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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Girls Clubs

Mission: The Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC) empowers girls through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and teamwork. The BAGRC strives to challenge gender stereotypes, encourage collaboration and tolerance among peers, and provide a comfortable space for people of all backgrounds to express themselves. Through music lessons, workshops, group activities and performance, girls acquire skills that will help guide them throughout their lives.

Results: We have expanded our programming each year to meet the growing demand in our community for our innovative programming. Our first summer camp, held in 2008, served 65 girls; this year, in our 6th year of programming, we will serve 265 girls. Similarly, our first after school program served 19 girls; this year we will serve more than 100 girls.

Target demographics: We serve girls between 8 and 18 years old from all over the Bay Area and beyond. Most girls live in the East Bay, and half receive full or partial financial aid to participate in our programs.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 324 youth

Geographic areas served: SF Bay Area

Programs: *Girls Rock Summer Camp: a week-long program in which girls learn to play an instrument (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals, or turntables), form a band, a write an original song to perform at the end-of-program showcase. *Girls Rock After School Program: a 10-week version of the Summer Camp program. *Women's Rock Camp: a 3-day version of Summer Camp for women ages 19 and up. All proceeds directly benefit our youth programs.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Dina6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 9 year old daughter participated in a BAGRC program this summer and it was amazing for her on so many levels. Her musical ability on drums exploded! She gained tremendous musical confidence, and is comfortable playing with different people in a variety of settings. She writes songs now, and it's a way for her to express feelings ranging from frustration to joy. She learned how to productively deal with conflict and create art in a team environment. She has struggled in the past to fit in, and now she seems so much more comfortable with herself.

This is just an incredible program for girls. It arms them with so many tools as they enter a difficult phase of life. If you cannot afford it, there is financial aid.

Yvette B.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My daughter has been to Girls Rock Camp the last 2 years. She loves it.
Ok, so it sometimes seems a tad disorganized but somehow it all comes together & it's amazing!
I know she wants to go back for sure!
Next year she is hoping to be a mentor.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended the camp for three years in a row and is signed up to attend this coming summer session. She loves it and so do I. Under the pretext of learning to play an instrument, form a band, write a song and play a live show in front of hundreds of people, the girls are really learning life skills, gaining confidence and having fun. The women who run the camp are great role models for the girls.

Jennifer P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended Bay Area Girls Rock Camp for the last three summers (from ages 10-12). She always loves it! She had been the lead singer twice and a guitar player once.

Each year, she loves her fellow band-mates and her coaches. She learns to listen to her own voice, to trust her instincts and to go for broke. Each summer she emerges from the program more confident and comfortable in her own skin. Aside form the musical lessons and friendships, the encouragement to think critically and to voice her own opinions have been most valuable.

The program is well-run and super fun! I reccommend it highly to all girls.


Audrey W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 9 year old daughter has now attended 2 sessions, and this summer will be her third. We love this program because they teach children about music, self esteem, and empowerment. They are a non profit organization that I adore because as a single mother it is very hard to find programs (after school & summer) that are affordable. I love that they have a 'compliment' board and they encourage the kids to build each other up, and recognize each other for positive stuff such as personality, appearance, or kind gestures. My absolute favorite part of the camp is the show case at the end in which the bands perform their songs. This camp teaches the children to play instruments, write songs, form bands, and preform what more could they do? We love them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has attended all three years of summer camp sessions that Bay Area Girls Rock has offered so far. The first year she learned to play the drums, the second year she switched to playing bass, and then stayed with it for the third year.

The focus on empowering girls through music is prevalent throughout the week-long camp. It's not just about forming a band and learning a song - my daughter learned what it takes to write a song, what a zine is and how to create one, self-defense, and most importantly (besides the music) how to deal with conflict. Being in a band (even for a week) is no walk in the park. Four or five personalities meshing together takes work - and they do a good job of having band coaches and band managers walk that line between letting the girls work it out themselves, and stepping in to offer solutions.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Please note I am also a board member for BAGRC, but my first experience with the organization was as a client served. My 14 year old daughter Maggie is a rock camp alumna. She attended the first session of Bay Area Girls Rock Camp 2008 when she was 11 years old. She loved it so much, she returned again in 2009 and in 2010.
Maggie wanted to attend rock camp so she could learn an instrument and be in a band. I wanted her to go to rock camp so she could build her confidence and meet women who could be role models for her as she learns be a strong, independent person. Rock camp met all our expectations. During rock camp sessions, I see my daughter’s confidence increase every day. As she experiences the anxiety of forming a band, she learns that there is a group for her and she can fit in with girls she just met. Making her way through the negotiations of finding a band name and writing a song has taught her about problem solving, compromise and standing up for her point of view. As the sessions end with the thrill of performing for a full house at a local rock venue, Maggie learns that she is brave. Who wouldn’t feel more confident after forming a band, learning an instrument, writing a song and performing for 300 people?
Since her first week at rock camp, Maggie has remained involved with her instrument of choice; taking lessons, practicing and even performing outside of camp with a group of rock campers. Her ongoing involvement with drumming and her continued improvement in skill helped her feel a sense of accomplishment, mastery and identity; key components of resilience for adolescent girls.