There were many firsts at the 2017 South Sound Ladies Rock Camp in Tacoma. It was the very first Ladies Rock Camp held outside of Seattle—part of RCRC’s attempt to expand our reach and encourage more individuals to #getfierce with us. For many campers, it was also their first Rock Camp experience – new faces lit up the stage and inspired us all with their fierce willingness to try something new. Lastly, it was the first Ladies Rock Camp that I would witness as a newly initiated staff member.
I showed up to The Mountaineers in Tacoma around 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon, the second day of camp. It was band practice, and recently written songs still in their infancy echoed throughout the space. The smell of baking cookies wandered out of the kitchen accompanied by bursts of laughter from the food crew within. Wendy, our front desk volunteer, greeted me ever so enthusiastically as soon as I poked my head through the door. So this is rock camp, I thought.
A little later on, Bo Po with Mo (Michelle’s body power workshop) inspired fierce self-love within us, as well as a sense of empowerment throughout the room. As we watched powerful media clips and engaged in activities that challenged us to practice radical body love, I thought, wow, this is rock camp too.
Flash-forward a few hours and the aura of empowerment must have stuck around because I was in a purple wig scream-singing Bonnie Raitt karaoke style as campers and volunteers danced interpretively with feather boas before me. All right then, I thought, this is ALSO rock camp.
The following morning Reese facilitated a fierce session of rock-aerobics and to get everyone hyped for the last day of camp as well as the impending showcase event later that evening. Although nerves were up, Reese had the campers roaring like lions and high kicking the air, which seemed to help. Typical rock camp moment, I thought (I was catching on).
When the evening rolled around, we all reconvened at Jazzbones, a proper dive bar fit to feature only the fiercest of rock bands (also a classic Tacoma venue). I was not quite prepared for the performances that were about to rock my socks off, nor was I expecting the level of inter-camp support I would witness afterwards. These campers had two and a half days to learn an instrument, join a band, write a song with original lyrics, and perform in front of a sizable crowd, and they absolutely killed it. They killed it, and they fiercely supported one another. The cheers that erupted during and after each performance were as inspiring as the songs themselves – a true show of what rock camp is. It was that moment after each band gave it their all and stood beaming on stage while being showered with love that I thought, THIS is Ladies Rock Camp.
Written by: Kate Hall