WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls created a space for girls to encourage each other, write their own songs and form bands to perform them.
Now the nonprofit is figuring out how to do it again—online.
Kristi Balzer, the camp's executive director, doesn't have any musical training (just a little barroom karaoke here and there). What she can do is manage a complex and beloved nonprofit in a moment when kids can't hang out together. Her top priority hasn't changed, however. It's making sure that no girl or trans youth is ever turned away from camp because they can't afford it.
Founded by Portland punk rocker Misty McElroy as a Portland State University student project in 2000, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls has inspired more than 100 similar programs around the world. "There's camps in every continent on the globe," Balzer says, "except for Antarctica."
Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls is one of 174 Portland-area nonprofits in this year's Give!Guide. You can do good by donating to them by Dec. 31.
In this interview, Balzer tells WW editor and publisher Mark Zusman what a $100 donation will provide the camp. Hint: It's a lot of earplugs.