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,


Announcing Our 2019 Camp Theme!

Rock It Like We Talk it!

“This year is about allowing ourselves to fall, to get back up, and to keep going at it ‘till we get to where we want to be, moving forward, starting our own fire/rocket and keeping it lit.”

Adra Boo, Ladies Rock Camp Director

Alright, we are three months into 2019.  Last year we were all about how practice makes progress. This year we are challenging ourselves to take that theme even further and push ourselves to live out our beliefs.  We are asking ourselves to be impeccable with our word, authentic to our ethics, and genuine in our commitments.

Rocking it is being accountable to yourself. “It is being true to your word and following through with your plans.”

Carly Toyer, Summer Camp Director

Our theme focuses on action! It says, okay, we’ve talked about how were going to do this thing, now let’s go out and do it! Even if it seems daunting, even if we are afraid that we might not get it right, thanks okay, get out there and ROCK IT. Rocking it is bold.

Rocking it is “putting ideas into action.”

Danielle Crivello-Chang, Lead Youth Program Staff

We’ve talked a lot about how perfection isn’t our goal at rock camp, but it is still hard to shake that need to be seen a certain way, to be passive over active, to not ruffle feathers in the face of disagreement or speak up when you may be the only one to do so.  All too often our goals, our dreams, and our promises to ourselves and to one another can get lost in the chatter, in the over-analyzation, and in the need to perfect or control.

“It is tending one’s own fire or garden. It speaks to last year’s theme and
continues that mission forward.”

Stephanie Anne Johnson, South Sound Ladies Rock Camp Director

In these moments, we’ve got to give ourselves permission to ROCK IT. We want to remind one another that it is okay to make mistakes!  It is okay to get out on stage even if you don’t feel like your song is perfect! It is okay to stand up for what you believe in even if you are afraid! Go forth and rock it. What is important is that you are doing it.

“We are taking the things that we teach and learn at camp and applying it to our personal lives.”

Jeanne Mitchell, Activated Teen Voices

We are challenging all of us to check in with ourselves about how we are really integrating the lessons we’ve learned at rock camp into our lives. ROCK IT LIKE WE TALK IT.  Yes, we love the way it rhymes and allows for some fantastic future rocket puns (yep, they are coming) AND we are also holding ourselves to this mantra.

“It’s a temperature check for us all — anyone can say they’re pushing for change in themselves, in their lives, in the world but are we taking that next step?”

Sue Spang, Program Director

We invite you to reflect on this year’s theme and consider how you interact with your own values, ethics, and goals.  And we invite you to rock it in 2019 over and over and over again!

How do we rock it?
Like we talk it!

How do we talk it?
Like we rock it!


Why Keys? Why Now?

Today, we officially announced the addition of keyboards to our instrument offerings at Rain City Rock Camp! Besides being so stoked to provide this option to everyone who’s asked about it over the years, I want to reflect on a few reasons why we’re launching this keyboard program this year!

First and foremost, we want to create more access for our programs. As many of you know, our camps fill up blazingly fast, and at their current size, our largest Summer Camps (20 bands or so) in Seattle require the work of around 100 adult volunteers a day to serve our campers, with each additional band requiring even more volunteers. By opening up a keyboard spot in each band, we can run programming for more campers while keeping the number of volunteers around the same, and providing better support for those volunteers and campers. Feels like a win-win to us!

Second, we are so excited to provide new opportunities for our returning campers and volunteers. So many of our returners have experienced camp so many times — and while we are always finding new ways to keep it fresh, the introduction of a whole new curriculum and instrument will totally change how our bands sound and the way our instruments work together, as well as provide another learning opportunity for more experienced folks. We are SO excited to hear what everyone will come up with. Are you a volunteer who wants to teach keyboards at LRC or Summer Camp? Let us know!

Third, thanks to generous donors and grants, we have an expanded gear budget that will allow us to begin purchasing the necessary equipment to offer consistent, effective education and confident performance for our campers on keys. Based on our other instrument teaching models, we’ll need about twenty identical keyboards to serve our current camp size and model, as well as cases, amps, and other associated equipment. We are exploring sourcing these as we speak, while keeping in mind that we are also maintaining and replacing other program gear.

We’re on our way, but your donations, as always, make it possible for us to keep offering innovative, supportive, empowering programming for youth and adults — if you would like to support the new keyboard program, or our programs more widely, please don’t hesitate to click on the link below.

And with that, we are SO excited to be embarking on this new chapter at RCRC! Do you have questions about our keyboard program or anything else at RCRC? Get in touch with us at [email protected]


Message from Mama Mo

Dear Rock Camp Family,

After 8 incredible years serving the organization, I am leaving the Rain City Rock Camp staff. It has been an absolute honor to work alongside all of you to help advance our mission to empower girls, womxn, and gender non-conforming individuals to engage their amazing potential through music. We have accomplished so much together!

What I love most about this organization is the thriving, loving, talented, dedicated community we have built. I have been so inspired by the way the Rock Camp family has grown and shown up for the cause. Together, we have made a huge impact and I’m so darn proud of what we have done so far. This is a pivotal point in the RCRC timeline, and I can’t wait to see the great things this heart-filled organization and fantastic community will do in the future!

Leading the discussions around Body Image in our programs over the years has been revolutionary for me, and has shaped who I am as a person. Through those workshops and the support from this community, I have transformed my life, growing from an eager intern to a Director of Community Engagement that stands tall, proud, and comfortable in her own skin. I am forever grateful.

I am now pursuing an opportunity in coaching, where I can pay it forward and cheer folks on one-on-one.

Thank you,

Michelle O’Connor

Aka: Mama Mo

New Position at RCRC

Join our dynamic music and social justice organization! Rain City Rock Camp for Girls seeks a full-time Administrative Coordinator to support all aspects of the organization’s operations, from office tasks to program-related support and volunteer coordination. See below for job description and qualifications, and instructions on how to apply. The deadline to apply is Feb 1st at 5PM, 2019.

Administrative Coordinator Job

The RCRC Team

New Year, New Theme!

This year marks Rain City Rock Camp for Girls’ TENTH year as an organization. That’s ten years of summer camp, ten years of radical thinking and community building, ten years of troubleshooting programs and figuring out how to best carry out our vision.

Over the years, we have tweaked, adjusted, pivoted, changed our method—changed our name, made mistakes, taken risks, tried new roles, formed committees, counted on many, and marched on together. In the throes of hard work or in moments of struggle—as a volunteer or staff member or supporter—we always came back to our mission: 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.

For 2018, we dreamed of a theme that would embody this sentiment: the value of committing time and energy to make positive change in ourselves and in our community. Thanks to our Teen Leadership Crew, Amplified Teen Voices, that theme fell right into our laps. Without further ado, we present our theme for Rain City Rock Camp’s TENTH year of programming …

Practice makes progress.

This year we are asking ourselves, what does it mean to practice? What is my practice? And, what are we practicing for? We are challenging ourselves to take that thing in our lives – the one that has been subject to procrastination, put on the back burner, or too intimidating in the past – and put it into practice. Knowing that it starts with just a small step, that we might not get it right at first, and at some point we may feel as though we are failing. That is okay. We aren’t striving for perfection. The point is to keep trying—to keep playing that riff, having those tough conversations, or pushing yourself to look in the mirror and say, “you are strong, and you got this.”

In the words of ATV,

“Practice Makes Progress is setting goals, and thinking about what I CAN do.”

“It allows room for error, knowing that progress is not always a straight line.”

“It is making the choice to learn.”

“Practice Makes Progress is making a difference no matter where I am in my process.”

“It is how I set the bar for myself.”

“It is about taking steps.”

“Practice Makes Progress is bringing out into the world what I practice at camp.”

When we practice something, we are choosing where to apply our attention and focus our energy. A practice is a commitment to our beliefs, and a dedication to carrying out our values. We practice to break into habits, see what we are capable of, and actively follow through on our ideas. It takes our time and energy, but we are investing in something bigger. When we commit to our practice, we are committing to ourselves and what we stand for. Why? To witness our growth. To be agents of change. To make progress.

Our first camp had only 39 participants.

By the end of this year, because of the way our community has collectively practiced our mission, we’ve will have served over 2000 women, girls, and gender non-conforming individuals. THAT feels a lot like progress.

Thanks to ATV for the great theme, and happy 10th birthday, RCRC community!

New Year, New Staff Member!

Hey everyone!

If we haven’t yet had a chance to meet, I’m Sue, the new Program Director here at Rain City Rock Camp. After four years of volunteering as a bass instructor, band coach, roadie manager, and photographer (and two years as the RCRC Graphic Designer), I am honored and thrilled to be stepping into this role!

I am most excited about moving back into working with a small, vibrant, arts non-profit; before working full-time as a graphic designer, I spent years as the Programs and Publications Manager at 826 Seattle (now The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas) creating and teaching creative writing programs for students ages 6-17 all over the Puget Sound region. That organization, like RCRC, uses creativity as a means to empower young people and encourage potential; I designed workshops on everything from shadow puppetry to break-up songs to explore and expand the boundaries of how our students viewed writing and themselves. As a performing and teaching bassist, building on that curriculum and program development experience musically, especially at RCRC, is a dream opportunity. And I even get to keep doing our graphic design!

A little more about me: I’m originally from Rochester, NY, although I’ve lived in the PNW for about a decade now; I studied bass and jazz/improvisational music at Lawrence University in Wisconsin (although I was an Ancient Greek major); I’ve played bass in a ton of different bands, and now, I mostly play jazz doublebass; My wife Sarah (a Montessori teacher) and I live in West Seattle, where we are lucky to have a killer view of sunrises; my previous job was the graphic designer for the awesome Central Co-op on Capitol Hill; I love pizza, dogs, baseball, and swimming in the ocean.

I can’t wait to work with everyone in this incredible community!



Lotto Bands!

‘Lotto Bands’ is a new opportunity to GET FIERCE! Participants will form a band with 3 other musicians of varying experience levels where you will collaborate and create, fiercely, together over one month. Band members will establish their own practice schedule and each band will be formed with at least one available practice space. (If you have a space available, please note this in the form.) The end goal is to have at least one original song and play at the showcase up to 15 minutes.

Women and gender-diverse people age 18+ who are ready to play in a band setting are welcome to apply. If you have done LRC at least once, you are ready!

For some, Lotto Band is that next step after participating in LRC to try out a (short term) more formal band setting. For others, it’s a way to shake things up with other ROCKERS or to try out an instrument they are less familiar with. For everyone, it’s a way to participate in RCRC community, get to know new friends, and practice getting FIERCE through playing music together.

Lotto Bands is brought to you by the LRC HYPE Committee, a group of LRC alum and volunteers who are dedicated to increasing engagement, participation, and fierceness in our community!

Key dates:
Kickoff – Saturday, 1/13/18, 1-3pm at Seattle Central College, 1701 Broadway, first floor atrium
Showcase – Saturday, 2/17/18, 6pm at Skylark Cafe, 3803 Delridge Way SW

Check out the APPLICATION for more details!