Today is the last day of Girls Rock Camp Houston and Rocks Off has already cried twice. It's only 7 a.m. We never thought we'd get so emotionally involved - psych, we're babies - but being surrounded by these gifted girls from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. every day has forced us to become one of those annoying, proud pseudo-moms.
The camp, which is in its second year, was held this week at Rice University. On Monday, founder Anna Garza broke the girls into groups depending on what instrument they'd play and then formed bands based on the groups.
Rocks Off got the opportunity to be a counselor for one of the six bands as well as for the drum sectionals. By Tuesday, we knew almost all 30 girls' names, which wasn't easy, and mastered some beginner's drumbeats. Our band also had their name, Neon Green Machine, and the melody and lyrics to their song "Summertimes" by Tuesday. We sat down at the table in the practice space, asked the girls what they wanted their song to be about, and they wrote the entire thing themselves with perfect rhyme schemes.
During the time when the girls aren't in sectionals or band practice, they attend workshops where they learn about things specific to women and music. There have been workshops on DIY, where the girls turned record covers into customized folders, as well as body image, women and hip-hop, DJing, and cyber-bullying.
We particularly enjoyed the women and rock workshop that included videos of Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
One of the girls in our drum sectionals was initially upset she'd been chosen to be a drummer, because last year she was a vocalist. By the end of the week, however, she couldn't stop talking about how much she loved the drums and how it's a better fit for her and her "attention issues."
Another one, who is also in our band, is eight years old and had never touched a drum kit in her life. Now she's counting off, playing and maintaining a beat, and even adding fills.
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Rocks Off had never been an avid fan of volunteering, and this is our first time doing it all day for an entire week, but it's turned out to be the best week of our year. We highly recommend volunteering for as much time as possible next year. Many of the girls will be returning for the third year in a row.