There's one thing organizer Hannah Shaw wants to make clear about Girls Rock Pittsburgh's Rock Camp for Girls: It's not your average summer camp.
"What's unique about it is that it's women mentoring girls," Shaw explains. "All of the staff that will be at camp are seasoned musicians and activists and community leaders, showing girls they can do anything and be anything they want. It's a very loud and proud camp."
Girls' rock camps have been popping up all over: Shaw, a sometimes-Pittsburgher, spent two years working on one in North Carolina. But this year's camp, put together by Shaw and Angela Stich, is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh. Open to girls ages 8-16, the camp takes place Aug. 5-9. More than a music workshop, it's an all-inclusive band experience, and campers will learn about everything from DJing to silk screening — along with intangibles like being comfortable with one's body image. No prior musical experience is necessary.
Besides in-person volunteer help, the camp could use assistance in a number of ways, including donations and loans of instruments, and monetary donations for its scholarship fund.
At the end of the camp, the bands that the campers form will perform a live show at the Mr. Roboto Project.
"What's so impressive is that on the first day, all of the girls are so shy and nervous," says Shaw, recalling her experiences with the North Carolina camp. "But by the end of it, they're onstage screaming their heads off at a local venue, and it's so impressive what they're able to do in a week. Most adults wouldn't think they could get together and write songs and play instruments they've never played, in a week."
Registration is $300 for the camp, and no instruments are necessary (though if a camper wants to bring her own, she's welcome to). Scholarships will be available for those in need.