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!