Miami Girls Rock Camp is in it’s 3rd year and is growing stronger each summer. Founded by Heather Burdick, Emile Milgrim and Steph Taylor girls rock camps originated in Portland Oregon in 2005. There are now over 120 camps in 17 different countries. Although Miami has had a late start these women have put a whopper of a program together. Through their hard work and year round dedication they put on for one week with the help of a few dozen hard working volunteers a camp that promotes girl power to the nines. All as a non-profit.
You say what is the Miami Girls Rock Camp and what do they do? Well with plenty of planning, endless hours of work finding grants and incredible organization they achieve something these young campers will cherish for a lifetime. This is not just about music or rock power it is just the carrot on the stick. Forty or so young ladies from the ages of 8-17 are paired off in strategic numbers and ability to form a band, learn their instruments, come up with a name and logo, write a song and then perform it to a giant crowd in a fancy venue. The campers learn skills beyond just that and self confidence that will send them into the future stronger. You must remember there has always been that stigma of “she’s a girl guitar player” or “it’s a girl band”. Miami Girls Rock Camp smashes down the barriers for these young ladies and hopefully one day we won’t have to hear those things again. These campers rock! Some have never picked up a musical instrument before, ever.
During the week of preparation they learn of eating healthy, art skills, do it yourself goodness and we are stronger all together! Miami Beach Community Church let’s the camp set up each year during the summer and gives them a space to grow. At lunch time every day a different performer comes in and blows the doors off the place and the minds of the campers. Then on Sunday after all the hard work is done it is show time. Make up, stage attire, props and original songs are on display. Equipment donated or purchased at reasonable prices help rock the house. For the last two years the venue has been The Gleason Room backstage at the Fillmore.
I have witnessed all three years and the shows just keep getting better. The songs and performances are original and fantastic. Each camper shows their individuality in a group setting. There is usually two inches deep of tears of joy and happiness in the room by the end of the show. I am sure there are more tears backstage when it is over too with campers and counselors knowing it will be a year before they see each other again.
Now let me introduce you to the Miami Girls Rock Camp bands of 2017! Rock on!!!
All photos by Mariana Mendoza
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