Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Taylor, Emile Milgrim and Heather Burdick.
Following in the footsteps of other camps such as Portland Rock and Roll Camp for Girls and New York’s Willie Mae Rock Camp, Miami Girls Rock Camp was established in September 2014 and co-founded by Steph Taylor and Emile Milgrim. Heather Burdick came on board soon after and the three of them started building the foundation of camp. This combination of women created the perfect storm. Steph has experience as an instrument instructor and Camp Director at School of Rock and is also 1/2 of the band The State Of. Emile is a drummer, runs a record label, Other Electricities, and is also managing partner and of Sweat Records. Heather is a teacher and an activist. She co-founded the roller derby movement in Austin, TX and has volunteered for the Austin Girls Rock Camp, experiencing camp from the inside. The summer 2019 camp session is our fifth year, and we just keep getting bigger and better.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Generally speaking, it seems as if the universe has conspired to help MGRC move forward. We’ve been absolutely blessed by the support of the community in Miami, and continue to grow in beautiful ways. We have little to complain about, as our current struggle is having too many applications for the slots available for camp! We look forward to growing to meet the needs of our community – and are also excited to tackle the challenge of providing the opportunity for adults to become MGRC campers over a three-day weekend in the spring.
Please tell us about your group, Miami Girls Rock Camp.
Miami Girls Rock Camp uses music and performance as a platform to promote self-esteem, community, and creative expression for girls and gender-nonconforming youth in Miami. We bring together youth from diverse communities and encourage them to explore self-expression through music, hone their critical thinking skills, build meaningful alliances with other campers and volunteers, develop confidence in making healthy choices in their lives, and effect positive change in their communities and in the world.
MGRC is a week-long summer day camp program for girls and gender-nonconforming youth aged 8 to 17. The program offers instrument instruction, songwriting/band practice, live performances by visiting artists/DJs, workshops, and culminates in a showcase concert at the end of the camp week. Campers receive two hours of instruction each day on selected instruments (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), in semi-private groups organized by skill level and age. All classes are taught by volunteer musicians. Campers do not need prior musical experience.
Also, throughout the week of camp, we offer non-music related activities such as Mindfulness, Yoga, Bellydancing and workshops ranging anywhere from Self-Defense and Zine Making to Effective Communication and Social Justice 101.
As an organization, what makes us most proud is witnessing the changes in campers that occur during camp week. Shyer campers gradually come out of their shell to be more fully expressed, and all campers experience a sense of growth and accomplishment that is absolutely visible. These special moments of transformation occur every single year, and it’s joyful for not only in the campers, for the volunteers as well. It is truly inspiring.
- The cost to attend Miami Girls Rock Camp in 2019 is $250 for the entire week.
- Sliding scale fees and scholarships are also available.
- Website: www.miamigirlsrockcamp.org
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @miamigirlsrockcamp
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/miamigirlsrockcamp