Rock Camp empowers girls through music

Published: Jul. 1, 2018 at 10:31 PM CDT
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Girls Rock Camp Madison is a week-long camp where girls learn new instrument, form a band, write and record music, and perform for their families. Fifty girls are enrolled in each of the three sessions throughout the summer.

Beth Kille co-founded the camp nine years ago and serves as the Music Director. She said the camp is about more than just learning about music

"The mission of Girls Rock Camp Madison is to create a safe space where all girls rock. Music is the vehicle, but our message is really about the empowerment of women and the collaboration piece in building community and teaching them to believe in themselves and support one another," Kille said.

It is a bully-free zone where girls are encouraged to be kind, creative, and collaborative.

Kille said it is important to her that young girls see strong women in musical roles.

"When it comes to music, particularly rock music, women are still the minority. When you look up on the stage at any kind of festival and you walk around and count the number of men on stage, there's still more men than women," Kille explained.

She also said it is important that girls understand that being musical doesn't always have to mean being the lead singer- Rock Camp teaches them that every part of the band is necessary for the team's success.

"They're all in the same boat, doing the same brave, daring thing and that gives them power."

Kille sees a vast difference in the girls from when they start the week versus end the week.

"If they can show up on Monday morning and not know how to play that instrument, they pick up that instrument, and then they get up on that stage in front of hundreds of people and rock out," Kille said. "If you can do that, you can do anything you put your mind to."

The campers said that although they love learning about music, they have learned more about how to treat other girls with kindness.

"I've probably learned the most to respect people. Like we are all learning new instruments, we have five days to write a song and work with girls we don't know so we just really have to respect them," one eleven-year-old said.

Kille said one key lesson girls should take away is that women support other women.

"You're here for each other, you're going to support each other. You're going to holler for each other on stage and be in the crowd."

A camper agreed, "I've learned when people are down, you help them up and you never push people down."