Best place to send a future rock star girl (2008)

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

It's all good and well to send kids off to learn swimming, archery, and arts and crafts each summer, but why not give them a skill that they'll really cherish? Since many public schools' music department funds have been slashed, a worthwhile alternative might be a session at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, which is now in its second year. In the week-long sessions, eight- to 18-year-old campers gather into small bands and pick an instrument (bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals, DJ). After naming their bands, they get mu­sical instruction, self-defense courses (since the camp encourages all aspects of strength and confidence), and band practice sessions. At the end of the week comes a concert where each band shows off its stuff. Though many campers choose rock (it is rock camp, after all), girls have also formed bands that play r&b (Phonetik Soul), pop with a French horn (Elora), hip-hop (DJ Freka and DJ Akio), and punk (Petrified Toenails). Not only has the camp recently included a weekend "Camp for Adults" but it has also signed up some of the bands to perform for a BAM Next Wave dance piece. It may also have the coolest temporary tattoos of any summer day camp: a girl holding a mic in the air.

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