Playing in a Key of Change: RCRC Welcomes Crystal White!

The Board of Directors is excited to welcome the second Executive Director in Rain City Rock Camp history, Crystal White! Crystal brings a wealth of knowledge—over 15 years of experience—as an organizer, facilitator, and leader in youth-serving, education, arts, and community-based organizations.

Hailing from DC and Ohio, Crystal is a first-gen college graduate, long-time rock camp leader, and a community-based organizer. She is a co-founder of organizational consulting firm Co-Lab Consulting. A rock camp leader through and through, she co-founded Girls Rock! DC and also served on the Board of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA) as co-chair of the Shifting Power Committee. 

Throughout her interviews, it was very apparent that Crystal rocks it like she talks it. She works to center those most impacted by systemic oppression and believes the process of social change holds an opportunity to live out our greatest values. She has genuine curiosity for personal growth and thrives in accountable, vulnerable, collaborative professional relationships. She really knows rock camp culture. These are just some of the many reasons why we believe in Crystal and her ability to lead our community through this time of change and beyond!

Animated GIF of RCRC Board President aNdi pUzL and Executive Director Crystal White sitting outside at a table with big smiles and shaking hands after signing the official hiring documents.
Animated GIF of RCRC Board President aNdi pUzL and Executive Director Crystal White sitting outside at a table with big smiles and shaking hands after signing the official hiring documents.

When we set out to hire the next Executive Director, we took seriously the responsibility of this task and the importance of this role. A collaborative transition team of board members, staff, and the community was formed to lead the search. Feedback was garnered from staff, the board, our youth, and the community to determine core competencies, priorities, and what the organization needs to keep growing. We had amazing guidance from our hiring consultant, Makeba Greene, who really helped us through the process. A screening team was formed to review and rate resumes based on the core competencies and priorities that were identified, an interview team then screened candidates through phone interviews, and our final round of interviews over Zoom helped in determining our next executive director. The staff, board and members of our Amplified Teen Voices group all participated in that effort.

We offer enormous gratitude to the transition team for their heavy lifting and leadership; the creative and resilient staff and volunteers for organizing a successful virtual summer camp through this transition period; the youth who participated in interviews; and Makeba for her ongoing support. A special thank you to Beth O’Connor and dani crivello-chang for stepping into acting interim director roles to support staff and keep RCRC running smoothly during this transition. 

Most importantly, we thank YOU, the RCRC community, for contributing your voice and offering support every step of the way. This collaborative process would not have been possible without you!

We are so excited and proud as we head into this next chapter in RCRC history. We invite you to join us in warmly welcoming Crystal and joining the celebration at a special virtual meet-and-greet event on Wednesday, September 1st at 7pm PT on Zoom. More details will be announced soon.

And if you are able, you can show your support for this exciting new journey with Crystal by giving to Rain City Rock Camp today! Every dollar counts as we look forward to building an even more joyful, equitable, and empowering camp in the years to come.

In the Key of Change,

RCRC Board of Directors

ARC Will Rock With You in 2022

A message from your Captain,  Adra Boo,  Adult Camp Director & Programs Lead

Talk about a time of change, y’all. I hope each one of you are taking the time to be grounded, find balance and calm, especially now as the city, the state, and the country is rolling back and forth between opening, vaxxing, masking, and everything in between.

As change is happening all around, we, too, are looking at change and transition. With that said, we are going to forego our Fall ARC. Looking back at the start of the year, it made sense to continue with virtual programming, and we stand by our prioritizing of safety. I have put so much intention and energy and love into planning out our adult camp, but I also want to look to the future a bit. So, we’re pulling it back to actually more heavily plan spring 2022’s camp!

Folx have been asking me, left and right, about when we finally get to be back in person, and I keep telling everyone “2022!” But at the same time, what about the folx who haven’t been able to attend and finally could because it was virtual? I can’t leave those folx out either, so for the next months, I’m going to be looking at how we create a hybrid model, one that has all of the feels and intention of what our camp is, and also continues to diversify and create access to and in the program.

We are stoked to be doing this planning, this work, and I know it will be the most awesome thing for ARC (and maybe even for the whole org, but let’s try it here first, lol)! So, I hope (and know) that you all will stay tuned! We’re even going to send you a short questionnaire because your thoughts and ideas are important to us too. As usual, I’ll be asking you what YOU want for ARC, be it mini-courses, more opportunities to perform with your band, and of course, your desires for camp. And it’ll be anonymous, so tell me everything (when it comes to your emails, of course). Watch your emails for that survey in the next month or so. Okay, everyone. Please be well, be safe, and we’ll be seeing each other soon!

Our 2021 Theme

KEY OF CHANGE! 

Some of you heard us mention it in our podcast with KEXP for International Womxn’s Day! Yes, our chosen theme is here. What is meant by Key of Change, you ask? We asked our Program Staff what this means to them and their programs.

Adra, Adult Rock Camp Director

Key of change, from my view, is looking at “how to be the” and “what is needed in the” you know… how do we level up to be the Key of Change in our communities, families, circles? What do we need to make sure that everyone is set up for success? And it also makes me look at what we’re changing. Being the Key of Change… changing the culture of camp, for example, to be one that reflects and includes every single body we serve, in common ground and differences, changing out of old habits that don’t serve us as individuals or as a people… changing the game to reassure that every individual can thrive, regardless of what you’re doing or where you are, physically or figuratively. This is where I begin my thinking around the Key of Change.

Mandy, Program Manager

 Key of Change makes me think of transposition and transformation. I see it rooted in music having the power to affect transformative change in communities, society, and individuals. In non-musical terms it can be a brass key to something: what is the key to unlocking change in yourself, in the world? After a year (Four years? Centuries?) where it’s clear that there is no “back to normal” and the way things were, the Key of Change is necessary to tune into and embrace imagining new futures.

Carly, Summer Camp Director

When this theme was optioned, I immediately thought about Stevie Wonder’s gorgeous, dynamic, revolutionary album Songs in the Key of Life. Our lives this past year have been all about adapting, seeing the truth about injustice in the world, and listening to our hearts tell us what we need as individuals, as a community, and as living beings connected by one heart beat. How do we change this world for the better? How are we going to make music as insightful, as action-driven, as eye-opening as the songs in Stevie’s album? How will we change through writing these songs, and how will the world change along with us, or even because of us? And this brings up even more questions for me- is music the key to unlocking change? Is community that key? Is it…us? The landscape for finding the answers to these big questions is what I think the youth, volunteers, and staff of RCRC are ready to explore this year. It can be daunting to embrace change, but when you do, you’re guaranteed to find a revelation, and maybe even a revolution.

ATV (Amplified Teen Voices)

 Our young leaders from Amplified Teen Voices, all of whom have participated in our programs for so many years, shared how they feel that this theme reflects the mission and values of Rain City Rock Camp. 

Here are just a few of the insightful and thought-provoking reflections that they had to share:

  • “Young people are key to changing the world.”
  • “Change can mean that everyone is learning and growing.”
  • “This key will unlock possibilities.”

Iris, Admin Coordinator & ATV Advisor

 Reflecting on what Key of Change means to me, I’m drawn to the immediate connotation of taking action. This phrase empowers us to fully consider how we want to reshape our world, our community, and this organization. I hope that this key is a tool to harness the power of our dreams, inspirations, and deepest wishes. Throughout my time at RCRC, I’ve seen our staff, volunteers, and campers display an astounding amount of flexibility and willingness to grow towards positive change. From on-the-spot-decisions that make camp run smoothly to the long-term planning that keeps RCRC on the path moving forward, we have the experience and vision to create the future that we want to see. I’m so excited to hear and see what our campers do to bring this theme to life!

Dani, ATV Advisor & South Sound Rocks! Camp Director

 STEVIE made me say it! Songs in the Key of Life has given me life over the years and has pulled me through some hills and valleys. When we were brain dumping about the theme, I was instantly taken back to many moons ago when my friend made me a mixed-tape called “Songs in the Key of Danielle Bernadette” (that’s me, by the way). Each song on that mix had such deep meaning was filled with emotions that made my heart soar and my soul glow. THIS is what we do at Rain City Rock Camp… make hearts soar, souls glow and strengthen the collaborative community to change the world, one program, one event, one donation… one camper at a time. Change. Together we hold the key(s) to making this happen. Key of Change embodies so much of what we do and inspires so much of what we need to do. Key of Change is who we are. Key of Change is our kuleana (responsibility).

Key of Change is going to move us forward, as one heartbeat, into new ground, into new possibilities, into a new year of programming that we can’t wait for you to be a part of. We encourage our community, from board members to campers to those who just love what we do in general, to explore the concept of Key of Change within your families, workplaces, and anywhere you see fit to uplift and call to action the matter of positive change for all!

Ladies Rock Camp is Now Adult Rock Camp

An Update from Your Captain, Adra Boo

YES, YOU ARE READING CORRECTLY! LRC is now, and for the future, ARC, Adult Rock Camp, or if you’re fancy, Rain City Adult Rock Camp! We asked the community what they thought about the program, from top to bottom, and the overall response was “Why not just call it Rain City Rock Camp, periodt?!” So, we are listening to you all! As you may or may not know, we serve those who are female-identifying as well as gender-expansive and non-conforming folx, and that isn’t changing, but our name has changed to reflect just that- the community we serve, and the folx who make this camp amazing… YOU! You belong here, bebe! 

And what about 2021, you ask? We are staying virtual this year. Until we are sure of what’s happening with the pandemic, we are prioritizing the safety of our community. The bonus is that you can pretty much attend camp from wherever you are, pacific standard, east coast, or even Hawaii-Aleutian standard time! 

Fast Facts:

  • PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN! If you can afford it, yes, pay full price, but if you can’t afford it, so what- attend anyways! And if you can sponsor a camper, do it! 
  • ARC is now stretched across TWO WEEKENDS: May 7-9, 14 & 15! We’ve made the first weekend’s days a bit shorter, and now, you have time in between to make absolute magic, including formulating a video to put to your music selections for the 2nd weekend’s showcase! Maybe it’s a slide show, or maybe it’s each of your bandmates playing their instrument! Either way, it’s going to be AMAZING! 
  • If you’re attending in Seattle, and you don’t have access to an instrument, WE GOT YOU! We have instruments that we can either arrange to get to you or have you pick up!
  • NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! You just gotta have the want to be here with us, learning a new thing and sharing space with a diverse group!

Okay, I’m done yappin’ your ear off, but lastly, I’ll say COME TO CAMP! It’s CAMP! It’s fun, challenging, and an open-ended opportunity… and if you’re like me, never having that camp experience as a kid, THIS IS IT, y’all, the grownup version of the awesome program we have for our youth!

Apps open March 1st! Black and Indigenous folx and POC folx are highly encouraged to attend! Again, this space is for all, Periodt!

New Staff Member

Hello everyone,

My name is Iris Pavitt and I’m overjoyed to announce that I am the new Volunteer & Administrative Coordinator here at Rain City Rock Camp. I was a camper, intern, and volunteer for many years at Rock Camp in Portland, OR, and can’t wait to get to know the Rain City community. Being a volunteer at Rock Camp was an extremely formative and rewarding time for me, and I’m looking forward to ensuring that all our volunteers have an amazing (and maybe even life-changing!) experience at camp.

Before coming to Rain City, I was an AmeriCorps member with Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Youth Employment and Service Learning Unit for nearly two years. Our summer and after-school programs for teenagers focused on youth-led advocacy, research, and action. The incredibly talented youth that I worked alongside conducted peer research on the impacts of the school to prison pipeline, used photography and a community mural to document gentrification in the Central District, and reflected on their life experiences to confront underlying causes of systemic injustice. The lessons I learned from this position about successful youth programming, the benefits of experiential learning, and mentorship will definitely inform the work that I do here at Rain City Rock Camp.

Until I get to know you all, here’s some more facts about me:

-I don’t currently play an instrument, but I’m hoping to learn the drums so that my girlfriend and I can start a surf rock band.

-I love all animals and have a cat named Foot Foot (named after the mascot from the Shaggs).

-In my free time I love making zines, working in my garden, reading, and taking walks around the city.

-I have worked for an organic farm, a family-owned bodycare business, the historical archives of my alma mater, and my hometown library.

I hope to meet you all soon; I just know 2019 is going to be a stellar year!

Affectionately yours,

Iris