Join Us at Virtual Summer Camp!

A big part of our work for racial justice lies in our commitment to redoubling our efforts to ensure our programs center and uplift womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folks of color, are accessible to all communities, and educate participants about the systemic racism faced by people of color—particularly Black womxn and gender non-conforming musicians—in the music industry and beyond. These goals have been integral to our planning for our summer programs.

We’re excited to share our plans for a Virtual Summer camp that will be every bit as empowering and meaningful as our in-person camps. And, we hope you’ll join us on this new adventure of self expression! 

What you can expect from Virtual Summer Camp:

  • Online workshops, assemblies and dance parties 
  • Music instruction and songwriting
  • Live performances from guest bands
  • A balance of screen time and real-world activities and interactions
  • Camper Power-up Pack complete with Tour Guide, lanyard, t-shirt and crafts to make the camp experience come to life
  • Tons of staff support—We recognize that technology can present problems for campers and families, and we’re here to help make it easy and accessible!
  • Five days of programming, Monday to Friday
  • A virtual showcase on the final afternoon where campers can show off their new skills

Summer Camp has always been about creating an empowering, safe space where campers can express themselves authentically and fully. Usually that space exists under one roof, but this year we’re building it under many. Our virtual space grows bigger and better with each person who joins Virtual Summer Camp! If you have any questions about signing up to participate or volunteer at Virtual Summer Camp, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at [email protected] or 206-437-2365. You can also check out our Virtual Summer Camp FAQs. We hope you join us for Virtual Summer Camp!

#OneHeartBeat
Mandy

Rain City Rock Camp
Program Manager

Rock It Like We Talk It: Black Lives Matter

To our campers and camp community,

As summer nears, the Rain City Rock Camp team has been in full swing preparing for a Virtual Summer Camp that will support and empower our community of womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folks. But this week, we have paused camp planning. We are prioritizing our time to recognize what’s happening in Seattle and around the United States as we seek justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and collectively activate to fight continued systemic police violence and racism against Black people. 

The mission of RCRC is to empower girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their creative potential through music, champion equity, and thrive in a community of allies and activists. Equity, allyship and activism are IN our mission statement. 

Maybe you are feeling anxious, angry, sad or worried about family, friends and community members. You may be wondering what you can do to stand in solidarity with protest efforts. And, we’re all still coping with a global pandemic that has uprooted many of you from your typical school and friend resources. 

We hope you’ll give yourself the space and time to process these emotions and take action. Rock Camp isn’t a bubble—it’s an incubator, a safe space to express ourselves and learn how to empower others to do so as well in preparation to make change in the wider world. Now is the time to go out—whether virtually or in person—into our local, regional, national and global communities with all the skills and confidence you’ve built up through RCRC. 

Last year’s camp theme was Rock It Like We Talk It. One way we do that is through collective action against inequity. It is that same action that ensures we truly have One HeartBeat. We will also continue sharing resources for taking action and materials for educating yourself and others on our social media. Below are a few reflection questions—taken from our Amplified Teen Voices program—to help get the conversation started and links to resources you may find immediately useful.

Please stay safe and make sure you have someone you trust to talk to about how you’re feeling. During revolutionary times, the Rain City Rock Camp community comes together. We’ve seen that this spring with COVID-19, and we’re seeing it again now. 

#OneHeartBeat
Natalie

Natalie Walker
Executive Director
Rain City Rock Camp

Reflection Questions

  1. Our Amplified Teen Voices invocation states that we “put words into action” and we know that we want to Rock It Like We Talk It. Are any of you thinking about, planning, or participating in ways to activate and support the Black Lives Matter movement? 

    Things to consider:
    • Yes, it’s important to take action at this historic moment to make change happen. However, we also need to plan to do this work for a long time; what are sustainable ways that we can fight against oppression in our daily lives now and in the future?
    • How do our rock camp values relate to the work that we do? We need to make sure that everyone’s voice is amplified, especially those who need the loudest mic in order to be heard. Our ATV agreement to “turn up, turn down” is a helpful tool to remember.
    • How can we include our friends and family in these conversations? We are all stronger together, and the more information and support we can share—the better!
  1. If you identify as white or a non-Black person of color, what does allyship mean to you right now? “How to Tell If You’re Being a Good Ally” by 16-year old Native activist Hallie Sebastian is a great place to start thinking about what allyship can look like. 
  1. What power do you have as an individual, especially if you identify as white, that you can use to show up for marginalized communities? This could include an understanding of social networking platforms, networks of friends/family/followers, free time to spend learning and taking action, access to technology/internet, musical/songwriting skills, etc. 
  1. How am I using social media? Can you “turn up” the mic for others, especially Black leaders or Black-led organizations who are sharing information, reflections, or observations? Also, be sure to check your sources if you can; misinformation is easy to spread and can be harmful.
  1. What changes can I suggest that could make Rock Camp—and other schools, clubs, and camps in my community—more racially equitable spaces? 

Action and Education Resources

  1. Support the work of Black musicians and artists. She Shreds magazine is one great resource to start with, and many of Rain City Rock Camp’s instructors, coaches and counselors are local Black womxn and gender nonconforming musicians
  1. Check out these scaffolded anti-racism resources.
  1. Check out one of these YA books on social justice topics, and start a book club! Two relevant books on this list are Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell—the sister of a RCRC volunteer! (Unfortunately, libraries are still closed due to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. For now, you could learn more about these authors, read book reviews, put together a reading list for the future, or do independent research on the subjects in the books.) 
  1. Learn 12 Things to Do Instead of Calling the Cops from the Community Resource Hub. 
  1. Visit You Grow Girl and access their leadership and behavioral health resources.

We Need Your Support Today

Last year we asked you to Give Big because we believe the work Rain City Rock Camp is doing to empower womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folks through music is essential. This year the world looks a lot different, but we’re asking you to Give Big again, if you can, because our work is more important now than ever.

Give Big to Rain City Rock Camp!

RCRC’s programs create a safe space for campers to express themselves freely through music and to connect with peers and mentors who are fearlessly authentic as well. Our camps are more than music camps. Don’t get us wrong—we rock all the way out! But, even more important, we build a supportive, empowering community where participants discuss media impact on self-image, learn how to set boundaries, explore basic self-defense tactics, and practice body positivity, teamwork and problem solving. The experience has a lasting impact on campers’ lives.

Rock Camp has been one of the biggest parts of my life for as long as I can really remember, no exaggeration. ... I don't think anyone could really ever truly know how important this camp was to me, especially as a queer teen—and a neurodivergent one! I met a lot of people like me, and a LOT more people unlike me, and they made me realize the type of person I really wanted to be and the things I really wanted to put out in the world. ... [C]oming out at camp to my annual camper friends was one of the most amazing and welcoming coming-out experiences of my life. I constantly wish that RCRC was year-round because it truly gives campers like me a sense of belonging, adventure, and spontaneity, all at once. I couldn't imagine the person I would be without it.

Annalise, RCRC Intern

It’s a tough time to ask for your support because we know that a lot of people are struggling in the midst of the pandemic. If you can’t give right now, we understand completely. But if you are in a position to offer your support, would you donate today?

Support Rain City Rock Camp Today


Your support means that we can adapt our programs so that our community can gather together virtually this summer. It means that after COVID-19 is long past, we’ll still be empowering womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folks. But, we can’t do it without you!

An Update on Our Summer Programs

Every spring when the temperature starts to warm up, my heart starts to flutter with excitement about the upcoming camp season. What new volunteers will I get to meet and connect with? What earworms will the campers write (and how long will they stay on repeat in my head)? And most importantly, how will we bend and shape each other’s perspectives in exciting and challenging ways?

This year’s spring has brought mixed emotions with the uncertainty of the current situation in every aspect of life, including our camp traditions. Every conversation that has taken place over the past two months with staff, board, volunteers, families and participating youth has been around finding hope and possibility in this situation.

While uncertainty still abounds, it has also become more and more clear that gathering in person, no matter what the size of the group is, will be an immense safety and logistical concern for this year’s programs. Our every heartbeat as an organization is dedicated to providing safe spaces for RCRC’s youth, volunteers, staff and community. Because that safety is not possible in the analog world at this time, we are moving all of our summer programs for this year to a virtual platform.

For the past 12 years, Rain City Rock Camp has been my life. I know I am not alone when I find myself crying over this news. There is a huge sense of loss, and likely a grieving period for many of our youth and community members. I am also remaining hopeful and optimistic for our community’s resilience. It’s like playing a minor and a major chord at the same time—just like at camp. 😉

The creativity of our campers’ lyrics every year is one of the things that inspires me the most. Where do these ideas come from, and how do our campers author such unique realities? Magical talking food, animals in unlikely situations and solutions for world peace. It is with that creativity that we are now approaching our programming for this summer.

We’re looking at ways to bring in additional dimensions to the virtual experience so that our campers can interact with sound exploration and creative collaboration while continuing to nurture connections with one another. We also need the creativity of our campers, interns and ATVers to co-create a space with us that resembles a RCRC band song—There might not always be a clear verse and a chorus, but there are always smiles and cheers at the end.

In order to collaborate together, we’re asking for the input of our campers, camper families and volunteers to respond here with your ideas, input or suggestions. Our hearts beat together, even when we are apart. We might be physically distant this year, but emotionally we band together as a camp community. I can’t wait to connect with you all and create new traditions!

#OneHeartBeat
Natalie

P.S. If you’ve already signed up for one of our summer programs, you should have received an email from us about next steps. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do! We’re still accepting applications and would love for you to join us on this journey of creation and exploration!

It’s a Mash-up Moment!

Hello Rain City Rockers!

I am so stoked to share the Camp Song video mash-up with you! When brainstorming with the RCRC staff how we can stay connected during this difficult time, it became clear that finding a way to come together and make music has never been more essential for us as a community.

As I listened to all the seriously awesome submissions from folx, the message of the song stood out more clearly than ever (maybe also because it is now permanently stuck on loop in my head). We’re here to rock and we won’t stop! So crank it up, jump around, and maybe just for a moment, let yourself imagine you’re at the Showcase singing with the entire Rain City Rock Camp family.

WE ROCK! #ONEHEARTBEAT

Mandy
RCRC Program Manager

Let’s get together online!

The health and safety of the Rain City Rock Camp community is our priority right now—and that means emotional and mental well-being too! We may not be able to gather together in person during the COVID-19 outbreak, but there are lots of other ways we can continue to support you.

We have some ideas, but we’d like to know what you think! How can our RCRC family stay engaged during this difficult time?

Click as many answers as you like, and don’t be shy about adding your ideas!



Join in With Our Camp Song Mash-up!

It’s a hard time to be apart right now, so we thought the RCRC community could do what it does best and come together to play music—specifically the Camp Song! Submit a video of yourself singing and/or playing the Camp Song on your instrument of choice by Tuesday, March 24. We’ll cut the videos together to create one amazing video of all of us playing music together while apart. 

Send your video (ideal format is MP4) to [email protected] by next Tuesday, March 24. WE ROCK!

How do I participate?

Need some inspiration to get you started? These two are rocking the Camp Song!

Wait, I still have questions!

Do I need special equipment?
Nope, use your phone, computer, or whatever device you have access to! If you have an audio interface, feel free to use it, but it’s definitely not required.

What if I don’t have the song memorized?
We got you! You can access PDFs for all of the instrument parts here, and listen to a complete recording to remember how it goes.

Should I just submit vocals?
We’re asking for all the instrumentals for the song! If you want to sing AND play guitar/bass/drums/keys, that’s great, or you could just play your instrument of choice.

Should I play the backing track while I’m recording?
If you’re able to listen to the backing track (guitar and click track) using headphones, that will help get a cleaner audio on the video for your instrument/vocals. If you’d rather not use the backing track, the key is C Major at 150 BPM.

Coronavirus Response FAQs

What is Rain City Rock Camp doing to address the coronavirus situation?

Our staff and board is remaining diligent about the ongoing situation and the impact that it is having in particular on musicians, educators, young people and the working-class community. The safety of our participants is our number one priority, and you can trust us to make difficult decisions around program and event details if and when the time comes. We are committed to continuing to provide support, encouragement and connection through music. Our programs might look different than they have before, but they will still be the uplifting, empowering experiences you’ve come to expect from RCRC.

Are South Sound Rocks!, Summer Camp and AMP still on?

We have been carefully following the course of the COVID-19 outbreak hoping that we would still be able to hold our summer programs in person. But, after considering all of the information currently available, we have decided that the best way to protect the health and safety of the RCRC community is to switch Summer Camp, South Sound Rocks and our Advanced Music Program (AMP) to a virtual format. We are sad that we won’t get to see our amazing campers in person this year, but we’re also excited to explore new ways of gathering together online to support each other, express ourselves and make some music! We hope you’ll join us on this journey of discovery as either a camper or volunteer! 

Should I still sign up for camp/volunteering/staff?

We are closely monitoring recommendations from the city and health department regarding public gatherings and will make informed decisions that prioritize our community’s health and safety. In the event an in-person camp is not possible, we’ll find other ways to bring our community together to learn from and empower each other! We understand you may feel hesitant, but your early enrollment allows us to plan a successful real-world or virtual event. Your sign-up is a vote of support for RCRC and our community!

5/3/20 UPDATE: All our spring and summer programming will be available in a virtual format. Stay tuned for updates on our volunteer needs. We appreciate your support now more than ever!

4/15/20 UPDATE: SSR! and AMP are on! Visit our youth programs page for more info.

4/1/20 UPDATE: Summer Camp is on! Apply here to volunteer and here to be a 2020 camper!

3/23/20 Update: Spring LRC has been cancelled—see details below. All summer camps are still on, and we look forward to receiving your applications in the coming weeks!

Will RCRC’s cancellation or tuition refund policies change?

We understand that our community is in a rapidly evolving situation and that folks are coping with challenges around childcare, work, travel and personal safety. Any cancellations related to COVID-19 will be refunded in full.

Is LRC still on?

With the health and safety of our community in mind, we’ve decided to go virtual with LRC this spring—Virtual Electric! Participate online—with or without an instrument—in sessions designed to help you exercise your voice, explore your potential, and become part of a music community. And, because we know everyone’s on screen-time overdrive right now, we’re sending participants a welcome kit of hands-on goodies that bring the fun and learning from the screen into the real world. LRC: Virtual Electric applications are open now. Priority placement will be given to folks who were already signed up for our in-person spring LRC.

I have an RCRC meeting scheduled. Should I still go?

All RCRC business meetings will be online until further notice. Board meetings, staff meetings and committee meetings are all moving to Zoom. We are connecting with involved community members to ensure access to this technology, particularly after the recent announcement of library closures. Our board and staff are keeping organizational viability front of mind during this time, as well as prioritizing the health, safety and financial stability of our employees. Our organization is healthy, and we will continue to fundraise and ask for support so that we can continue to operate and sustain our work for many years to come.

Will the ATV program continue?

Our ATV year-round program has transitioned to an online format. Our ATV advisors are connecting with participants and families to ensure access to the technology needed for this shift. We are also connecting with local educators to ensure that we follow online accessibility best practices for educational programs.

How can I get updates about program decisions related to COVID-19

As state, county and city authorities issue new recommendations, we’ll keep you informed via social media, our eNewsletter and our coronavirus response FAQs about how we plan to keep our community safe and thriving. Enrolled participants will be notified by email if there are any changes in plans for their event.

Should I still have band practice?

No. We know playing music can be a huge source of comfort in difficult times, but your health comes first! Try setting up a Zoom meeting so you can stay connected with your band members and maybe even do some remote practice!

Is the GRCA conference cancelled?

We are awaiting news from the Girls Rock Camp Alliance regarding the annual international conference, and we trust the decisions of our Rock Camp colleagues. We offer solidarity and support to other Rock Camps in this time, and we look forward to collaborating with them to problem solve and support each other in this difficult time.

Who should I tell if I have an idea or question about how RCRC is responding to the coronavirus?

Our Rock Camp community is strong, and our collective heartbeat is loud. Talk to us! If you are feeling alone, please reach out to your RCRC family. Call or connect with someone you met at camp. Tweet us or send us a song you’ve recorded at home. Tell us how we can support you in feeling less alone. This is the time for community care, and lucky for us, we’ve been practicing it for a long time. #OneHeartBeat

What can I do to help?

Thanks for wanting to pitch in! Making a donation is a great way to ensure we can keep our programming going strong—in-person or online—during this difficult time. It is likely we’ll need additional access to laptops or computers for participants in the near future, as well as audio interfaces such as M-Audios and Focusrite Scarlett’s. Check out our list of opportunities to support local musicians, teachers and artists as well! And finally, one of the most powerful things you can do right now is sign up! Apply for camp, sign-up to volunteer, find out about becoming an instructor. Your sign-up is a vote of support for RCRC and our community!

#OneHeartBeat!—in Good Times and Bad

The last couple of weeks have been tough times for Seattle as the coronavirus spreads. It’s been a reminder of how essential it is that we support each other.

We are strongest when we come together as a community. At Rain City Rock Camp, we see this strength every day as volunteers, donors, participants and staff come together to create inspirational moments of learning and empowerment. This year’s theme—One HeartBeat!—reminds us of the power of community to amplify passion and action. Our hearts each beat strong, but they beat strongest together!

We asked our ATV youth leaders what One HeartBeat means to them and they told us “a safe space for all,” “a community of love and support always,” and “we’re all here to support each other.”

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of resources for musicians who are being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. If you know of more, drop us an email at [email protected], and we’ll add them to the list!

No one knows what the next several weeks hold for Seattle. What we do know is that the RCRC family will do what it does best—come together. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring ways that we can strengthen our bonds as a community as we navigate the challenge of the coronavirus. We’d love to hear your stories of how your people have lifted you up in hard times or how you plan to be there for your community in the coming days. #OneHeartBeat!

Still have questions? Learn more on our coronavirus response FAQs page.