Form a band. Write an original song. Rock out together.

Ages 8-18, all music levels, cis and trans girls, nonbinary and other gender expansive youth welcome

Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp is a week-long music education program we’ve organized since 2008! This year, we’re all online!

During camp week (July 13-18), you’ll learn all about music from local DC musicians, participate in fun activities and workshops, experience private exclusive concerts with DC bands and DJs, collaborate with your very own band to write an original song, and share your music in a live online showcase!

What will Girls Rock! DC Online Summer Camp be like?

On Monday through Friday, we’ll have workshops, activities, and more. Here’s an example of a typical day:

A schedule of the daily camp activities

10am: We gather 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. It gets us ready to start making music.

10:45am: We have music workshops

We learn more about music. We might practice songwriting, make homemade instruments, hear from musicians about what it takes to be a music entrepreneur, or explore different music genres.

12pm: Lunchtime!

We listen to a local band or DJ rock out in a private concert, just for campers.

1pm: We have another workshop

Our afternoon workshops explore the day’s theme and build on what we learned in the morning. We might create some art or practice our stage moves! We also talk about the issues that are important to us and our community, like racial justice, mutual aid, and gender equity. 

2pm: 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 and provide support, but the songs are written entirely by the bands!

3:15pm: We have our closing 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 end by 4pm, ready to rock again tomorrow!

Then, on Saturday, we have our big show! We’ll livestream all of the bands’ original songs and art in an online concert for family, friends, and music lovers everywhere.

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 our end-of-camp showcase on Saturday.

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 share their original songs. Even when we’re sharing our music online, it’s still AMAZING.

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

Answers to all your Questions!

When is camp?

Camp is held online from 10am-4pm July 13-17 and from 10am-1pm July 18.

Campers will participate in a mix of live and recorded sessions. They will also have access to camp materials throughout the week, so they can create music, watch content, and chat with their fellow campers outside of these hours.

How much does camp cost?

Full tuition is $250, including a $10 non-refundable application fee. Financial aid packages are available for all who need them. Girls Rock! DC is committed to making camp financially accessible to all.

For more information email campers@girlsrockdc.org.

What is the registration process?

To register for camp, you’ll fill out an online application. Applications are open from May 18 until June 13.

Girls Rock! DC does not accept campers on a first-come first-served basis: instead, we select campers based on a number of factors. We try to evenly accept campers from across the age range (8-18) and skill level (from no musical experience to advanced). We also seek to accept a group of young people that represent the diversity of the DC metro area.

In the application, there is a required “Why I want to come to camp” piece for us to get to know the campers, at least a little. This is where campers can share what this experience will mean to them!

This application page is for campers and families comfortable completing these forms in English. If you need help completing the application, please call for assistance 202-681-ROCK (7625).

What technology do campers need?

To be able to participate in camp, campers will need:

  1. A computer or tablet that can connect to the internet that the camper can use from 10am-4pm July 13-17 and from 10am-1pm July 18. (A mobile phone will not allow campers to engage fully in the program.)
  2. A internet connection with a minimum bandwidth of 600kbps. Run a test of your connection speed here.
  3. An internet browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox.

All camp activities will be browser-based (meaning campers won’t have to download other programs or apps). Campers will receive passwords and unique logins to access camp materials and sessions.

If you do not have access to either a device or wifi, please email campers@girlsrockdc.org. We’re committed to making camp accessible to all.

What online safety precautions are being taken?

All camp activities will be conducted in a browser, meaning campers won’t have to download other programs or apps. The websites and online tools used for camp comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).

Campers will receive passwords and unique logins to access camp materials and sessions. No one aside from campers, counselors, and guardians will be able to access these materials.

Trained camp counselors will be present in all live sessions to ensure camper safety, and they will monitor material that is shared by campers on the camp webpages.

All campers and counselors will sign a safety and security agreement before beginning camp that outlines prohibited activities related to data use, social media, and technology use.

Campers will have access to on-demand tech support during camp should they encounter an issue. They’ll also have access to on-demand counselors, whenever they need to talk to someone.

I‘m concerned about my camper’s age, will they have fun at online camp?

We’ve designed our online camp program to be easy to navigate and engage in for even young campers. Guardians may want to help young campers get set up and logged into the camp webpages, but once there, young campers should be able to engage in workshops, assemblies, and band meetings independently and with ease.

Camp activities are tailored to our three camper age groups: Verse (8-10 years), Bridge (11-12 years), and Chorus (13-18 years). Workshops and camper bands are divided by these three groups, so that campers receive the support and guidance they need.

Don’t worry about older campers getting bored: our collaborative music-making program, Soundtrap, is easy to begin using and has literally thousands of options for older campers to experiment with and explore.

And if you run into an issue, we have on-demand tech support and counselors (that both guardians and campers can access) who are ready to help out when you need it during camp.

Is Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp just for girls?

Nope! Girls Rock! DC is open to cis and trans girls, non-binary youth, and other trans and gender expansive young folks, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, size and/or ability.

Will campers learn how to play an instrument?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are conducting camp entirely online this year. We will not be distributing musical instruments or providing instrument instruction like in past in-person camps.

This year, campers will learn about music theory, composition, songwriting, and music production using Soundtrap, a free easy-to-use online program. Campers will collaborate with their bandmates to create an original song using the application, and they’ll be able to continue using the program and creating music after camp ends.

Do campers only learn about rock music?

We are called “rock camp”, but we welcome campers interested in all musical genres, plus MCing/Rapping and DJing! Campers are encouraged to explore different styles and genres and express themselves through music.

Do campers need to have musical experience?

Nope! We welcome campers of all experience levels, from “not musically inclined” to “sings in the shower” to “plays in the school band” to “composes original rock operas”. The only requirement is a love of music!

Are there opportunities for youth leadership this year?

Yes! Youth Leaders help design and lead camp. They are:

  • attending this year’s summer camp;
  • 15-18 years old at camp;
  • former participants in at least one previous Girls Rock program (this includes Girls Rock! DC Summer Camp, Girls Rock! After School Program, or a Girls Rock program in a different city); and
  • passionate about creating change in their community!

When you fill out your camp application, you’ll be able to tell us if you’re interested in being a Youth Leader!

How do we apply?

To apply, complete this online application. Camper applications are open May 18-June 13.

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.