Rock Camp for Girls

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by BtaylorTheRogue, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. BtaylorTheRogue


    Nov 14, 2016
    Our vocalist came to us a month or two ago with an opportunity to play for Rock Camp for Girls, a local week-long day camp that teaches instruments and songwriting to girls age 8-17. They bring in bands to play and do Q&As during lunch.

    Now, I have a biochem degree, and in college I did a lot of stuff with the Society of Women Engineers, working to get young women interested in maths and science. The way I see it, women young and old get discouraged from science a lot, and the local music scene isn't exactly kind to them either, so this is a no brainer for me. Same for the rest of our band.

    Between then and the performance, we lost our drummer and rhythm guitarist. No major losses, the guitar player wasn't musically that great and the drummer had only one setting: loud.

    So we workshop everything down into one guitar or keys, bass, and vocals, and we do the show. They had a lot of interesting questions: does it hurt to scream-sing, when did you first start liking rock, why does your guitar/bass have 8/10 strings, etc. And at the end, they all came up with these little paper booklets and got autographs.

    It was so gosh darned cute. Today is their showcase, where each group plays the song(s?) they wrote this week. Not 100% sure I'll be able to go, but it was a fun experience.

    List of cities with Rock Camps.
  2. Christine

    Christine Guest

    Aug 3, 2016
    Nice to see girls being encouraged to get into what I would call real music where they can actually play and instrument rather than just look cute as seems to be the way these days, that goes for boys too really. You never know, you might get another Joan Jett emerging from that crowd
    fhm555, McG and hrodbert696 like this.
  3. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I enthusiastically approve of this. Too often, girls and women who have a strong interest in music get discouraged and quit when they find themselves in a very male dominated setting, where the men assune a dominant or controlling attitude that effectively marginalizes any females in the group.

    Whether done intentionally or not, and regardless of whether there is any sexually loaded content, women and girls are made to feel inferior and it's not difficult to understand how that destroys musical creativity and jeopardizes any potential pleasurable experience in the musical process.

    I once had a metal cover band that I co-founded with an extremely talented and,experienced young woman guitarist. She was everything one could hope for regarding skill, attitude, equipment, reliability, and stage presence.

    But we got a drummer who acted like a pig toward women, though it was more subtle than blatant. He would belittle her in small ways and would make inappropriate sexual references to her.

    After a few months of this, she began to hint to me that this constant behavior was unwelcome and that repeated attempts she had made to ask him to stop had failed. I acknowledged her concerns, but unfortunately didn't give them the serious consideration I should have.

    Because I dropped the ball on this, she abruptly quit the band a month later, just when we were booking our first good, paying, regular gigs. She explained to me that it was a tough decision for her to leave a band that she really believed had a lot of potential and very much enjoyed, but the single factor of our drummer's sexist behavior (subtle though it might have been) was the deal breaker.

    If I had to do it over again, I would have immediately dealt with the drummer and issued a zero tolerance policy. Any violation would result in termination. But I was young and naive. We went through 4 replacement guitarists over the course of a year until the band fell apart out of frustration.

    I hope that I learned sonething from that experience and now my daughter is an adult and plays the bass like her old man. She doesn't play in a band but if she decides to try it I will definitely try to be there for her and encourage need to stick up for herself if she thinks she's being marginalized because of her gender.

    I'm gonna check out that list that's linked to above and see if there are any of those girls camps nearby.
    Funky Ghost, Bobro, McG and 5 others like this.
  4. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    The closest one to us is the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. I was interest in sending my middle school daughter there until I read this part:

    Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is open to self-identified girls aged 8-18. Although our camp centers the experiences of young women, we are committed to gender justice and creating an inclusive environment that supports a wide range of marginalized gender identities and expressions --- we also serve gender expansive and non-binary youth. Our growing vision is Gender Inclusivity through Radical Love and Support.

    For the sole reason of my daughter's protection from predators, it became a "oh heck no" very quickly. Strike one was the fact it's in Oakland. My first time in Oakland, I was standing in line at a McDonalds very close to Berkeley, near 880, and was tapped from behind.

    The gentleman said that I was probably not safe here. I don't think he was referring to me being a bass player.
    Bobro likes this.
  5. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    What exactly about the quoted section makes you fear for your daughter's safety?

    The singer of one of my bands has volunteered at this every summer for many years. I can guarantee you they take the safety and well being of the campers very seriously.

    Yes, it's in downtown Oakland. No, downtown Oakland is not nearly as dangerous as it was even 5 years ago.
    Mr_Moo and frEQ like this.
  6. #MeToo. Great idea.

    My daughter played keyboards and a bit of rhythm guitar in an all-girl band in her high school a few years ago. The music they wrote was a little folky, but not bad in a Birdy kind of way. When the local Rockquest competition was on, they were the only band their school didn't put forward. One of the music teachers actually said [not a direct quote, but the gist] "You won't get far because the judges will be looking for real musical talent and all-girl bands are just a bit gimmicky". So they applied directly to Rockquest with a demo of their music and were invited into the regional competition, and made the final.

    I can't remember how many bands were in the final, maybe 8 or 10, but it was a source of great pride to me seeing her up on stage a couple of rounds after all the other bands from her school had been sent home.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I need to get my girls into an instrument quickly. They both love music and love to sing.

    Disney made a rock camp movie ("Camp Rock" I think) and they watch it over and over.

    Maybe in a couple years we can look into this. Good stuff.
    fhm555 and Jimmy4string like this.
  8. I am not sure what you’re local music scene is but in the south female leads get top billing especially in higher dollar casino and festival gigs if they are good. Showmanship and vocal talent go straight to the front of the line.
    As far as the math and sciences go I definitely encourage you to encourage more people, not just women, to get into math and sience. Thanks for supporting all the kiddos. This generation is in danger of being lost musically.
    Mr_Moo and Bobro like this.
  9. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    Here's the top two search return on Google for Oakland crime rate:

    When looking at violent crimes, Oakland, CA has 220% higher than violent crime rate than California average, while remaining 269% higher than the national average. In property crime, Oakland, CA is 121% higher than the average of California and is 130% higher than the national average.

    Oakland, CA crime analytics. With a crime rate of 73 per one thousand residents, Oakland has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 14.

    I don't think it's wise to send a young daughter there to a week long camp. I also find that non-political organizations that politicize themselves tend to have more issues than not. I'm looking for a musician camp that is just that, a musician camp for young people.
  10. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I worked with a co-ed rock camp. What a blast! Those kids learn so much so fast. The end of term concert is fantastic.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  11. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    It's not a sleepaway camp. While I definitely would not recommend letting a child take public transportation unaccompanied to the location, assuming they're getting dropped off (which 90% of the campers are) the only dangers of note during the walk from the backseat of the car to the front door of the facility (during which time they would be under the watchful gaze of both the driving parent and a camp volunteer) are traffic related.

    Again, in the 5+ years I've been tangentially aware of the group, I've heard no reports of any safety concerns (and I've heard plenty of gossip in that time).

    The camp is neither political nor politicized. Given that it's "for girls only" the question of "who qualifies as a girl?" is an inevitability, so they've addressed it, nothing more.
    Wanker_Joe, Mr_Moo and frEQ like this.