Rock Camp Teaches Girl Power
Canadian summer event helps pre-teens become more confident through the use of loud instruments and heavy music – but no boys are allowed!
A girls-only summer camp in Canada is strengthening its reputation for helping young females develop confidence and musicianship through the power of rock.
In Montreal in July, for the fourth time, girls from all over the country will gather and be split into rock bands, where they’ll learn to play loud in a series of workshops, rehearsals, songwriting sessions and a final showcase performance.
Organiser Jennifer Duffin tells the Montreal Gazette: “It’s loud. I can’t even explain how loud it is.
“Teaching girls through music to take risks, accept failure and celebrate success while providing them with a diverse group of role models are huge components.”
The concept is based round the original rock camp in Portland, Oregon, and the Canadian edition is part of an increasingly active Girls Rock Camp Alliance, which now boasts 38 members around the world.
Duffin hopes the movement can break down some barriers as they go. “People don’t say ‘all-guy band,’” she observes. “Sometimes you just want to be in a band, and not a woman in a band.”
Cala Hagel, whose daughter Nova, 12, started playing bass at last year’s camp, says: “For a girl who is growing into herself, to be empowered and celebrated as a musician is a really positive thing.”
And nine-year-old Mikayla Ovenden, who sat behind her first drumkit in 2011 and plans to return this year, says: “These are my people.”
It’s even been a positive experience for the organisers. Duffin had never played an instrument herself until she started jamming with her fellow residents. She says: “For forever I’ve wanted to be in a band – rock camp makes me think I can do that.”