Elevate Difference

Girls Rock!

Move over campfires and nature hikes, there’s a new Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in town! In Portland, Oregon, campers ages 8-18 discover a fresh summer adventure. During the one-week session, the girls must form bands, choose instruments (which may or may not be familiar to them), and write songs. Helping them in this undertaking are female rockers from bands such as Sleater-Kinney and The Gossip.

Many campers begin their camp experience shy and withdrawn, but find themselves loudly banging on drums and belting out rebellious lyrics by the end of the experience. This is, in part, due to the empowering non-musical instruction the girls receive at camp, such as anger management and self-defense. Wishing you could see this phenomenon for yourself? Thanks to a new documentary, you can!

Girls Rock! follows a group of campers through the entire camp experience: the first day’s meet-and-greet; the drama surrounding choosing band-mates and names; and the fights, friendships, and indescribable bonds and breakthroughs that happen throughout the week. Viewers get to know specific campers through in depth footage of their home lives and candid interviews. We get to see all facets of these girls lives. They are simultaneously charming, annoying, demanding, and lovable, which is to say that they are real girls who are still growing into themselves.

Emotional, funny, challenging, and eye-opening, Girls Rock! will make anyone want to pick up an electric guitar and tell the world a thing or two, especially after you read the shocking statistics dealing with gender disparity that are juxtaposed with the camp’s stereotype-defying backdrop. And if the film's not enough for you, there are fabulous extras included on the DVD that are entertaining and interactive: commentary by the director, camp skits, a follow-up with the campers featured, and DIY rock and roll tips to try at home.

Written by: Amanda Moss, August 2nd 2009