Summer Camp

What’s Rock Camp All About?

Summer Camp 2020

Is Going Virtual! VCR – Virtual Camp ROCKS!

We Believe in a Safe Space…

Out of an abundance of caution in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be hosting Summer Camp across a virtual platform this year. We know that this can in no way replace the impact and community building of our live camp, but we also know that we need music in our lives now more than ever.

Registration is now open for VCR! Click HERE To Register and for more details.

What is VCR? Find out HERE.


At summer camp we encourage our campers to discover the power of their voice through collaborative music creation and performance.


At summer camp every camper learns an instrument, forms a band, writes an original song, and performs their song live at a local Portland venue.


Rock Camp is a community of supportive allies made up of our campers, their families, our volunteers, staff, board, and donors who all value and uphold what “we believe…


At summer camp we engage our campers in workshops on gender identity, cultural appropriation, racial and gender equity in music, and identifying stereotypes in the media. We encourage campers to understand and engage with these topics so they feel confident in supporting social justice in the world.


Collaboration, problem solving, effective communication, listening, and time management are just some of the skills that are learned during the course of tackling the challenges of a week at Rock Camp.


Dancing, singing, getting loud, being silly, making a zine, designing a logo, screen printing, sometimes even slip ’n’ slides are all part of the fun at Rock Camp!

2020 Summer Camp Dates

NOTE: this is a 6-day program Monday – Saturday. Saturday is the grand finale of camp where all campers perform! It is imperative that you select a week of camp where you can commit to the full 6-day program.


Registration Open!


Session 1: 6/22 – 6/27

Session 2: 7/6 – 7/11

Session 3: 7/20 – 7/25

Session 4 – TEEN WEEK: 8/3 – 8/8 – featuring extended band practice time, gear repair, how to promote your band/book shows, and an audio engineering track.

*Please note that campers may only register for 1 session, so as to ensure every camper who wants to ROCK has a chance.


The Village Free School – 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland Or 97232

Tuition for camp is $425.00 plus a $5.50 registration fee. A minimum deposit of $50 is required at the time of registration. The registration fee and deposit are non-refundable.

We understand that for some who attend camp this amount may be challenging and we would encourage you to apply for tuition assistance. For others, who are able, we would encourage you to consider giving above the regular tuition amount to support our assistance program and help meet our mission of ensuring everyone can attend Rock Camp. Any amount given above $425.00 is considered a tax-deductible donation. This option is available at the time of registration.

Helpful Links

Tuition Assistance

Our mission is to ensure every camper who wants to attend Rock Camp can. So we raise funds year round in order to provide tuition assistance to campers who present an economic need. All who apply will be given some level of needs-based assistance. You may apply prior to registering for camp.


Who’s a Rock Camp Camper?
You ARE!

Our summer camp is open to cis-girls, transgender (regardless of identity), and gender non-conforming youth ages 9 – 17.
Campers DO NOT need to have any prior musical experience. Campers DO NEED to have the stamina for a full 8 hour day of activities (check out our schedule to the right), be comfortable with a loud/noisy environment, and be ready to collaborate with a group of peers. Campers must also be ready to get creative, be curious, and have a ton of fun!

About the Music

We believe learning and creating your own music is the gateway to empowerment and self-expression.

Creating a song with a group of people you just met encourages listening skills, collaboration, open sharing of ideas and cooperation. Everyone and their thoughts and ideas are valued at Rock Camp.

While our primary focus during instruction is on the genres of rock ‘n’ roll and punk music and their origins in blues and jazz, campers are encouraged to play other types of music that reflect their personal cultural experience.

Occasionally, based on instructor availability, we are also able to explore other musical genres with all campers, such as classical, R&B, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Country, or Experimental.

In all cases, each band will create an original song that is unique to their experience with each other and their time at camp, making our showcase one of the most fun and magical experiences you and your camper will have all summer!


Camp begins at 9am each day. Campers may arrive as early as 8am.

Daily Schedule – 9am – Opening Assembly

9:30-11:30 – Instrument Instruction. At registration, campers will select their top 3 instrument choices from bass, guitar, drums, and vocals. Instrument placement is first come, first serve, but we do our very best to place them in 1 of their 3 choices. We cannot guarantee instrument selection for any camper.

11:30-12:30 – Lunch
Campers MUST bring their own lunch to camp. A water bottle with their name on it is also required to ensure camper’s stay hydrated and we reduce waste production. Snack is provided in the afternoon, but sometimes campers get hungry before or after lunch, so packing extra snacks is encouraged.

Several days of the week we feature a local female-led band at lunchtime in order to provide our campers with local role models and expose them to our vibrant Portland music scene.

12:30-4:30 – Campers alternate between band practice and workshops. Band Formulation occurs late in the day on Monday, using a variety of factors including the overall balance of instruments, we therefore cannot guarantee placement with any particular group of campers. Workshops are a very important part of camp, giving campers the opportunity to (in some cases) have an open and safe dialog with their peers and mentors on topics critical to creating an equitable and just society. Workshops may include but are not limited to: Songwriting, Cultural Appropriation, Self-Defense, Gender Image & Identity, Bedazzling, Racial/Gender Oppression, Zine-making, Stereotyping in the Media, Logo Design, and Screen Printing.

4:30-5:00 – Closing Assembly
Campers talk about what they learned during the day, practice our camp song, and receive important info for the next day.

5:00-6:00 – Camper Release and Pick-Up