Girls Rock! Camp 2019

Check back soon for latest on 2020!


Girls Rock! Camp is an intensive, six-day program featuring instrument instruction, workshops, songwriting, band practice, live performances by visiting artists, and a final showcase concert. Campers receive instrument instruction each day in small groups organized by skill level and age.

On the first day, campers form bands, and during daily band practice, campers write music and lyrics collectively, assisted by band coaches. Campers also attend workshops on topics ranging from songwriting to sound engineering to self-defense, and many more. At the end of the week, bands perform their original song at a showcase concert. Workshops, classes, and band practice are led by volunteers. We strive for camp to be a week that is super fun and meaningful for campers from a variety of identities, perspectives, and experiences.

Girls (transgender & cisgender) and/or gender non-binary youth who will be between the ages of 8 and 18 during the camp session may apply for camp. Campers must be at least 8 years old at the time of camp to attend. Players of all levels of musical experience are welcome & no musical experience is necessary. We strive to make camp accessible to all applicants, regardless of their financial resources. In this effort, tuition is sliding scale, and free lunch & Metrocards may be made available.

Though Girls Rock! Camp is a day camp and we do NOT provide lodging, youth who do not to live in NYC are welcome to apply. We are able to offer limited assistance with host-family arrangements. If you are interested in contacting a prospective host family, or if you are a local family interested in hosting a camper, please let us know on your application.




  • Campers are selected by a committee that seeks to establish a varied and balanced camp population in relation to instrument groups, age, racial and ethnic identity, economic status, geography/community, and experience. CAMPERS ARE NOT SELECTED ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.

  • We will notify applicants on a rolling basis. If you hear that a friend is accepted but you haven’t heard back from us yet, please be patient and you’ll definitely hear from us by May. We will also have a waitlist that you’re welcome to join if you aren’t accepted to your chosen date.

  • We may receive more applications than the available spots that we have at camp, so we may not be able to accept everyone who applies. A waiting list will also be created in this case.

  • Be an Early Bird! Applications received early are guaranteed a spot. Tuition is to be paid no later than two weeks after your notification. Sliding scale still applicable. Payment plans available.

  • Tuition will be due during the enrollment period, after campers have been selected, and may be made in installments.


What Does Camp Cost? As an anti-racist, feminist organization, we continually work to recognize the ways in which systems of oppression impact our work and the lives of campers and their families. We hope to see an end to poverty and vast income inequality soon. In the meantime, we strive to make camp accessible to all applicants, regardless of their economic resources. Through annual fundraising and donations from institutions and individuals, and reliance on incredible volunteer power year after year, we are able to subsidize tuition for ALL campers. The actual cost to the organization of each camper is approximately $1,000, while the full tuition rate is set at $600. In addition, we utilize a “sliding scale” model for tuition to make camp accessible to as many girls (trans & cis) and/or gender non-binary youth who wish to attend as possible. In the sliding scale model, you determine your tuition based on your income, with the help of our guidelines.


How Should I Determine My Camper’s Tuition? The chart below offers suggested tuition rates based on a household’s shared annual income, assuming 3-5 folks in the household. Tuition may be made in installments. We know that some families face financial challenges for which they are under- or unsupported, such as extreme medical costs, costs to support those with disabilities, costs related to transitioning, and more, and that all families’ resources, and access to resources, look different. Please select the tuition that is most appropriate, given your financial resources. At the same, time, please be rigorous about paying what you can — we rely heavily on tuition to make camp happen. It is in the spirit of the sliding scale model, and in the spirit of community, to pay what we can, when we can.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are able to, we invite you to contribute to our Fairness Fund by paying a little more. Any amount beyond $600 is considered a gift that is tax deductible, and that will help another camper attend that is not able to afford tuition. Applications fees and tuition, however, are not donations, and therefore are not tax deductible.

CANCELLATION POLICY: 50% of all tuition payments are non-refundable. Cancellations 3 weeks prior to the camp session will be refunded the other 50%. For cancellations after 3 weeks (and only up to the MONDAY ONE WEEK PRIOR to camp), you may find a replacement for the spot to receive your remaining 50%. Otherwise, this remaining tuition will be used as a donation to the Fairness Fund, which keeps all of our programs sliding scale.


NOTES ON THE APPLICATION  (Helpful for first-time applicants) 

On the application, campers must SELECT AN INSTRUMENT to study for the week, you can request guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals, or DJ/turntables. Campers are assigned to instruments based on availability and their requests, and we try hard to make sure that campers get their top choices.

  • Please rank instruments according to the Camper’s preference.

  • If the Camper would like to study an instrument that isn’t listed, like violin, horns, or reed instruments, please indicate that in the instrument section, and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

  • For program planning reasons, you cannot change your selection after you send in your application, and you cannot change the instrument you’re assigned before or during the camp session.


In addition to the application, we ask that ALL NEW CAMPERS take time to create an EXPRESS YOURSELF PIECE, communicating why they want to be a part of Girls Rock! Camp. First time campers are also invited to submit a piece that follows the requirements of our community awards to receive recognition. (more details below)

  • Applicants may choose any format: a letter, a picture, a collage, a song or poem, etc. There is also a section in the application to upload the piece.

  • The piece must have the applicant’s FIRST AND LAST name on it.

  • Please limit audio and video pieces to a MAXIMUM OF 3 MINUTES and under 20MB.

  • If sending an e-mail, it should be sent as an attachment to The subject should read “[FIRST AND LAST NAME] EXPRESS YOURSELF 2018.”

  • Please note that all submitted materials become property of Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and cannot be returned.


BE SURE TO HAVE FUN! Applications and “Express Yourself” pieces are NOT reviewed for artistic merit. The “Express Yourself” piece helps the review panel get a sense of the applicant and helps assemble a camper group that is varied in experience and perspective.


(Available to first-time applicants, can be used as your Express Yourself Piece)

In collaboration with some of the most inspiring, rockin’ community members, we have developed a few Community Partner Awards that we offer to new prospective campers. When our partners contribute to the Fairness Fund, which helps us make tuition sliding-scale, they do it out of a passion to bring girls from many different backgrounds and experiences together at camp. These awards have been created to recognize, celebrate and support campers from specific communities, with specific sets of passions and experiences. See the chart below for more information about the different awards. Awards are limited to prospective campers who are applying to attend camp for the first time.

Please note that awards do not impact tuition. If a camper is offered a spot at camp, tuition will be set at the level determined by the camper’s application, regardless of whether or not they apply for an award. Award recipients will receive a certificate of recognition!

Black Rock Coalition “Original Rocker” Award

Before any of us were born, African-American women like Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton were pioneering music—creating a blueprint that music, even today, is still being patterned after. Since 1985, the Black Rock Coalition has supported the spirit and creativity that builds legacies such as these. That’s why this non-profit arts support organization has created an award for girls of African-American or African heritage to attend Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. The girls will then be part of an ever-growing network of rock legends that includes Nona Hendryx,  Meshell Ndegeocello, and many more.

Applicants of African-American or African heritage

To apply, submit a brief description (one page maximum) that explains what you think about music that sounds “different.” Which musicians do you think are the most unique, original, and brave? Why?

Extreme Kids and Crew Award

Extreme Kids and Crew is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that seeks to connect and empower children with disabilities citywide through the arts, movement, and play. The Extreme Kids and Crew AMP Space, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, features an indoor sensory gym and play space designed for school age children of all abilities and disabilities, and a wide array of regularly scheduled, affordable classes for children with disabilities/special needs and the people who love them.


Applicants with disabilities and their siblings

To apply, submit a brief description (one page maximum) about why you’d be a great candidate for the “Extreme Kids and Crew” Award and what musician inspires you and why.

Loud Emily Award

Created in honor of noted educator and philanthropist Emily Fisher by her friends and fans Veronica Chambers, Jason Clampet, and Flora Clampet, this award celebrates the power of girls who use their voices to stand up for what they believe in.


Any applicant

To apply, submit a brief description (one page maximum) about a time you used your voice to stand up for what you believe in.


Contact Us

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

495 Flatbush Avenue

Suite 67

Brooklyn, NY 11225

(347) 599-0716

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Registered Charity Number: 65-1237021

© 2018 by Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls