Grrrls rock! It’s a proven scientific fact and you need look no further than Girls Rock Camp Houston for proof. The summer camp has been around for three years and I would argue has become a local institution and this Sunday is the annual, always fun GRCH showcase. This year though, instead of interviewing the organizers like we’ve done in the past, we figured we’d actually talk to the young women attending and so we sent organizer Anna Garza a few questions and she was kind enough to forward them for us. Here is what the Girls had to say…
FPH – What year did you first attend? How was that experience?
Katelynn Hernandez (age 11) - Hi my name is Katelynn and my 1st year at GIRLS ROCK CAMP was in 2010 and it was an AWESOME experience! I had so much fun there!
Timely Rain Watson (age 14) - I’ve been at GRCH since 2010. It was everything and more than I expected. I heard about the camp and was just ecstatic; the concept was new and fun. I thought it was just what the Houston music scene needed.
Chloe Miller – My first year was in 2010. It was my most nervous year, and very exciting.
Sara Stein, (age 14) - I attended the first year they had Girls Rock Camp in Houston. That experience was amazing. It’s probably one of the most exciting weeks of my life because we got to meet new people, form bands, write songs, learn about other women in music history, and experience what rock stars do when they perform on stage. Everyone was so friendly and nice and just happy to be there.
FPH – What did you take away from the experience?
Katelynn - While I was there I learned not to be afraid of who I REALLY am. And I guess that’s kind of how me and the rest of the campers made the camp song “don’t be afraid” while we were making this song I remember there was this one girl who kept saying don’t be afraid to SING and show off your skills you are you. And honestly i did exactly that. And that’s what I got from GIRLS ROCK CAMP now i am ready to shine.
Timely Rain – I learned how to stick up for myself and how to deal with bullies, that is something every girl will encounter and needs to know how to deal with in a positive way. There were workshops about positive self-image and being yourself (that’s when we came up with the camp’s song “Don’t Be Afraid To Be Weird)
Chloe - I learned that singing or playing in front of large groups is more fun than I thought.
Sara - I took away that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. Writing our own songs that we performed only a couple days later sounded impossible, but now I know that if you try really hard you can make it happen. I’m also less shy after going to Girls Rock Camp because we performed on stage for a lot of people. I overcame my stage fright and now going on stage is no big deal.
FPH – How was it working with the adults at the camp? Any stories you’d like to share?
Katelynn - GIRLS ROCK CAMP was a great experience and all, but it wouldn’t have been as great without the counselors. I mean when I went to GIRLS ROCK CAMP I signed up for the keyboard because I already KNEW how to play the keyboard and I was to scared to play anything else but the counselors there are the ones that taught me how to play of the most famous song by Mozart and I was only the age of 9! Anna was great too every morning i would cry when i went to GIRLS ROCK CAMP because it was a new camp to me. But every time I walked through that door Anna would ALWAYS and im not even exaggerating ALWAYS get ME PUMPED UP!
Timely Rain- So last year she was my bands coach, I was new to drumming and I didn’t really know what to do, she told me to make as much sound as could, and I did. There’s nothing like getting a good loud sound out of a bass!
Chloe -Anna Garza let my band and I play on the first year together, but we really should’ve been separated into groups. She really has accomplished so much already.
Sara - Anna is awesome and really nice! She and all of the other instructors just made us really confident and happy because they just want us to succeed and be happy. They supported us the entire week and made us feel less nervous when we had our showcase at the end of the week. I remember the first year I went, my band coach let me use her personal bass guitar because the one I was using was heavy and hurt my shoulders. I just thought that was really nice that she let me do that.
FPH – What about friends, did you make any lifetime friends?
Katelynn – I didn’t make lifetime friends but i did make friends there
Timely Rain – When you get put in a band it’s kinda like ya’ll become family, you are creating something together, so you are bound to make friends. There has been this one girl at camp who when i met we just clicked, we have been friends ever since. It’s sad she lives so far away though.
Chloe – All of the girls there were really sweet and shared the same perspective about GRCH as I did
Sara – I made a ton of friends both of the times I went to the camp. Everyone is there because they love music and want to make music so it’s easy to make friends. Because there weren’t that many people there, we all became friends, it didn’t matter what our ages were. I still keep in contact with a lot of the girls from both of the years I went.
FPH – How did it feel to play in front of people and have you pursued making more music since then?
Katelynn – Once it hit the end of camp and it was time to preform I had the butterflies BIG TIME but i knew I was fine when I was with my other band mates because i knew they had the butterflies too. I guess show time was my favorite part of GIRLS ROCK CAMP. I mean to stand in front of all those people and just hear them cheering YOUR name and just rocking out to YOUR MUSIC THAT you and your band mates made.
Timely Rain - I love musical theater so it wasn’t my first time on stage, but it was so different. It was good different though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I walk on stage its not like I’m on stage being judged, all i think about is having a good time with my band mates! I’m not in a band but I do still play the drums, I take lessons with Shane Lauder, and I play for myself.
Chloe - I felt a lot of nervousness when I was singing and I would definitely do GRCH again.
Sara – Playing in front of people is the most nerve-racking thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most fun and exciting thing I’ve ever done. Whenever I was playing and looking out into the crowd I just couldn’t stop smiling. The more the crowd was having fun, the more fun I was having. I enjoyed it so much, that for Christmas after the first camp, I asked for a bass guitar and I’ve been taking lessons ever since. I hope that I can play professionally when I get older.
FPH – What was one thing you never thought you would get out of GRCH that really surprised you?
Katelynn - Honestly one thing i never thought i would get out of this camp was seeing me on the GIRLS ROCK CAMP video was me standing in front of all of those people just rocking out.
Timely Rain – I didn’t know that I was gonna be a drummer walking into the doors last year. I thought “If I get drums for my band then that’ll be fun, I can keep a steady beat.” But I sat on the throne and felt like that was where I belonged. As soon as camp ended “Mom, can have drum lessons please!?” It was amazing. I still drum with those sticks we were given last year, they’re about to fall apart. That means drum stick shopping!
Chloe - I got out lots of courage in performing in front of large groups of people.
FPH – What, outside of music, did you learn from the experience?
Katelynn - Like I said don’t be afraid to be who you are. Be you nobody can judge you unless they know who you are everybody has a talent.
Timely Rain – How to love yourself just the way you are whether it’s a bad hair day, or your short or tall skinny or heavy, just however you were made love yourself and who you are.
Chloe -I learned that everyone there are all really supportive and they don’t let anyone feel bad about themselves.
Sara – I learned from the workshops that we need to be confident about who we are and how we look. Just because some rude person says a mean thing to us doesn’t mean that it’s true.
FPH – Buffy Vs. every character in Twilight – who would win?
Katelynn - I’ve never seen Buffy. But my mom told me that all she does is kill vampires. Well obviously….. Twilight would win because there are also werewolves in twilight and they could kill buffy.
Timely Rain – Neither! Abraham Lincoln would show Buffy up and take out all of Twilight in his mother’s honor. Now that’s some serious Vampire slaying.
Chloe – Who knows!
Sara - OK that’s tough…maybe Buffy because I feel like every character from twilight would be like “Let’s be best friends forever!” and Buffy would just roll her eyes.
FPH – Any other stuff you guys want to say about GRCH?
Katelynn – All I have to say is that GIRLS ROCK CAMP is a awesome experience and that all girls who enjoy music should join GIRLS ROCK CAMP!
Timely Rain - I am very much looking forward to this year but I hope to one day give back to GRCH in whatever possible way I can.
Chloe – The two performances that I’ve done have been so much fun and I hope to do more!
Sara - Just that it’s really fun and even if you don’t want to play music professionally when you grow up, it’s just a great experience that you’ll never forget. I’m going to go every year until I’m too old and then I’ll be a volunteer because it’s just a really cool thing to see and be involved with.
GIRLS ROCK CAMP HOUSTON “END OF CAMP” SHOWCASE
Emceed by Ayana Mack of 97.9 The Box.
Sunday, August 5, 2012.
$10 Doors at 5 PM. All ages.