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Amped-Up camp

this was a story i found when i came home from work tuesday night (actually wednesday morning, so this must be going in the 18th's paper) about a rock n roll camp for young girls aged 9 to 17. It's called Girls Rock n Roll Retreat (GRRR) and they have it out in Golden Valley. This is a program where girls get to put together a rock band and let loose, (which i think is awesome, and if i ever had a girl, or a boy, i'd put em in stuff like this. especially with girls i think it's important to get them havin good self esteem early on.) and local women who have ties to the music world in some aspect, or in the case of Karen Gustafson, the camp director, a psychologist. It seems the goal is to get girls in the mindset that they don't have to be the pretty singer - they can be the (badass) drummer or whatever. This camp here in Minnesota is tied up with the International Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which started in Portland, Ore., in 2001.
So i went to the web to see if the IGRCA had a Web site. Of course they did. girlsrockcamp.org. they list out their values:

We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change;
We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls and women;
We value positive approaches to fighting sexism;
We value integrity, honesty and respect;
We value appropriate sharing of resources, cooperation, and collaboration;
We value using our collective voice to further our mission;
We value diversity.
(pretty f'in cool)

they also have a camp for ladies 19 and up. And in Portland they're trying to put together an all-girl "break crew" for those who dig hip-hop. People from the group in Portland also started a record and distribution label. This is something pretty neat i've never heard of before.
Their mission statement reads "The Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls, a 501(c)3 non-profit, builds girls self-esteem through music creation and performance. Providing workshops and technical training, we create leadership opportunities, cultivate a supportive community of peers and mentors, and encourage social change and the development of life skills."
The strib's article is in the lifestyle section. It covers the couple of days of camp the girls have, where they split off by role in the band - singer, guitarist, bassist, etc. - and work on their craft, attitude and look, then they get together for band practice. Girls with prior experience are not allowed to play covers. Everyone writes songs. (rad.) There's good voice in there from both the volunteers at the camp and the girls who are participating in the camp. There's no bits on crowd reaction. The camp ended with a show in front of about 200 people.


the pioneer press wasn't running anything on this, not that i could find anyway.
Definitely a cool alternative camp experience for kids in the summer.