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Rock & Roll Camp For Girls 071617

Jul 12, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTI BALZER AND KARMEN OLSON WITH ROCK AND ROLL CAMP FOR GIRLS ABOUT THEIR SUMMER CAMPS THAT BUILD SELF ESTEEM FOR YOUNG GIRLS AND WOMEN.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is metrostars and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program from Gary blocks. And I want to introduce you to something that's going on in Portland this summer. If you got a young girl in your life who wants to rock out then you're gonna wanna know about the rock and roll camp for girls. On the show this time I would like to welcome Christy vols are the executive director of rock general camp for girls. And also criminals and she's on the board of directors formed this early to link here you may be a weird little tongue tied. So rock and roll camp for girls. Yep that's us tell me about it at the I am right drug ever roses and nonprofit head past summer camp program primarily for girls eight to seventeen. We teach girls how to play a racquet no instrument might drams attire made some locals. They form that they aren't they write an original song and then they perform live at the end of the week at the Alberta rose theater. And we've been doing this since 2001 gray hair Portland how cool is that it's trickle. And if so how old musically inclined or these girls in the come to camp most of them have no experience have never picked up an instrument in their lives. And by the end of the week and me are playing their and spent an amazingly in a song that they wrote themselves. On stage in front of all their friends and family that's so cool history raising it and really. Remarkable process to watch them go from being really intimidated and kind of nervous on day one. To being a downgrade punks stars by the end here. Because they're coming into the audience that is really coming alone of the Duma the friends. Some think him a friend. Thank you need to become totally alone and don't know anyone sometimes they come in little packs. Tom Reese conserve the 65 campers per week so that's a lot of girls and it doesn't take long to make friends when your Internet big pack like that. And you're also forced into a band where you're making a lot of very creative decisions together and Uganda and trying to retain as much as possible so exactly like it's really tight friendships. If you're having a little. Unnerving to expose yourself like out of mobile performance may be singing were doing what you're doing how do you coax them into to doing it. And let's agree questions so we start every day with punk rock aerobics so we get them up and moving and run and around sound. We do you know ice breaker names with kids so they have to pay gate in the mix right away and talk about themselves and introduce themselves. We do funny skits at them in the morning and then they break rain into instruments section and so they go right into their instrument. Ants are planned on the very first day. And then by the afternoon on the first day we've formed their dance and they going to band practice and they start right away collaborating with their band mates getting to know each other and I'm starting to write a song. So we kind of don't really give them a lot of time to hesitate or be nervous each shortages around right inning get them going. That's probably the best way to do it and yeah you got a load of experience doing this you know loosely yet so tell me about the sort of this idea come from. A soul back in 2001. Woman named misty and all right who's our founder. Decided that there was a real lack of women and girls in the music industry represented both musically and you know behind the scenes as well. And so in order send help address that issue she started this program and as a capstone. Project at cup Portland State universities and she was like her senior project. Must use a PS TO and armed they pulled it together. With just her friends and family and people around and word spread and girls came from all over Oregon they came from Washington aching from that. Other states to come to this first camp I think they served like 200 campers that first week which is I don't even know how they did that. I'm. And everyone who is involved had such an incredible amazing experience to campers are volunteers. Misty herself and all the people who helped her pull it all together that they didn't wanna let it go and they just kept it running and it's been going ever sense. And it's now expanded to where there are a hundred or more camps worldwide that follow our mission and follow the paths of rock rock camp for girls and it'll certainly do in the yeah oh poor I didn't hear endearment yes. But no I I think of one of them and you know one of the qualities and and and benefits that Iraq can bring some girls is. It in as much as learning an instrument in and being part of that creed and experience in forming a band in writing original song and. And being vulnerable and performing in front of an audience. On. But also I think that sort of underlying. And mission for rock camp is really to empower young women and and make sure that they have a platform to be heard. And uncle amplify their place. And you Chrissie was talking a little bit ago about some exercises that we do. And the beginning of camp and. I volunteered. Last summer and when my favorite exercises is the and so screams circle of color come back. So even minerals crowd and grab all her hands in eagle around the room and each of them screamed as loud as they possibly can because we want them to be heard and we want them to feel like they can say what they whenever they need to say in legitimacy of space to do that. And they're all kinds of different screens and it is such an exhilarating feeling like holding hands with these girls and feeling so empowered and. Treats its use are voicing do we wanna do so there's a lot of we'll tell you that I think say that we bring to the two outside of just. I'm learning music now. Really the music is just the vehicle plant self confidence building. And courage that we give to the girls sweet you know. That's the secrets behind Barack campaigns fat really Renate music camp rarely are self esteem camp but if you told people that they would cup still have a. The slow. Reynolds makes them much more fun is the act of super fun so into the screen thing about the first girl to scream. And the last coldest in the probably very different screens that they believe it's progressively louder. Un yeah I think they're all pretty loud and an amino some girls a camper or not very comfortable screaming that's just not the lead anyone to express themselves so that's also safe. And but there's all kinds of different. Noises that people make ends and I think that there's a lot of space in respect for Latin. The same way that's. Es music is to tell that story you know we want them to feel that same way in the world seemed to be proud of who the are an express themselves in whatever way. They they need. And sees it has been going on since 2001 for the ring so that's it Clinton. Pretty good longtime CBS must have had some feedback from from some girls who have gone through camp what is it meant for their life. Let me tell injured and how. That's great questions so and result we have campers that come back year after year and some of those campers once they -- reached age fifteen their eligible to apply for our intern program. So if you have been to camp at least twice and your fifteen years or older. You can sort of level up to ask us a place of leadership and really the interns are sort of the backbone of camp the moms are rate in the mix with the campers saying are helping them in their instrument they are helping them form their songs. And they do a lot of heavy lifting around camp there's a lot of moving around literally and UST yeah. John can't timing and moved be moved back and forth like not eaten yet they wrote eat together but they do that. Time and they did the skits and yet he supports the campers and that makes this camp so unique because a lot of the campers are also right at that you know. Preteen teen age novels have to have. Girls who are leaders. Close at their age really makes a huge impact on their lives they see the girls who vacancy themselves and directly and say oh my gosh look at this person his. Playing music and it and being a part of this amazing thing and X you know using their voice and expressing themselves. In their own unique way I can do that to them. And then they interns age out and become volunteers and they come back here to here to camp as a volunteer and sometimes they come becomes staff members. And sometimes they go on TER board chair Harry. That's the chair ever avoid rate now earnings catcher Pollock and she was a camper and interned. A volunteer staff are and is down in the port so truly rattled camp for girls gets into your blood and you've become a life member of our community. Why isn't so important for young girls to how that experience to see other girls and women. Down picking on these liberals. I think and you know my experience walking in Sioux orientation for or I'm from for the volunteers. Last summer was. Really eye opening for me because I walked into this room with no offensive link Putin and while you're drunk teenagers writers 1715. To seventeen. And I was so intimidated and I'm. And I'm like looking out forty and I'm so intimidated by these really strong. Confidence. Girls are option does sort of produced in so I think that's. You know even for volunteers like me. It was really inspiring to see the kind of confidence they exuded and I ends. And their willingness to wanna give back that was really important and really you know it it's compelled me to one and two more into join the board. And I think thanks for the young girls in the program you know it's second nature for you up for a young person to look up to older people. And I am to have girls and in those positions who have gone through what they've gone through specifically. In irons and can offer and say that's much more relatable then and then some of their adult friends might be able to offer is really really. And something that's unique to us room. And I think cute that truth is is that. Girls and you know we also serve and kids who are transgender and kids her gender non conforming. And the reality is is that there's still is not a lot of safe places for. He used like that to be able to express themselves and feel like they're part of the community. In a safe way. And they are still marginalized. In a big way from. The mainstream music industry. And from a lot of industries for that matter so if we can do a small part to encourage these kids. To use their voice and to go out in the world and know that they can accomplish anything that they want to look. That helps all of us in the long run. The rock and rules the perfect way to express yourself for a team. We're talking with Christie bolder and Carmen Olson with the rock general camp for girls. Though and ask you both how did you get involved with this whole story you could see how did you get involved when play duke stir during this. I was just in the right place three time I had moved to parlance. Hamas two years ago and I had just finished. Working in another non profit down in California and I was looking for a new. Adventure and Aaron brought her camp for girls was looking for a new executive director. And they picked me so I don't really heats up that's been held yes yeah I feel really fortunate and I was very inspired by their mission I'm a mom of two young girls so. The thing that really caught my eye when I was looking at the job description and looking at the website. Tom was this idea about giving girls a place where. They're surrounded by people who are encouraging them and lifting them up and not tearing them down. And I love that because. So much of our society particularly social media these days it's so easy. To be. Tearing down and discouraging people from what they eleven what they wanna do you. That I wanna be involved with something that's combating that if at all possible so I think yes I just am really very. Blessed stick his head a part of the certainly showed up usher at. Terminology how do you involved somehow I volunteered for. I'm Frerotte can't for the first time last summer and I heard about them sort of treated great vine and and knew that I wanted to be part of you know the cool stuff that they are working on. So I am I showed up you know and volunteered at rock camp went to the showcase cried immediately disappear cry again had the last showcase because it's so overwhelmingly. Exciting and and there's so much energy in the area it's an amazing experience. And then then later at the gala ends. We have had a call recently fair request her detractors members were trying to build out our board we're looking for still fur for a treasure room and so is seen as IE as soon as they got word that I was immediately interested in wanted to participate in a more meaningful way so. And it's been a relief fund and its within a few months and I want to on the board. And then we belted out with a really great amazing crew and it's easy to so there's so much good energy and everyone is. Really enthusiastic about I'm propelling the mission forward so. It's a lot of fun right now Arnold is the first person to answer the call when we pay her. Number and I am can I be happier there may not have been texting and driving but I like that's not as stoplights and I was so excited. Taylor did hundreds and until the call. So is it hasn't completely female nonprofit. And a thirty amendment or no women on our doors gas and actually have a couple are some great guys that are accord to avoid her yeah. Camper at Kabul have kept these kids that are cabin campers. Come summer just really passionate manner mission and I mean everyone is so acute you don't come under greater directors and a nonprofit organization without being that hasn't for the British and for sure. But yet we're open to that we do have some. Menu volunteer in indirect censorship rules during camp we always need support critically with that protein per hour we talked about the money if floating Campion and letting it out as a lot of hard work so we're always appreciative anyone you want to come and helpless to drums that. So mood and there's things that happened throughout the year that folks can come and help us out west but during camp at camp specifically. It's all women and or female identified folk that come and help with the instructions. On that band managed that come in the afternoon did you skits and workshops. Com or come and play music for the campers street violence itself Jimmy local rock stars command in and help out. Yeah we do we'll and why we do actually. And we honor a musician a local Houston every year and dinner and awards assembly and here it has. Broken barriers for women from and it's who has helped camp and in some ways so. Folks like busted out and see an ass and current hacker and this year our honoree Janet Weiss. Who have all of our local musicians. Who have all had an impact on campus and who have all Bender breakers for women in the music industry that's awesome yet so cool that the when you're involved tooth yes. Yeah I they've been involved in in a variety of ways throughout the years. Some of them have helped with. Building out the national organizations the girls rock camp a lamp switch also. Flourish out of the Portland camp and is now sort of the umbrella organization where. Folic cancel the world can go for resources. And you know Hulk from each other and also sort of clearinghouse for. Making sure that all the camps are fulfilling the mission of camp. And and they also hold an annual conference where we all can get together and kind of share ideas and stuff so. And that's come out of the Portland camp and some of those folks I mentioned before have been involved in organizing that. So you be your break smack dab in the middle of camp season right now right yeah you've done citizen one and two and three and four still Christie lessons in today's. But the yeah there's more sessions coming yes we have and it involved yap we deal actually we saw space available and a little bit his face in session three. Which starts. Of that's very ended July. And that net session for has space to deal which is the week of August 14 so if there's folks out there who still are looking for summer camp. Common want to be a part of Rocco kept for growth he can definitely still do that you can visit our website at girls rock camp dot org. To register. It's also important to note that we provide tuition assistance to any camper who presents in need because we believe that all campers should get to go to camp. And that economic barriers shouldn't get up in the way of that so there's information about found on the web site as well. Is it one weekly Monday through Friday sort of think it's really Monday through Saturday. We do insert instruction and practice and workshops all weeklong Mondays through Friday. And then on Saturday is our showcase at the Alberta rose theater so that's another great opportunity for folks if you don't have a camper you can't get into the he can't come to Alberta residence though let's public I know it's so much fun as like how can you see anything clouding the world's current. So every one of them had. There's the fourteen bands that come out of every week of camp and each one of them place their song at the showcase Alberta theatre so this Saturday. Keeping cannot see the session show session to showcase. Some doors open at 1230 and tickets are ten dollars at the door. That is so great to have lived. Awesome thing to watch and experience right yeah I just do all kinds of brushes in Portland and this is one of the best ones absolutely singing he can yeah yeah understood. So walk me through what happens at camp they'd show up Monday morning and they're just really did absorb. Yeah early act they're super excited. So yeah they do. We do little game playing and things like that each morning get them pumped up and ready for insert instructions they break outs into drums. Electric guitar beasts the locals. And they practice with an instructor. Female musician instructor for a couple hours. And they at a lunch then they break out we break them up by age groups so we have girls who are about 8211. Earn our electric youth group and then girls who are twelve to seventeen earning teen spirit. Colonel one group goes to band practice. Another group group goes to workshop and throughout the week we have a variety of workshops we had a song writing workshop yesterday. Today we're having a workshop on with. Women's. In music history. And the history of the Rockwell camp for girls movement in the girls rock movement. By Sarah digger has an amazing. Professor at presidency university and longtime supporter of camp. We do things like self defense they. Do the logo design workshop is seen making workshop they do in March making an 839 teens and sometimes reducing drinking. We have that we. TV so there's a whole slew of things. That we do each week it changes a little dead found. But it's all about empowering women and giving them the tools and the strength they need to go out in the world and be successful. Who then become influence that true rock and rules are they want to react to Amarillo you girls or go on and in. Continue in the music world I mean we get I'm sorry Jim. Yes yeah I think we can and one of day entering bands that. And forms and out of rock camp has actually performed several times now. On behalf of rock and roll camp for girls so and they've had day you know write a few songs now we get there in. They performed on KGW a few weeks ago. We were talking not getting them to the components they may not happen in irons bill salute as his team. Well they run and they performed a battle of the ban switches. Go work for arts and benefits and their first for life performance ever resident was at tight acts in April. So they've played together for the first time in front of 3000 people at the Keller at a time. I have to touch while it is already had a remarkable first gig for a teen band great yeah thumb but yes so they are continuing to write music together and play. And there definitely have a then you know campers who have gone on to continue in the music you know to continue to play music. But more often than night. Bands that come at a camp and Steve together our bands that are formed early eighties rock camp. Linkages that weekend Richie tree program which Carmen has done. Let me tell your amazing and it's. Defense. That we have it as so basically we have a weekend where women come adult women come together. They do everything that the cameras do. Summer camp you know they do it and basically 48 out records system section completely immersed yeah exactly it's a full full weekends. Is forming a band she's learning an instrument rating concern. And then again performing live at the end of the weekend. Com and we had some really amazing bands come out of that one of my favorite it's pie fight. And Aaron the edges they played last session on her arm at the lunch time shell and that we are honoring him down with the legends award at the ample words this year. And they wrote our theme song for les throughout camp and they're just amazing band that Aaron plays dollar a tendency conceal them. Mississippi studios in a variety of other venues around town that's really cool yeah when his truck and blew for Levy's please our camp the next one is in October. And it's going to be a special retreat we're doing a streams retreat in October so it's going to be kind of a piece guitar intensive weekend. And Dan where they teach you pulled into stuff including how to clean at least from Qatar but also had a string your instrument how does that appear amp. Call it ten things that go along with the you know being a full fledged guitar bass musician. What are some of the reasons that an adult women give you offered for coming to Levy's rock camp. You know when I am I joined the board and. Several other people it will mean to do you ladies rock camp and I'm I'm not a musical person IA I appreciate music and in the big music fan. They never played an instrument although this does this it's great teacher would argue that I did play the thing. Her hello America perfect so I don't know I was intimidated by the thought of learning an instrument and sort of exposing myself and being vulnerable in front of an audience of my peers. And to perform and a song I wrote that seems so far fetched to me. But the women who had gone before. And told me that they had to semen trepidation and in fact it was at their best weekend of the year and I heard that from multiple people. In multiple different conversations. And so I said yeah I am committed to doing rock general camping and being part of this and makes sense that I would play an effort for ladies rock camp so. I did it and it was. Hands down the most empowering weekends of my life. And of this year so far at least. It's I walked away from not being with a totally different set of expectations and marking and I think walking and I was and you really excited to learn an instrument really understand how worked. Soon. Instead let Adam what I learned was that I was. Really OK with getting up onstage and missing some notes and not getting it right and being vulnerable and being okay with and still like getting MySpace to be creative. In irons and into way. Time with with other women so it was incredibly empowering weekend and I can't waits due to. It's pretty cool when you challenge yourself and you may befallen her face for you realize you're gonna live through yes I was yes that's a really really empowering feeling I mean. To make mistakes and be okay with that because some little boring life to not making state. Yeah one of the things that we have is our. One of the little pieces of rock camp whether it's ladies drug campers summer camp program or any other programs that we may do in the future. No one says I'm sorry. He women say I'm sorry a lot in their rights all the time and so we have a rule or you're not sorry you rock. So in Texas if we here at that's at least I know you're not sorry Iraq and that's. Get tenure he gets in your so all need to get out of the world and teach other people yeah just basically means it's OK to mess up Blake. It's this deal learn from men and move on and you know pick yourself up and do better next time. I think anybody can benefit from that NASA's I'm male or female yeah I think we should all think like that all of us. Hello we have just a limited time left and wanna get the details and where people can get more information and when the next cancer a couple of. Creek yes so I'm all information they need is that girls rock camp dot forward. You containing information about our summer camp program we. I'm we will have that the next ladies rock can't very soon which again will be in October. And there are ample words which are on November 3 at the could test building will have tickets available for that seemed as well. Very cool yeah. This has been really funny guys thinks Oakland Rebecca rose OK so yeah yeah yeah. That's a Christie Mulder and cardinals and with a rock and roll camp for girls thanks for being a met scripting OK at. Mitchell's bill is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization or do you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit me microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website and submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metals go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.