Working with our campers throughout the week, we experienced the palpable impact of Girls Rock! DC’s programs. To get a glimpse of how our campers feel about camp, read this letter from a parent to you, our community, about her daughter’s experience at Girls Rock! DC 2013.
Many times we consider supporting a cause and never know for sure if it will make a difference. I am writing to tell you that Girls Rock! DC, helped change my little girl’s life.
Katie was a happy, friendly and creative little girl until about 18 months ago when her life took a terrible turn. Sadness became crippling. Fear of a few things became uncontrollable fear of most things. Her emotions prevented her from being able to attend school, church or any other activities. Some days she was too afraid or sad to leave our home. Her friends dropped away as they were unable to relate to her. She withdrew from everyone, just so she could feel safe. What a terrible burden at the tender age of twelve.
However, love of music was a constant in her life. She would laugh and sing her heart out at home. But she could never share that joy with anyone but her father and me.
With the help of many doctors and other professionals, a stay in the hospital, and admission to a therapeutic school, our Katie began to come back to us. But she was still isolated, having no friends or activities. We tried taking her to music camps that she desperately wanted to attend. But the first day would end in tears and terror, so she could not return.
And then, everything changed. Katie got a scholarship to attend Girls Rock! DC. At first I was afraid to try another camp. But I spoke to one of the volunteers and heard her caring and concern. This program seemed different from ones we had tried before. Katie was terrified the first day. But they had counselors, a nurse and a compassionate staff who were patient and let her engage at her own pace.
This camp wasn’t just about the music. These women and men had created a place where girls can feel accepted, safe and powerful. They learned to be genuine and that they deserve respect. They were shown that we are all different from each other and that those differences make us beautiful.
The curriculum was about more than music theory. It was about the portrayal of women in music and media, developing leadership skills, creative problem solving, collaborative behavior, healthy relationships and more. In addition, they got to rock out every day with other girls and excellent mentors. I had to hide my tears from her when she came home the second day and said she made a friend. Can you imagine how amazing those words sounded to me?
Since this wonderful camp has ended, my Katie has proudly told people that she performed on the same stage as Loretta Lynn, who played at the 9:30 club the night before the Camper Showcase. She has joined two other bands and auditioned for a semi-professional children’s chorus. She is attending school regularly, volunteers at a local agency, and has reconnected with an old friend.
So you see, this camp helped change my little girl’s life. She will always have to work hard to stay well, but this camp helped start her on that path. It gave her an opportunity to understand her own power and how her love of music can be a shelter for coming storms. I cannot express how grateful I am to the staff of Girls Rock! DC, for the role they played in this life-changing camp. I know the camp will be well remembered by all of the girls. The lives they have changed must be many.
Lisa, 2013 Camper Parent
P.S. Did you know that the staff were volunteers!? These incredible people gave a great deal to make this camp a success. Aren’t they amazing? Join me in thanking them by letting them know how much we appreciate all they do.
Thank YOU Lisa for sharing your story with us.
We love you!