Girls Rock Camp Alliance

Youth Leadership in the Girls Rock Movement

Track Coordinated by Sam Stahlmann (She Rock She Rock)

Track Description
The international girls rock movement is centered around empowering youth in our communities. All of our camps give youth a place to express themselves, let their voices be heard, learn new skills, be creative and create a sense of community. But, beyond attending our life-changing camps, what more can we do to get our campers in leadership positions in our organizations and communities? How can we help our current campers to become future board members, executive directors, community leaders, political leaders, etc? This track will be centered around getting youth in leadership positions at individual camps and organizations. Some topics this track hopes to explore are: Junior Counselors/Teen Volunteer Positions, Starting a Youth Board, Barriers of Participation for Youth Leaders, Talking Racial Justice with Youth, Supporting Youth Leadership, Creating Youth-Led/Organized Programming and more.


Building a Junior Volunteer/Intern Position
Thinking of starting a volunteer position for the rad teenagers who have maybe aged out of your program or are screaming to get more involved? Don’t know how to start it or run it? You are in luck! In this interactive panel, you’ll hear from four different camps how they have created and ran their junior volunteer/counselor/intern position. There will be plenty of time for discussion and a Q&A session! This session is geared towards
organizers of camps who are looking to establish and/or improve their junior volunteer/counselor position.
Led by: Kaci Smith- Girls Rock! Rochester, Melissa Coppola- Girls Rock Detroit, Caitlin Haran – Girls Rock Camp North Carolina and Sam Stahlmann- She Rock She Rock, Johanna Walczak, Girls Rock Rhode Island!

Help that GRRRL become the queen of the neighborhood!
We all have those campers that stick out in our minds when we’re looking fondly back at our camp memories. They go the extra mile to help out others, all of the staff loves being around them, and they are always looking to help out and get involved. So, how can we do that?? What jobs or duties can we give them and how can we build a relationship with them that both builds them and the organization up? What obstacle might they have in their way to do these? All of this will be discussed at this session!
Led By: Sam Stahlmann is the Program Director of She Rock She Rock in the Twin Cities, MN. She was the first camper to ever sign up for Girls Rock n Roll Retreat in 2007. Through the kindness and time of many mentors, she was able to get more involved with teaching and organizing at camp. In 2014, Sam became the organization’s, full time Program Director. She currently co-hosts the organization’s Punk Jams and oversees the youth advisory board. Sam plays guitar and bass in four bands, has a passion for playing in DIY spaces, and loves her fat cat, Ned.

Authority and Resistance
How do we create spaces that prioritize camper safety, foster respect for the community and critically analyze authorities in and outside of camp? This discussion-centered session will focus on youth development and anti-authoritarianism within Rock Camp. We will share our experiences with leadership and teaching practices at our camps and distinguish between authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful styles. We will also reflect upon our unique backgrounds and cultural relationships to authority, as well as the feelings that arise when we become the authority that is resisted. The goal of this workshop is to synthesize a set of best practices we can evolve to better align with liberatory program goals.
Led By: Sabrina Sierra was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by a very multicultural and musical family and has been playing in bands since she was 15-years-old. She has a BA in Community Studies with an emphasis in Politics of Culture. Sabrina has worked in community radio and was a core organizing of the West Oakland art space LoBot Gallery. She has also worked with organizations that focus on media literacy, body image, self-esteem and social and emotional learning for girls. Initially, Sabrina got involved with Rock Camp as an instrument instructor and band coach. She has now served as the Program and Volunteer Coordinator for a few years. In her spare time, she volunteers as a crisis line counselor, propagates succulents, and works on a handful of musical projects.

Lifting Up Youth Organizers
In this session will explore ways that Girls Rock programs can get young people involved in community organizing and activism- both within the Girls Rock community and outside of it. We will discuss strategies for developing young people’s leadership skills so they can put their plans into action and have their voices be heard. We will look at examples from other youth centered organizations and share stories from Girls Rock Charleston’s own experiences.
Led By: Kim Larson & Micah Blaise. Kim is a founding organizer and one of the current program coordinators of Girls Rock Charleston. She is an educator, spreadsheet nerd and guitarist in post-punk band, Souther Femisphere.
(Micah’s bio should be available from another session)