Come together. Learn an Instrument. Form a Band or DJ Crew. Write an original song. Play a big time show.

Ages 8-18, all music levels, girls, trans, nonbinary welcome

Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp is a week-long music instruction program we’ve organized for every summer since 2008! During camp week, we offer small-group instrument instruction based on skill level (electric guitar, electric bass, drum kit, keyboard, DJ/turntables, vocals). Campers will form bands or DJ crews, be coached by musical mentors, and collaborate to write and perform an original song or DJ set. We also host guest artists, and offer workshops on gender and cultural identity, making your own band merchandise, songwriting, and other skills youth need to take over the world (of music!). We offer several new workshops every year, so there’s always something new to learn for returning campers.

SPECIAL UPDATE, MAY 2019: Girls Rock! DC will not be holding a full-length Summer Camp in 2019. Instead, we’ll have free workshops for girls and non-binary and trans youth on music, justice, activism, and art throughout July and August. We’ll also have an en end-of-summer party to celebrate our community of Girls Rock! DC youth, families, volunteers, and friends. You can read more about this decision here and join our mailing list for information on how to lead workshops, perform, volunteer, and, of course, attend!

Learn Drums, Guitar, Bass Key, Voice or DJ!

an image of illustrated instrument icons: Voice with a microphone, a Guitar, a drumset, a speaker, a bass, and a Keyboard

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Girls Rock! DC camper?

Here’s an example of a typical day:

Early morning (9 a.m.): Everyone gathers for Morning Assembly.

Everyone gathers for Morning Assembly. This is where we set the tone for the day. Sometimes we enjoy a skit that teaches us something about camp, or outline a task for the day, such as “discovering our greatness” (learning to play together) or “sharing our greatness with others” (media day). We always get moving together, through exercise or dance or yoga. And we always, ALWAYS do our “morning scream,” where we stand in a circle and shout out one at a time, and together! It gets us ready to start making music.

Late morning (10 or 11-ish): We meet for instrument instruction.

All our guitarists get together (or bassists, drummers, singers, DJs, or keyboardists) to get to know our instruments a little better! We might learn a few chords, or play our favorite Beyoncé song, or work on the songs our bands are writing. Instrument instructors will help us as a large group, in small groups, or one-on-one. We might also have a snack.

Lunchtime!

We regroup, get some grub, and listen to a local band rock out!

An illustrated schedule block that shows the daily itinerary for campers. It lists the following activities: morning assembly and scream, instrument class, lunch, band practice, workshop, and closing assembly

Afternoon (1 p.m.): We have band practice!

We get together with our band and our band coaches to rock out. Every band at camp writes its own original song, with music and lyrics. We might write a verse or chorus, or work out bass licks or a cool keyboard solo. Band coaches are there to help mediate conflicts, but the songs are written entirely by the bands! DJs work on building their set list during practice time.

Late afternoon (3 p.m.): We attend workshops!

We might learn about songwriting, or create some art, or practice our stage moves! We also talk about important issues, like women in music, or learn from young leaders of color in our communities.

End of day (5 p.m.): We meet for our afternoon assembly.

We check in to see how we did on the day’s task. We also make any announcements that will be important for the next day, like planning for our band photo, or information about our showcase. We leave at 5:30 p.m., ready to rock again tomorrow!

Girls Rock! DC camp culminates in spectacular rock outs of epic proportions!

Each camper performs in a band or DJ crew, assembled in just one week, at the 9:30 Club.

Ask anyone who has witnessed this event and they will tell you they’ve never been the same since.  It is pure awesomeness to cheer on a group of campers aged 8-18 as they take the stage with confidence and perform their original songs.

All week, Girls Rock! DC campers (ages 8-18) are going to be learning instruments, forming bands, writing songs, and gearing up for THIS SHOW. And it’s truly amazing. All are welcome to the event!  Friends, families, guardians, volunteers, and all lovers of music.

GR!DC Goals!

  1. To provide our campers with self-empowerment, self-advocacy and leadership skills and guidance to use these skills in a positive and ethical manner, as well as opportunities to practice these skills.
  2. To provide our campers with the team-working skills and practice spaces they need to successfully participate in a collaborative musical group and create their own original musical expression.
  3. To develop among our campers a sense of history, community and pride for women and other marginalized groups in rock, including a sense that they are part of that movement and can affect positive social change through the tool of music.
  4. To provide basic and advanced instruction in instrumentation and creative composition of a song.
  5. To introduce campers to the experiences of musical recording and performance.

Youth Leaders

The Youth Leadership Program is an initiative fostering permanent, year-round youth decision-making at Girls Rock! DC. GR!DC Youth Leadership Program gives campers a voice in the planning and creation of summer camp. They choose the theme and created their own camp workshop. It was formed to be a leadership body for GR!DC teens, but the exact scope of its work can be changed by its members. 

Answers to all your Questions!

Accessibility

We partner with local schools for space, so spaces are generally accessible to people of multiple abilities. If you have not already spoken to our Camper Committee about things beyond ramps and elevators, please do. If there are questions about accommodations, please email campers@girlsrockdc.org.

Travel Assistance

We do our best to help remove barriers such as financial or transportation issues. If you have questions, please email campers@girlsrockdc.org.

Fees, Tuition & Assistance

Application Fee: $10, nonrefundable (payable online via our website or checks payable to “Girls Rock! DC”).

Camp Tuition: Full tuition is $550. Financial aid packages are available. For more information email campers@girlsrockdc.org.

Instruments (provided - or bring your own)

Instruments and one pair of earplugs will be provided during the camp week. If you have your own guitar, bass, or keyboard you may bring it, although GR!DC takes no liability for personal instruments.

How to Apply for Camp!

Camper applications become available a few months prior to each camp session.

Any DC Metro Area girls, non-binary, and/or trans youth between the ages of 8 and 18 during the camp week may apply. No musical experience is necessary. Also, we are called “rock camp”, but we welcome campers interested in all musical genres, plus MCing/Rapping and DJing!

Girls Rock! DC is open to all youths who identify as female, transgender, or gender non-conforming, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, size and/or ability.

Email info@girlsrockdc.org to find out when the next camp is scheduled.

Si desea una solicitud en español, por favor escribe a campers@girlsrockdc.org o llama a 202-681-ROCK (7625) por telefono.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: Girls Rock! DC does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation, body type, physical ability, gender expression, or other individual identities in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarships, and other Camp-related policies and programs, as well as volunteer policies and activities. All Camp activities will promote and maintain the personal and emotional safety of all campers and staff. We do not tolerate racism, homophobia, sexism, or other discriminatory behavior or expression.