Summer Camp 2016

Our summer camp is a week-long program for girls ages 8-18.  Campers attend instrument lessons, form a band, collaboratively write an original song, participate in daily music and empowerment-related workshops, and perform with their band at a live showcase at the end of the week.


Session 1 TEEN WEEK: June 13th -17th // Showcase June 18th 
Session 2: June 27th - July 1st // Showcase July 2nd
Session 3: July 18th - July 22nd // Showcase July 23rd 

Camp will be held at Oakland School for the Arts at 530 18th Street in Downtown Oakland. The camp is fully accessible with access to elevators. Camp runs Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Showcases will take place at the New Parish, 579 18th St, Oakland, on Saturday from 2-5pm. See detailed schedule below.


Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is open to self-identified girls and trans youth aged 8-18. No music experience necessary! Enrollment is limited to 80 campers per session and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.  Session 1 is Teen Week specifically for campers ages 13 and up. Although, 12 year olds may be accepted on a case by case basis. During all sessions campers are divided into 2 age groups, and we reserve 40 spots for each age group to ensure an equal distribution.


Tuition is $0-$450 sliding scale, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Full and partial financial aid is readily available. If you plan on applying for financial aid, please fill in the financial aid application in addition to the camper application so that we can determine your tuition amount.  Otherwise, full tuition is $450.


Student Application

Financial Aid Application


Camp activities

  • Instrument instruction: Campers sign up to learn bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, or vocals, and attend daily lessons in small groups.  No musical experience is required and campers are grouped by experience level. We provide instruments for everyone (but campers are welcome to bring their own guitar or bass).
  • Band practice: Campers form bands with their peers on the first day of camp, and work together to collaboratively write an original song. Each band works with two female mentors (their "band managers") who provide guidance, encouragement and technical support throughout the songwriting process.
  • Workshops: Campers attend a different workshop each day, all geared toward self-expression and building confidence, while challenging gender stereotypes and addressing discrimination. Workshops may include Music Herstory, Zine & Comic Making, Screenprinting, Image & Identity, Healthy Relationships, Video-making, Songwriting, How to Book a Show, Self-Defense, Alternative Instruments and more.
  • Lunchtime Performances: Each day at lunch we invite a band or performer to play for the campers and talk afterward about their experience as musicians. In order to expose campers to new types of music and different performance styles, we invite musicians from a variety of genres.
  • Showcase: On Saturday afternoon, each band performs its original song at a live showcase, attended by 300-400 friends, family and adoring fans.

Sample Schedule
8:30-9:00: Camper Arrival & Check-in  (Arrive at 8:00 on Monday for initial check-in)
9:00-9:30: Morning Assembly
9:30-11:30: Instrument Instruction
11:30-12:30: Lunch & Live Performance
12:30-2:30: Loud Band Practice
2:30-3:00: Quiet Band Practice & Snack
3:00-4:30: Workshop
4:30-5:00: Afternoon Assembly/Open Mic/Presentation 

How to apply

1. Fill out the online application or contact us to receive a paper application in the mail. You'll hear back from us within two weeks of submitting your application.

2. Send your camper's Express Yourself piece: We want to know who you are and why you want to attend Girls Rock Camp. The Express Yourself piece can be in any format you choose, such as a letter, story, drawing, painting, song, video, collage, etc. The purpose of the piece is to get to know our prospective campers and find out why they're excited to come to camp. Paper pieces should be no more than 8.5"x11" and mailed to us at PO Box 72213, Oakland, CA 94612; digital pieces can be emailed to shawna[at]bayareagirlsrockcamp[dot]org. Express Yourself statements can also be written directly into the Camper Application.

3. Once your application is processed, you will recieve instructions on how to submit your tuition payment via check, money order or Paypal.

Application Notes:

  • We use a rolling application process, enrollment is first-come, first-served. Once we process your application, a spot is reserved for your camper. However, an instrument is not assigned until we receive both the Express Yourself piece and a tuition payment.
  • We do not assign bands before the camp session begins. On the first day of camp, we have Band Formation activities that help inform the band assignments, and we take many different factors into account when forming the bands. If your camper has a friend at camp that she would like to be in a band with, she can indicate that on her Band Formation activity sheet on the first day.

Interested in volunteering at summer camp? Find out more on our volunteer page.