Rock Camp for Girls- Volounteering
I am super sorry about how long it has taken for me to update my blog! Had a super busy summer and then school got in the way and stuff ect, blah blah blah. But one of the things I had the privilege to do in the Summer was volunteering at Rock Camp for Girls. This is just a quick note to say I will not be showing any photos of the girls I got to work with or their names. This is just for privacy and soliciting rights ect, please let me know what you think of this blog. Any feedback would be much appreciated!
Last year, as some of you may know, I went participated in Rock Camp for Girls. It was the most amazing experience, I learnt to play bass and I've made gorgeous new friends who I still see on a daily basis. Rock Camp for Girls first started in America and was created by Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin lead singer Kathleen Hanna. Last year was the first one every in Glasgow! It was organized by a family friend of ours and my mum also became a volunteer and part of the committee. The first Rock Camp was such a success it came back and this time so did I as a volunteer! Because my mum and our family friend are two of the organizers I've always been able to be helping at Fundraisers and a few Meetings but to be an official volunteer was an honour. The week at Rock Camp took place at a Complex. It was Monday to Saturday, ten till five. The girls were to take part in various music workshops, learning new instruments and forming their own bands. We also had workshops on Fanzines, LGBT, Body Positivity and Mindfulness. The girls would then perform their own songs or covers at the Art School in front of their family and friends at the Art School. On Monday I was super nervous because I was worried the girls wouldn't like me or I wouldn't be good at anything. But I realized everyone including all the Volunteers and the girls would be feeling nervous. I was also really excited though! Here's a photo of me on the Monday, at half eight in the morning, ready to go with my personalized t shirt made by Trudi who ran the Crafts workshop and is a member of the committee!
On the first day, we had a getting to know each other session where the volunteers and girls took part, to help break the ice. It was a bit awkward for the older girls at first but eventually everyone became very relaxed in each other's company. I was then in the kitchen, helping prepare our vegan café style lunches and snacks with mum and Jude. We nicknamed ourselves the Kitchen Witches! It was very tiring getting everything done in time but it was really good fun, I loved getting to chat to the girls when I served their lunches. Especially the little ones who always were so happy, you could see the excitement in their eyes.
I wasn't just in the kitchen though, I had the privilege of getting to help with workshops. I helped at a Fanzine Workshop where I helped the girls create their own beautiful booklets about music and their own passions. It was amazing to get all of them enthusiastically coming over asking for help and showing me their works.
I also got to help the lovely Trudi. She has her own business selling her amazing homemade badges, tops and embroidery. She ran a workshop making Band Merch and Badges! I helped the girls use the badge machine and at some point I had about 40 badges to make! Luckily one of the girls was really good at helping and eventually kindly took over. I even got to make my own badges.
One of the highlights of the week was the Movement Workshops. It was run by the beautiful and kind Aniela and Phoebe. The workshop was about empowering the girls through movement and dance, getting them to be more confident. At point we were all dancing and yelling "Huh!!" whilst flexing our muscles, listening to Who Run The World by Beyoncé. It was kind of like an all girl empowering version of the Icelandic chants at the Euros! And at the point I thought about just how amazing this is. To see all these young girls getting more and more confident and feel more empowered. It was this brilliant rush of Girl Power!
I also got to help in the Body Positivity workshop which was absolutely amazing. All the young girls were so knowledgeable about air brushing and Photoshop. It was so refreshing to see a group of girls know already that these standards of beauty are unrealistic, they knew all about how fake media can portray women.
The most inspiring and emotional day was the showcase. The Showcase takes place on Sunday, the last day of Rock Camp. This takes place at Glasgow Art School where the girls' and volunteers friends and family are invited to watch the girls' perform in their bands. Whilst watching the girls perform in their beautiful bands, singing and playing the most creative and brilliant covers and their own songs, you can't help get a little tearful. To watch these girls grow from shy and nervous girls into these confident performers who support and empower each other, is truly a privilege. You're always filled with a sense of relief after it's over because you're so happy it went well, you hug your fellow friends and volunteers and cheer for the wonderful young girls you've spent a week with. But after you've recovered from the tiring week you miss it. You really miss spending days doing empowering workshops with the most amazing volunteers and girls. You miss hanging out with such a beautiful group. I will always feel proud of the girls who take park in Rock Camp. I will always remember their lovely enthusiasm, whether they come back next year or simply continue their band.
Once you've had a taste of volunteering and of Rock Camp you never want to quite leave it. It is something that is so uplifting and wonderful. I cannot wait to return to it the Halloween Fundraiser in October to see all the girls perform in their bands again. I cannot wait to return to each and every event that is full of love, feminism, empowerment and glitter!
(Showcase make up)