In 2008, Natalie Walker and Holly Waits founded Rain City Rock Camp—formerly Girls Rock! Seattle—based on Portland’s innovative and resoundingly successful Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls. In the summer of 2009, RCRC offered our first Summer Camp session at The Fremont Abbey Arts Center for 40 campers, ages 8 to 16. Our camp enrollment was at capacity, and the campers’ final showcase performance at The Vera Project sold out with more than 400 family, parents and community members in attendance.
For the following three years, RCRC hosted camps at Billings Middle School, each year doubling the number of youth participants until we reached our maximum per summer, 130 for two week-long sessions. We continued to grow programmatically and foundationally as we hired our first employees. In 2010, RCRC began offering Ladies Rock Camp (LRC) programs; since 2013 we have run two LRC sessions per year, each of which has sold out. Our Advanced Music Program for youth with existing music skills was founded in 2013 as well.
Now, in 2020, RCRC’s programming includes South Sound Rocks! (a program serving youth in the Tacoma area), Seattle Summer Camp, Ladies Rock Camp, Amplified Teen Voices (our youth leadership program) and the Advanced Music Program. We have a 10-person staff and serve more than 400 women, girls and gender nonconforming folks every year.