Queer Rock Camp empowers youth and builds community through music. We support the fluidity of gender and sexuality, and see music as a way to amplify resilience and self-expression.
What Happens at Camp?
Queer Rock Camp is a weeklong music camp for queer, gender variant, gender non-conforming and allied youth (ages 12-21). Camp sessions take place in Olympia and Seattle, WA. Youth and volunteers come from all over the Puget Sound area, West Coast, and beyond. Campers learn an instrument, form a band, write an original song, and their hard work culminates in a public showcase. Throughout the week, youth participate in workshops focusing on community building, social justice, self-empowerment, and musical techniques. Queer Rock Camp amplifies the voice of a population that is usually silenced — allowing youth to be loud and to express themselves honestly and authentically through music.
Here is what an average camp day looks like:
8:45-9:00 camper arrival / check-in
9:00-9:30 morning assembly (skits, important info about the day)
9:30-11:30 instrument instruction
11:30-12:30 lunch with live band performance/camper q & a.
12:30-2:45 band practice
2:45-3:30 quiet band practice (band meeting/snack time)
5:00-5:30 afternoon assembly
5:30 camper departure
The volunteer-run Queer Rock Camp Collective works year-round fundraising to make Queer Rock Camp available to all youth regardless of finances! In order to keep QRC free and accessible to everyone, we ask campers and families, when possible, to make a donation towards tuition cost that is meaningful and substantial to them. The estimated cost for each QRC camper is $400. This includes equipment, food, transportation & housing (when applicable), and general operating costs. No one will be turned away for lack of funds!
More information about donating to QRC can be found on our Donate page, or on the camper application.
• Challenge societal norms of identity in ways that empower each other.
• Encourage collaboration, empowerment, self-expression, and mutual respect.
• Encourage self-discovery through hands-on experience and risk-taking.
• Favor actions over words.
• Share the idea that there is no “correct” way of playing music.
• Strike a balance between technique and experimentation.
• Embrace team-teaching and support each other as volunteers.
• Create a world where queer youth feel encouraged, supported, valued, included, and heard
A Short History of QRC
Queer Rock Camp was founded in 2011 with 33 campers from around the Pacific Northwest, and subsequent years have brought continual growth, challenges, and exciting changes! This past summer we served approximately 50 campers from around the US, and volunteers have come from all over the world to be part of camp. We are a currently a program of Stonewall Youth in Olympia, and are working towards getting independent non-profit status. For our 5th year we will be hosting camp in Seattle as well as Olympia!
Our camp is an adaptation of the Girls Rock Camp model – a movement that challenges sexism and gender stereotypes in music and beyond. Started in Portland, OR in 2001 with the Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls, there are now hundreds of GRC’s all over the world, and we are excited to work in tandem with this movement.
• Youth Agency and Leadership;
• Queer & Trans Visibility;
• Intergenerational Community;
• Fun; DIY/DIT (Do It Yrself/Together);
We want camp to be a place where we get to challenge, learn about, and change oppressive and hierarchical attitudes and behaviors. We will support one another by promoting healing and giving each other tools to empower ourselves with. Campers can expect lots of adult support, room to ask questions, and to be listened to. You will be accepted for your experiences and trusted to grow.
Working towards our collective liberation is a fundamental part of achieving the mission of Queer Rock Camp. To move us forward in this work we need to educate ourselves about systems of oppression, how we uphold them, an how we can challenge them. We all have a responsibility before, during, and after camp to look deeply at the places in our lives where we hold unearned privilege, examine our internalized biases and “isms”, build and practice allyship skills, and be thoughtful about how our access to privilege and resources impacts how we take up space at camp. We have an expectation that all volunteers come to camp ready to make excellent mistakes and model to the community their ability to grow by looking critically at themselves.
♥ The Queer Rock Camp Organizing Collective ♥
The Queer Rock Camp Organizing Collective is made up of about 15 volunteers meeting year round to make camp happen. We are musicians, adults, youth, and parents. We are queer activists and youth allies, devoted to empowering individuals and our communities to challenge oppressions that effect queer, gender variant, gender non-conforming people.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about getting involved in our year-round organizing! Any amount of time or commitment can help!