Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls

Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls! We need the help of lots of reliable, dedicated folks to make camp happen, so thank you for offering your skills, time and enthusiasm.

We are currently seeking volunteers for LET’S ROCK! CAMP 2018, 10/6-10/8 (Indigenous People’s Day weekend).

APPLY HERE TO VOLUNTEER FOR LET’S ROCK! CAMP!

 

See below for more information about how camp works and volunteer roles. 

 WHAT ARE THE PROGRAMS? 

Let’s Rock! Camp (LRC)

Let’s Rock! Camp is an intensive, three-day music and social justice program for adult women and/or gender non-binary folks. It’s the “grown-up” version of Girls Rock! Camp.

Rock Camp Jumpstart (RCJ)

Rock Camp Jumpstart is a summer camp for girls, gender non-binary youth and trans youth ages 5 – 7. Rock Camp Jumpstart gives younger campers the opportunity to write their own music and experiment with sound and movement through a wide variety of fun activities.

Girls Rock! Camp (GR!C)

Girls Rock! Camp is a week-long summer day camp program for girls, gender non-binary youth, and trans youth ages 8 to 18. The program offers instrument instruction, workshops, songwriting/band practice, live performances by visiting artists, and culminates in a showcase concert. There are 2 sessions of Girls Rock! Camp.

 

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING

In the tradition of Girls Rock Camps all over the world, our summer programs are almost entirely volunteer run. We rely on individuals who are dedicated to music, education, and creating a more just and equitable world to support our campers as they work to form bands, write songs, and attend workshops over the course of the week.

Volunteering has been described by many as a transformative experience. Each session of camp requires roughly 75 adults to make the camp run smoothly, and over the past decade plus of the organization’s existence, Willie Mae Rock Camp has built up a rich community of hundreds of educators, musicians, artists, activists, and generally amazing people dedicated to supporting our campers and each other. Volunteering means connecting with this amazing community and for many finding life long friends and collaborators.

Campers at Willie Mae Rock Camp come from a wide range of economic experiences, ethnic identities, gender identities, & boroughs, and more than half self-identify as youth of color. We strive to create a volunteer base that reflects this diversity, and strongly encourage people of color, people who are gender non-binary and/or trans, and any folks who come from traditionally oppressed experiences to become volunteers and mentors at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. We ALL need role models. Volunteers must be at least 19 years old at the time of camp.

We have a variety of volunteer roles available, including part time roles and roles that do not require musical experience. Please see role descriptions below, and note that many volunteers choose to do multiple roles throughout the camp week. For example, many people with full time availability will choose to volunteer as both an Instrument Instructor and Band Coach, or Workshop Leader and Camp Social Worker. Check out the availability requirements for each role to determine how you can combine roles to suit your schedule.

For more info about volunteering at Willie Mae Rock Camp, check out our FAQ section or email volunteer@williemaerockcamp.org

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, gender identity or expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarships, and other Camp-related policies and programs, as well as volunteer and employment-related policies and activities.

ROLE DESCRIPTIONS

MENTORSHIP ROLES
These are roles that require direct engagement with campers. At WMRC we prioritize the leadership of women & non binary individuals for these roles.

COUNSELOR

No musical experience required.

Counselors serve as mentors for assigned groups of campers, which involves:

  • Greeting campers each morning
  • Escorting campers to each activity throughout the day and making sure the campers are where they need to be at all times
  • Supervising campers during workshops
  • Supervising campers during lunch time
  • Supervising campers during morning and afternoon assemblies
  • Serving as a general support person – offering advice and help throughout the day
  • Camper check out at the end of the day – making sure that campers are accounted for before your departure

Full time
Girls Rock Camp: Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm
Jumpstart: 8:30am-4pm (at RCJ, Counselor and Band Coach are combined into one role)

BAND COACH

Some musical experience required, though volunteers without direct musical experience are welcome to apply for this role and will be paired with a more experienced co-coach.

On the first day of camp, the campers form bands, and each band is assigned two band coaches. Bands will be made up of 4-6 campers.

Your role as a Band Coach is to facilitate the camper’s process of learning to work together, writing their song, and being prepared and confident for their showcase performance.

Band coaching is not direct instruction in the same way that instrument instruction or leading a workshop is, and instead focuses on group facilitation.

Coaches are responsible for:

  • Working as a team with their co-coach
  • Facilitating a band meeting on the first day of camp  (and as often as seems appropriate for your group) – do some icebreakers, set group agreements, get to know each other.
  • Assisting campers with setting up instruments (this is largely done before practice by roadies, but some support with tuning or instrument positioning might be needed)
  • Assisting the songwriting process
  • Knowing the camp schedule and keeping track of the time – working with the band to set daily agendas for practice and stick to it.
  • Keeping the energy up and spirits high. You are the cheerleader for this band of campers!
  • Mediation and conflict resolution. Staff is available for support with this.
  • Helping the band to agree on a band name and design a band t-shirt.
  • Helping the band to screen their band shirt (a dedicated art room volunteer will be present to help with this)
  • Providing support at the showcase. You are the bands point person on this day and responsible for keeping track of all band members and bringing them to the stage when they are scheduled to play.

Girls Rock Camp: Part time, Monday-Saturday
Monday-12:30pm-5:30pm, Tuesday-Friday 1:15-2:30 or 2:45-4:15, and Saturday 10am-2pm
Rock Camp Jumpstart: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm (at RCJ, Counselor and Band Coach are combined into one role)

INSTRUMENT INSTRUCTOR

Musical experience required. Self taught and beginner musicians are welcome to apply!

Our campers possess a varying range of skill levels – some have been playing for years, many have never played an instrument in their lives. Classes usually involve a combination of team-teaching larger groups of 10-15 students and solo teaching in smaller groups (3-4 students).

Instructors are responsible for:

  • Working with co-teachers to plan classes and create a supportive learning environment for the campers.
  • Keeping in mind a goal of growing campers comfortability with their instrument in order to contribute meaningfully to their band’s song, as opposed to a goal of technical proficiency in one week.
  • Knowing the camp schedule and keeping track of the time.

Girls Rock Camp: Part time, Monday-Friday
Monday – Friday 9:30-10:45 or 11:30-12:15
Rock Camp Jumpstart: Monday-Thursday 9:30-11:30

WORKSHOP LEADER

Musical experience requirement dependent on the content of the workshop.

A large portion of a camper’s day is spent in workshops. This is where we have a big opportunity to promote WMRC’s message of social justice. Workshops may be taught by individuals, pairs, or small groups.

Workshop leaders are responsible for:

  • Leading one of WMRC’s pre-planned core workshops (topics like Gender Identity, Group Harmony, Band Art and Songwriting). We can provide some materials, but workshop leaders are responsible for putting the content in their own words.
  • Alternately, you can suggest a workshop that you have designed. Workshops relating to music, art, identity, self expression, social movements, community are all welcome.

Part time, days flexible. Workshops take place at various times throughout the camp day. Volunteer workshop leaders may come in for just an hour to teach a single workshop, or teach a multi-session workshop over the course of the week.

ASSEMBLY LEADER

No musical experience required.

We like to have a number of volunteers for this role so that campers are seeing a variety of people leading throughout the week. This role is for you if you are comfortable on the mic, know lots of fun icebreakers & games, and love making announcements!

Part-time, Days flexible.
Girls Rock Camp: 8:45-9:45am, 4:00-4:30pm
Rock Camp Jumpstart: 8:45-9:45am, 3:00-3:30pm

We like to have a variety of assembly leaders throughout the week to showcase the many amazing people in our community. This is a great role if you are already volunteering as a counselor or band coach and want to showcase your large group facilitation skills.

ROCK CAMP JUMPSTART EXTENDED DAY LEADER

No musical experience required.

This role takes place after the camp day has ended. Most RCJ campers go home at 3:30, but we offer extended day supervision to accommodate families who need a later pick up time. The Extended Day Leader supervises RCJ campers while they wait for their grow ups. This is unstructured time in which campers might want to play, dance, or draw quietly. Experience with or enthusiasm for working with ages 5-7 required for this role.

Rock Camp Jumpstart: 3:30pm-5pm, Days flexible

CAMP SOCIAL WORKER

No musical experience required.

The Camp Social Worker is a floating role, which can be filled by one person throughout the camp session or multiple people. We do not require volunteers to be licensed social workers in order to fill this role, but you must have experience in working with youth, conflict resolution, and emotional support. We often call on the Camp Social Worker to meet with bands who are having conflict that is disrupting their ability to write their song, as well as to meet with campers who are having social or emotional issues come up and need some extra support.

Full time or Part time, days flexible
It is important to us to have a volunteer with skills in social work available at all times during each camp session, however we are open to multiple people sharing the role on different days.

CAMP NURSE

No musical experience required.

The Camp Nurse does not need to be a Registered Nurse, but must have First Aid & CPR certifications. This is a floating role which can be filled by one person throughout the camp session or multiple people. The Camp Nurse is often called on to help with minor cuts and bruises, and provide support for campers who are not feeling well.

Full time or Part time, days flexible
It is important to us to have a volunteer with skills in First Aid & CPR available at all times during each camp session, however we are open to multiple people sharing the role on different days.

SCREEN PRINTING PRO

No musical experience required.

At Girls Rock! Camp and Let’s Rock! Camp, camper bands are responsible for designing and screening a band tshirt. The Screen Printing pro is responsible for leading a workshop explaining to the campers how to screen print, and providing support in the art room when the campers come in to make their shirts.

Part time
Girls Rock Camp: The screen printing workshop typically is repeated multiple times in one day during a camp session (typically Wednesday), and the ideal screen printing pro would be available later in the week as well to support campers as they work on printing.

NON MENTORSHIP ROLES
These are roles that do not require direct engagement with campers. Open to volunteers of all genders. Volunteers may choose to mix it up by filling both mentorship and non-mentorship roles.

ROADIES

Some musical experience required, though volunteers without musical experience are welcome to apply for this role, and will be working as a team with more experienced Roadies.

Roadies are the heart of camp! Roadies are responsible for setting up rooms for band practice and instrument classes, and breaking them down afterwards. Knowledge of basic instrument upkeep, such as tuning guitars and replacing broken strings, is helpful though not required.

Roadies with Sound Engineering experience are needed to support our lunchtime performers. Love moving physical objects around? Then this role is for you.

All Roadies are led by our staff Gear Coordinator.

Part time, Days flexible
Girls Rock Camp: Monday-Friday 8:45am-1:15pm or 12:15-5pm
Rock Camp Jumpstart: Monday-Friday 8:45am-1:15pm or 12:15-4pm
For both camps, shorter shifts are available for those with less time to volunteer.

KITCHEN CREW

No musical experience required.

At all of our camps, we provide breakfast and lunch for all volunteers. We need a team of dedicated folks to help our kitchen coordinator with food prep and clean up. Food service experience is helpful but not required.

Part time, Days flexible
Girls Rock Camp/Rock Camp Jumpstart: Monday-Friday 8am-12:30pm or 12:30pm-3:30pm
For both camps, shorter shifts are available for those with less time to volunteer.

RECEPTIONISTS

No musical experience required.

Reception help is much appreciated as campers check in and out in the mornings and late afternoons. Basic computer knowledge is required for this role. It’s a great way to meet each camper and get to know their families! Interest in talking to adults required 🙂

Part time, Days flexible
Girls Rock Camp: Monday-Friday 8am-9:30am or 4pm-5pm
Rock Camp Jumpstart: Monday-Friday 8am-9:30am or 3:30pm-4:30pm

MEDIA CREW

No musical experience required.

So many amazing moments happen at camp, and we need help documenting them all! We need a few dedicated volunteers to take photos and videos. Professional experience is not required, but please have confidence in your ability to take an awesome photo or video.

Part time, Days flexible
Media crew can stop in for an hour or two at various points throughout the week.

FLOATER

No musical experience required.

The ultimate role for the busy New Yorker, the floater is a volunteer who offers their time based on their own availability, shows up at camp, and floats to wherever help is needed. Floaters often help out Roadies, Kitchen Crew, or lend support in the art room. Be ready for anything from running errands to jumping in to a camper dance party!

Part time, days flexible

SHOWCASE SUPPORT

No musical experience required.

We need lots of support at our Girls Rock! Camp Showcase, which falls on the Saturday at the end of each camp session. Roles at the showcase include selling merch, raffle tickets, roadie work, and staffing the bake sale.

Part time, Saturdays
Girls Rock Camp: 10am-2pm on the Saturdays following each camp session

MOVING CREW

No musical experience required.

Because our office and gear storage are located separately from where camp is held, we have major moves at the start and end of each summer that require lots of hands on deck. Some heavy lifting is required for this role.

Part time, Weekdays
Moving generally occurs at the start and end of each summer for around 5 hours on a weekday.

YEAR ROUND ROLES

RESOURCE MAPPING

Developing and refining written, audio, and video content for our programs such as instrument info books, archiving new materials.

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Helping us create amazing graphics for our yearly calendar, social media posts, camp materials, event flyers, and more.

GEAR MAINTENANCE

Re-stringing instruments, fixing loose screws, etc.

ANTI-OPPRESSION WORKING GROUPS

These are groups of volunteers committed to furthering Willie Mae Rock Camp’s mission towards a more equitable world for all those who experience gender based oppression. That means thinking about many facets of identity and working towards programming that is accessible to a wide variety of abilities, genders, races, languages, religions, family structures and class backgrounds.

These groups will work on: Oversight of our written materials, oversight of our outreach, planning and programming, and generally helping WMRC remain aligned with greater anti-oppression principles.

DONATIONS

Year round volunteers are needed to:

-Help acquire donations of goods or services for our programs (can include supplies, food, space for events or meetings, etc.)

-Set up a Gigs for Girls show

-Help to connect us with musicians and artists who want to collaborate with camp in some way.

OUTREACH

Promote WMRC year round! Table at events, hand out fliers, etc.

NOTES ON GENDER AT ROCK CAMP

When Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls was founded in 2005, inspired by the now global Girls Rock Camp movement, we set out with a mission to create more opportunities for girls and women to find their unique voices and collaborate with each other to express themselves through music and build community. Over the years, the organization’s understanding of gender has become more expansive, and we recognize that the liberation of women and girls is inextricably linked with a broader fight for gender justice.

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls envisions a world without misogyny, and strives to be a community in which people of all genders come together to work towards making that vision a reality. Our policies and guidelines are based on the principle that gender is not binary or rigid, and we know that each of us self-determines our gender(s) every day.

We also understand that misogyny does exist in the world in many forms (transmisogyny, misogynoir, internalized misogyny), and thus the ways in which we each experience gender varies greatly, depending on a lot of intersecting factors (including our perceived femininity, transgender or cisgender status, race, class, ability and more). Women’s movements have historically (and unfortunately, currently) excluded trans women from their organizing, and Willie Mae Rock Camp refuses to uphold that legacy.

Our namesake, Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, was a black woman blues musician who transgressed gender roles of the 1950s by frequently performing in men’s suits. She was also widely reported to have been queer. Willie Mae was a powerful vocalist and multi instrumentalist, but never gained fame or fortune from her recordings. Recordings of her songs performed by Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin, however, helped to put those artists on the pop culture map. Willie Mae’s story reminds us of the ways that systems of oppression collude to invisibilize the most marginalized amongst us. Would we all be familiar with Willie Mae’s work if she were a man, if she were a white artist, if she sang traditional love songs about men, if she presented with a more traditionally feminine aesthetic, or if she were thin?

We hope that our programs can provide space for campers and volunteers to bring all aspects of themselves, and to celebrate each other’s differences. Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls is primarily led by and for women and girls. We also welcome the participation of people of all genders, and are pleased to provide anyone the opportunity to demonstrate their support of women and disruption of patriarchy. To truly make change, people of all genders are needed in our movements, and in our work at camp. To this end, the organization welcomes the support of people of all genders who would like to volunteer, and expects all volunteers to respect the importance of leadership by women.

Willie Mae Rock Camp supports the liberation of all people who experience gender based oppression. If you feel like this space is for you, it likely is.

Questions? Email volunteer@williemaerockcamp.org

FAQ

Are there part-time volunteer roles?

Short answer, YES!

If you’re available part time Monday-Friday each day, there are many roles available at Girls Rock! Camp and Jumpstart. In fact, ALL roles besides Counselor are only needed for part of the day. Band Coaches and Instrument Instructors must be present every day, but Roadies, Kitchen Crew, Floaters, etc. can come in even just one day during the camp session.

If you’re available only on weekends, we would love your help at the Girls Rock! Camp Showcases, which happen on the Saturday after each camp. We also need volunteers for Let’s Rock! Camp, which happens from Friday-Sunday.

Do volunteers need to have musical experience?

Not necessarily. Summer camp roles open to those without musical experience include:

  • Counselor
  • Band Coach (some musical knowledge is helpful, but we always pair non-musical volunteers with a co-coach who can support with the musical side of things)
  • Roadie
  • Kitchen Crew
  • Floater
  • Screen Printing Pro
  • Camp Social Worker
  • Camp Nurse
  • Jumpstart Extended Day Leader
  • Workshop Leader
  • Assembly Leader
  • Receptionist
  • Photographer/Videographer
  • Moving Crew

We also have many year round volunteer opportunities that do not require musical knowledge. (See below)

Are there year-round volunteer positions available?

YES! We don’t typically have youth mentorship roles available for volunteers throughout the school year, but we do need volunteers for special events, as well as plenty of behind the scenes tasks like updating our written materials, graphic design, gear maintenance, securing donations, or even setting up a Gigs for Girls show (link to Gigs for Girls page)

To offer your skills or time as a volunteer during the school year, email volunteer@williemaerockcamp.org

Do volunteers need to have experience working with youth?

Not necessarily.

For Girls Rock! Camps (ages 8-18), Roadies, Kitchen Crew, and other non-mentorship roles do not require experience working with youth.

For mentorship roles such as Counselor, Band Coach, Instrument Instructor, or Workshop Leader, some experience with youth is required, whether professional or informal.

For Rock Camp Jumpstart (ages 5-7), the same applies for the roles listed above. Again, youth work experience can be professional or personal. Additionally, we do seek out volunteers for this camp with specific experience working with very young children. We encourage anyone who has experience working in kindergarten or day care settings, or those who have expertise in child development or early childhood education to apply for mentorship roles in this program!

If you want to help women & non binary folks learn to rock, but working with youth isn’t your thing, consider volunteering for Let’s Rock! Camp, our weekend long camp for adults 18+.

Are volunteers paid?

At WMRC, we strongly believe in the power of volunteerism, and we also recognize that it can be prohibitive to historically oppressed groups to not receive pay. We are working to seek a balance to this dilemma, and hope to make volunteering as accessible as possible to anyone who would like to be part of this community.

Currently, we offer a limited amount of financial assistance for volunteering at Rock Camp. If you feel you cannot volunteer without financial assistance of some kind or you need a MetroCard/travel stipend, please check the financial assistance box on your application, and we will send you more information as it becomes available.

Do volunteers need to identify as women?

Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls is primarily led by and for women and girls. We also welcome the participation of people of all genders, and are pleased to provide anyone the opportunity to demonstrate their support of women and disruption of patriarchy. To truly make change, people of all genders are needed in our movements, and in our work at camp. To this end, the organization welcomes the support of people of all genders who would like to volunteer, and expects all volunteers to respect the importance of leadership by women.

Willie Mae Rock Camp supports the liberation of all people who experience gender based oppression. If you feel like this space is for you, it likely is.

Questions? Email volunteer@williemaerockcamp.org