Girls Rock Detroit Summer Camp


Emma Guzman, Junior Counselor at Girls Rock Detroit Summer Camp.

Hampus Arvidsson, Flash Staff Reporter

      Girls Rock Detroit is a nonprofit organization who strives towards providing creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness for girls, women, gender non-conforming and transgender people through music education and performance. The organization is dedicated to empowering young people to challenge preconceived notions of what they can do and what they can become. On their website the organization says that “It is crucial that all young people have access to equipment and instruction regardless of their socio-economic background, religion, race, gender identity, sexuality or ethnicity.”

      Girls Rock Detroit is a part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, and each year the organization arranges their annual Girls Rock Detroit Summer Camp. The camp lets young girls, gender non-conforming and trans people pick between learning an instrument of choice or learning DJ skills, they are later put in small rock bands alternatively groups of DJ’s in which they will spend the rest of the camp with. A typical day at the camp starts with a morning assembly around 9:00 am. It continues with workshops, instrument practices, lunch, guest performances, band practices and ends with an afternoon assembly.

      Emma Guzman, Junior at FHS, has been volunteering with Girls Rock Detroit for the past three summers. This past year Emma was old enough to volunteer as a Junior Counselor, and she plans to return again this summer. Emma has been playing and writing music since she was very young. She has served as a representative volunteer of MI Resonance, won the “Best Band Contest” at Albion’s walk the best charity event, her original album “Echo” has been included in the top 15 artists to watch in Detroit by the Metro Times, 2016 and her song “Last Page” was featured on the Yab Yum music and Arts website and included in The Skewed Quiff’s “Year’s Best” playlist out of Brighton England in 2017.

      Last year she volunteered as a Junior Counselor at the camp. She says that her main purpose as a Junior Counselor was to mentor and coach one of the camp’s groups. She could also be called upon for simpler tasks such as making sure everyone got a lunch, escorting “wee rockers” across the campus, teaching rockers the camp theme song etc etc. Emma herself was never a student at the camp but says that she thinks it’s a great initiative.

      After five days of instrument lessons, workshops and band coachings the bands and DJ groups get ready for the Saturday Camper Showcase; a showcase where each band perform with their original songs on stage for their friends and family, experiencing what it is like to play in a professional setting at a prominent Detroit music venue. This year there will be 2 sessions of the Girls Rock Detroit Camp, with one starting July 22 and the other July 29. Emma Guzman also highlights another event organized by Girls Rock Detroit, The Rock Roulette. The Rock Roulette is a fundraiser/showcase which randomly places musicians into bands with folks they’ve never played with before, and then work together over eight weeks to write a 15-minute set to perform at the showcase. Emma herself will be performing at the fundraiser taking place Friday, May 10th at the Ghost Light in Hamtramck.

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