There’s no one way to start a rock camp or related program; every town, community, city, neighborhood has its own needs, ideas, and challenges. There are so many different parts of putting together a rock camp, so below are a few suggestions we have for getting started.
- Name your program!
- Reserve a web url, start a really, really simple website with that name (a Facebook page and reserving other social media space is great too)
- Have a benefit show to kick off starting up the program; this gets volunteers, kids, parents and guardians, and the community involved right away. This can be a small house show, or at a venue, whatever you think would be best for your community. It also gives people a sense of what you are doing and creates some excitement around possibilities for next summer!!!
- Find a date (e.g. summer holiday/vacation) and set the length of your program (e.g. 5-8 days)
- Find a location to have your program (a school, a practice space, a college/university, etc.)
- Make a big timeline, set goals and define working areas and responsibilities within those areas, such as logistics, fundraising, camper recruitment, etc. Recruit campers early as their summer schedules fill up fast. Some camps open registration as early as January and February.
- Begin to gather a “core group” of organizers. You can’t do this alone! There are definitely folks who will step up, and sometimes showing them the Girls Rock! Movie can be a real inspiration. Start to figure out strengths and assign roles to organizers.
- Look out for and get connected with programs happening close to you. Volunteering or working at another program is the best way to learn how camp works!
- Even if you are only considering the idea of starting a rock camp or related program, attend the GRCA Annual Conference! Every year, there is a “How to start a rock camp” workshop and/or discussion for new organizers at the conference. From big ideas about leadership structure and non-profit boards, to smaller nitty-gritty thoughts on what sort of schedule to have, non-music programming, this discussion is always inspiring and productive for new camps!
For more details, please email the Member Engagement Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.