds a bit shallow, right? It’s not. Let me explain…
The show at the end is just the icing on the cake. It’s the week of work preparing for the show that means the most. Girls from different backgrounds gather together. They take part in workshops on body confidence, women’s history, D.I.Y clothing and zine-making. They learn to express themselves to each other and then through the music. They practice and perfect. They become fearless. They become rock stars.
I am a mom to three girls (and one boy). I know how catty, difficult, and unwelcoming girls can be; Sectioning themselves off into the different crowds based on looks or clothes or some other superficial thing; Ostracizing ones who are different. What Girls Rock NC does is create an environment where girls feel safe to be themselves. Girls learn collaboration instead of competition. They are passionate about the music, but they are compassionate for each other. Each individual girl becomes confident in herself and she trusts that her band will be there for her. The music is just the method by which all these other positive effects happen.
Collaboration. Compassion. Confidence. Trust. Feeling like a rock star. I wish these things for all women and girls.
This is 5 Frets, the band I managed during the week. (We were having some tech issues, skip to 5:00.)
This is The Noise from Upstairs, my 13 year-old daughter Katie’s band.
This is The Dead Dancers, a zombie rock band comprised of 9 year-old girls, including my daughter Skye on drums.