Girls Rock The Berkshires… It Could Work!
Camp Meade in Middlesex, Vermont is doing something very cool, that I’m sure could work here in the Berkshires... Girls Rock Vermont! It’s a very similar concept to the “Rock On” camp that we have here in the Berkshires, but this one is a camp specifically for girls and gender non-conforming youth.
According to a media release from the organizers, the camp in Middlesex runs from August 9th through August 13 and will culminate with a live performance by five newly minted bands.
Why was the camp created?
Rock and roll for young girls is fantastic. The music world is a male world and this is the opposite of that. ~ Camp Director Linda Bassick
Camp Director Linda Bassick says that Girls Rock Vermont was started in 2011 as part of the Riot Girl movement that started in the Seattle area. Girls Rock Vermont is associated with more than 200 similar non-profit camps around the world.
The Riot Girl movement was started by women in the band Bikini Kill who noticed women were getting harassed at their shows so they started moving women to the front and then it developed into a movement about empowering women and girls.
During the five days of camp, participants are grouped with peers according to their ages and will welcome participants ages 8 through 18 years of age. They may or may not have any experience playing an instrument when they start, but they will by the end of the week when all five of the bands showcase their week learning by performing the songs they have written and rehearsed.
We offer guitar, bass, drums, electric ukulele, and keyboards and everybody sings. They come in the first day and we give them instructions and put them in a band. They have to come up with a band name and write a song that they play at our showcase on Friday. They go from not knowing anything about this, not knowing about the electronic equipment and they get a crash course in handling the gear.
Girls Rock Vermont teaches kids a few chords but does not focus on teaching them to read music, which Bassick said can be a hindrance for people to get into music. But the camp offers more than just music. Bassick and her volunteer staff also offer workshops on women in media, consent, and boundaries, and feminism. The program focuses on building self-esteem and encouraging self-expression as well.
The Friday night showcase takes place on August 13 at 5:30 pm.
To find out more about this camp, check out the website, www.Girlsrockvermont.org
Is this something that we can make happen in the Berkshires? The success of the ‘Rock On’ program here in the Berkshires makes me believe that this can happen. It just needs the right person to step up and make it so! ‘Girls Rock the Berkshires’ has sort of a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
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