Hello hello, RCRC community. I come to you with some news. Next week, I am stepping out of my role as Adult Programs Lead. I have been a volunteer and camper going back to 2014, and was officially brought on staff in 2018. I have loved my time here but I also have other aspirations that I must follow. Your gurl has big dreams of growing #BlackHotSunday into something bigger, more substantial, and well, it’s time for me to put my full focus there.
What does that mean for Adult Programs, specifically ARC? Well, it does mean that we are forgoing this Fall’s Adult Rock Camp. For 2023, we’re looking at how we host ARC with considerations around community safety. Covid is still around so we’re always thinking about how to make sure the community feels safe, feels good, and feels valued in wild times. And of course, we’re thinking about the ways that we mash up classic and new programming. Now that we have added the DJ track, we want to look at having all things in one space that absolutely works for all to turn it up- turn the learning UP, turn the vibes UP, and turn the party UP UP UP!
Now, what is also exciting is that we are going to uplift our adult programming with the reimagining of a pre-panini staple, Lotto Bands! Remember when we would get together, mixing up band members to create songs and raise money for the org? Yas, right?! Now, we’re going to make this more of a program of RCRC by making it an event to engage adults who have been rock campers, and/or have a bit more playing experience. More info will be coming out to get you excited about Lotto Bands again!
And of course, there will be more to engage our adult community members- even as we love and uplift our youth, we also see the value in uplifting all ages of marginalized folx. We want to fully realize what it’s like when it’s not just open to all, but designed for YOU to have a place at the table. As someone who didn’t have camp experiences as a kid, being able to be a camper as an adult was (and still is) a really special experience that I actually needed for myself. We are going to continue that legacy for marginalized adults to build community with each other, build up self-love in the individual, and also nurture our youth by creating volunteers who are paying it forward. We want you all to turn the tables towards making RCRC the place for encouragement, for finding your personal power, for shining in your best and brightest light with like-minded folx!
I appreciate all of you who have come to camp, have played, cried, grown and shown out with me. Thank you for your trust and support these last years. And be sure to follow me on socials to see what I’m up to!
OMG, friends! Spring’s Adult Rock Camp 👏🏾 WENT 👏🏾 AWFF! And just how did we go so hard for our new DJ curriculum? Here are just a few of the ways:
We had the honor of having instruction and coaching from local favorites DJ Mike Steve, DJ Ray Ray, and Deejay Hershe. We had the best guest workshop instructors: Dr. Angie Dane blessed us with the Black HERstory of rock’n roll, Goddess Briq House turned the tables fully on the way in which we love and care for ourselves from the inside out, and our very own Parker Pavitt led us through some sweet creativity in the art of zine making. Each piece of instruction was held in a space of learning, stepping out of comfort zones, and being present for each other.
The weekend wasn’t without its challenges. This is the first time we really dove into this kind of programming, but at the same time, we were able to figure out so much, from how to DJ on PCs to concepts of mixing. By Sunday, all 8 of our DJ campers had formed into 3 crews that blended so lovely into each other’s sets!
High praise and major shout outs to our camper crews for taking a journey with us, and then for giving us one of the best return-to-in-person live shows EVER! The jams were in abundance, booties were out their seats and grooving throughout the night! Super-human shoutouts go to the new DJ crews: Chop House, ✌🏼☮️ (yep, 2-peace), and Dirty Tast-E Munnii aka the Intersectionals! Y’all DJ’d the house down!
Stay tuned for Fall 2022’s camp. Info is definitely to come, but before that, we look forward to summer programs. We can’t wait to see a handful of our ARC folx in volunteer mode, sharing with the youth and making more magic in the name of awesomeness! My my my how the tables will turn so fabulously!
When asked for their reflections on this year’s theme, our Amplified Teen Voices crew was more than up for the task. Their definition of Turn the Tables referenced favorite songs, musicals, TV shows, and internet media.
One song we loved was Janelle Monáe’s Turntables, which features powerful video footage of popular uprisings from the Civil Rights Movement through contemporary Pride parades and Black Lives Matter protests. The lyric “liberation, elevation, education” in the chorus feels especially resonant. Another song we thought of was Be Our Guest from the musical Beauty and the Beast– is there a song that conveys more warmth and hospitality when welcoming others to join a seat at our table? In ATV and as interns for youth programming this summer, Amplified Teen Voices is ready to take action– whether spinning DJ turntables with original tunes, rotating the table to get a new perspective, or pulling up a chair for you to join them.
Adra Boo (she/her), Adult Camp Director & Programs Lead
Personally, turning the tables feels like flipping the tables, feels like pulling the chairs from underneath, feels like putting hella spinning susans on the tables, hella good food and good music, and making sure everyone has a place, and maybe you’re next to someone you’ve never met, different background, life experience, the whole bag, and at the end of it, everyone has been fed, is full to the brim with passion, intention, a new air, new confidence, bold urge to shake up what seems like the norm, and well, elevation! Turning the table should look like remembering the past to crack open the future in a more truthful and more meaningful way. Making sure that the Black and brown voices are heard, listened to, and that every voice can get it together for the whole. Turning the tables means we are actively in progress and growth. It means that people are sitting in uncomfortable spaces to create fire and magic for the sake of a more beautiful future. It means that you are willing to pull up the person next to you to get closer to the goods. We all want it good. We all want the goods, and the facts of the facts is that we can only do it well together.
Carly Toyer (they/them, she/her), Summer Camp Director
How to Turn a Table:
Be curious about what you see in front of you.
Wiggle around to change your perspective.
Challenge yourself & others to try something new.
Choose a new place to sit in the cafeteria of life.
Remix your routine.
Mashup your two most exciting ideas.
Serve up something honest.
Laugh when the record skips in just the right spot.
Pass the mic all the way around the room.
Start a whole new band.
Crystal White (she/her), Executive Director
Why turn a table? Because we know learning and appreciation come from different perspectives. Because experiencing new perspectives helps us connect more deeply with one another. Because learning new perspectives keeps us curious about who is welcomed to the table and who is not – and the roles we hold too.
Why is this relevant now? Because comfort and change don’t sit at the same table. Change has been our constant officemate and dinner guest. Turning the table helps us face change by seeking new stories, savoring fresh experiences, challenging our assumptions, and sharing our curiosities and vulnerabilities. The table is big enough when we build it to fit our community’s needs and priorities. Together, we’ll make sure our table serves up big bowls of joy and connection and we’ve got an equity playlist on repeat that we feel all in our bones.
Dani Crivello-Chang (she/her), ATV Advisor and South Sound Rocks! Camp Director
in the physical sense, turning the table is comparable to spring cleaning and moving your furniture around for something fresh and new; giving existing spaces a different look and creating space for things to flow in a new way. it’s creating space for others to be in the space sharing laughs, cries, food, discussion and dissent; turning things upside-down and right-side up and looking at what has existed in other ways.
in the theoretical sense, it’s deeply thinking of who is not at our community table and ensuring that access to our table isn’t exclusive or impossible and that “turning the table” is the action plan to combat injustice, inequities, and systematic isms….flipping the table and rejecting the norm of accepting it as being “what it is”….getting our goods and providing the goods for all who want to come to our table.
Mandy Goldberg (she/her), Program Manager
One of the things I’ve missed most these last 2 years of the pandemic has been gathering around a table with lots of friends and loved ones, sharing a meal and stories and laughs. As we look forward to coming together again in person with excitement and intention, I can’t wait to see everyone at the RCRC table. We also know that the table looks different now- we want it laden with things that nourish our whole selves, and we want everyone to pull up a seat. Sometimes we need to flip the table for a new perspective, or –record scratch– swap the album. I want our table heavy with ideas, music, care, community, and a seat for everyone.
When we first began discussing the theme of Turn the Tables, my initial reaction was a flash of recognition. I thought of Shirley Chisholm’s famous quote, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Chisholm was a Black woman politician & activist who continuously pushed the social norms of every era she lived in. She was a community advocate, Congresswoman in New York, Presidential candidate (in 1972!), and she continued throughout her life to amplify the voices of the politically marginalized. As we show up and turn up for our communities as fully as we can, let’s make sure that everyone has a seat at the table including those who came before us. The best way that I can think of to keep on turning tables now and into the future is to honor their struggles and joys, letting them know that we heard the message and we thank them for passing the mic.
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!
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.
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!
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!
We are experiencing so much change in our world right now, and oftentimes big shifts are necessary for essential growth, rebirth, and innovation. A foundational strength of RCRC is our responsive, adaptive nature, and we certainly are no strangers to change; we’ve changed our name, rewritten our language, built and rebuilt policies, shifted and added locations, and welcomed new voices and leaders, just to name a few! As the founding Executive Director of RCRC, along with the dream to build this organization also came the dream to one day be equipped to let it fly on its own. I am deeply proud and honored to announce that this summer I will be transitioning out of my role as Executive Director of Rain City Rock Camp, and moving into my role as super fan.
I am forever grateful that I was supported in my efforts to start RCRC in a time when I was a young person myself. My peer co-founders and founding board members believed in me and cheered me on in ways that I learned to emulate, so that I could cheer on others who were struggling to feel that they were enough. I am humbled by how much I have been supported along the way to try, fail, try again, and at many times succeed as this organization’s leader. RCRC has helped me to find my community, my voice, my purpose, and my creative outlet. Being a part of RCRC has given me a space where I can laugh, cry, dance, scream, and make a difference all in the same place. I am endlessly grateful to our campers of all ages for cheering alongside me and challenging me to make RCRC a more equitable and justice-focused organization.
To my family, friends, and bandmates, thank you for allowing me the space to dive deeply into my passion for Rock Camp for the past 13 years, and for actively supporting RCRC’s work. I have missed weddings, funerals, birthdays and holidays, but you’ve reminded me that my work matters, and you turned around and signed up to volunteer so that you could spend time with me. I’ll never forget it.
In 2008, inspired by Portland’s Rock n’ Roll Camp, RCRC founders and founding board embarked on our journey to launch our own Seattle program and nonprofit organization. What followed was a tidal wave of growth, creativity, community engagement, volunteer hours, minor chords, and joy of social revolution. RCRC offered our first ever Summer Camp session at The Fremont Abbey Arts Center for 40 campers, ages 9 to 16. When parents arrived at the camp venue on Monday morning of our first camp, we froze momentarily in disbelief that people were actually trusting us with their kids! But we proved to ourselves that we could do it- our camp enrollment was at capacity, campers and volunteers were drawn into a community, and the campers’ final showcase performance at The Vera Project sold out with more than 400 family, parents and community members in attendance. The rock camp rocket was officially on full blast.
Now, in 2021, RCRC has served over 3,000 youth and adults and formed nearly 600 new bands. Our programming includes South Sound Rocks!, two weeks of Seattle Summer Camp, multiple sessions of Adult Rock Camp, a year-round paid leadership program, Amplified Teen Voices, Advanced Music Program, Rain City Rock School, virtual adaptations of all programs, and even more in the works. We have an amazing 9-person staff, dedicated 9-person board of directors, hundreds of teaching artists and volunteers, and serve more than 350 womxn, girls (cis and trans) and gender expansive folx every year.
Here are some more highlights of my 13 years with RCRC:
Team building, hiring staff, and growing shared leadership structures: Building a team is like band formation. Every part is equally important yet individually unique. Developing employment practices, establishing living wages, providing health benefits and paid holidays, growing our volunteer leads program, paying our youth ATV leaders- it all has been a huge step in our growth to rock the talk.
GRCA movement building: Hosting the international GRCA board retreat in Seattle was a mountaintop moment. Getting to mentor and encourage rock camp founders in other states and countries served to positively impact countless other young people and adults around the world. The mentorship has always been reciprocal, and the relationships built across camps are everlasting.
Partnerships with incredible organizations like KEXP, Bureau of Fearless Ideas, Teen Tix, MoPop: RCRC is collaborative to our core, working with like minded organizations has grown our programs, our reach, and enriched our curriculum.
Winning BECU Member Volunteer of the Year Award: Receiving a community-based award that celebrates volunteer commitment is the most mission-aligned grant I could possibly imagine. What a joy and honor!
Running Camps virtually during a pandemic: Staff, Board, community, donors and participants connected online and reminded all of us the importance of the space to connect, play, dream, and encourage.
Establishing an office space: Having a space where we can hold meetings, store our well-loved instruments, and hang our shout out wall is something I’ve been so grateful for, particularly after the early years of meeting in my living room and storing equipment in Board members’ garages.
In-school and out of school programming: Starting with our in school programs at Scriber Lake High School and Totem Middle School, all the way to our new Rain City Rock School, the beat goes on beyond the summer and into a more camp-infused lifestyle for many youth who do not have summer camp access.
Amplified Teen Voices program & trajectory: Launching the ATV program was a collaborative effort, and what has grown from it has been a beautiful mix of the many voices of the youth participating, the adult advisors, and the input from other youth serving organizations. After some important pay equity shifts, ATVers started receiving stipends for their participation as well.
RCRC’s future is incredibly bright, bold, and brave. The positive impact of this organization has resonated beyond my wildest dreams. This transition creates space for a new visionary voice as we head into the creation of a new strategic plan, and as our community embraces even more growth and possibility.
RCRC Board President aNdi pUzL has immediately sprung to action and assembled a transition team of Board members, staff, and community. I am grateful to be an active member myself. The transition team has put in incredible work so far. A transition consultant was hired. One-on-one interviews have begun with staff, board, and youth. The team continues to outline timelines for transition and find ways that RCRC can shift power to focus our efforts towards equity. An extensive executive search will take place over the next few months, and the transition team looks forward to posting the job description in March. The Board and transition team will also be hosting a virtual town hall for community members and campers who would like to know more about the transition process, and ask any questions they may have about what has been planned, and what is still in the works. Just like everything at camp, this transition process is immensely collaborative and works to value the contributions of our diverse and engaged community.
I cherish this community and I feel so endlessly grateful to be a part of it. I’m excited about the work that RCRC will continue to do, and the ways that we will continue to innovate, create, and earn the respect of the young people and adults we serve. I look forward to submitting an application to be a bass instructor at Summer Camp, making a cameo or two in the skits, and singing the camp song from the top of my lungs from the audience. I will be the biggest fan and supporter of this organization for the rest of my life.
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-437-2365. You can also check out our Virtual Summer Camp FAQs. We hope you join us for Virtual Summer Camp!
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.
Natalie Walker Executive Director Rain City Rock Camp
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!
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.
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.
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.
What changes can I suggest that could make Rock Camp—and other schools, clubs, and camps in my community—more racially equitable spaces?
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.)