Update Re: Coronavirus

Dear Friends of Girls Rock Columbia,

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of postponing our biggest fundraiser of the year, Rock Roulette. In accordance with the CDC’s latest recommendations for organizations and events, we are pressing pause on all of our events through the next eight weeks. Every major annual fundraising effort we have will be directly impacted by these postponements— Rock Roulette at New Brookland Tavern, our first-of-its-kind Rummage and Gear sale at Curiosity Coffee Bar, as well as our Midlands Gives events. 

The safety of our staff, volunteers, and community is our top priority, and we stand in solidarity with all of our fellow nonprofits and businesses who are making these difficult decisions to close in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We hope everyone who is able to will stay home and practice as much self-care as possible. 

This decision has been simultaneously a no-brainer and very difficult to make. As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to keep campers rocking. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and be flexible moving forward. In the meantime, if you are able, we are asking our supporters to consider giving a monthly sustaining gift or a gift of any amount through our website or via PayPal

Thank you for continuing to care and support one another as many of us make difficult decisions during this time.

With love, glitter, and solidarity,

Girls Rock Columbia

Girls Rock Columbia 2017 Camper Showcase

2017 Camp Workshop Proposal Form

Gear Drop Off: July 12 and 18

Hi Friends!

Our first gear drop off is this weekend!

There are two gear drop off dates this year:

Sunday, July 12, 2015
1501 Hyatt Ave, Columbia, SC 29203
2:00pm to 6:00pm

Saturday, July 18, 2015
Columbia College
1301 Columbia College Dr. Columbia, SC 29203
12:00pm to 2:00pm

If you’re not able to drop off or pick up on these days, PLEASE try to make arrangements for someone to do it for you. We have limited available volunteers, and this is the time of year where things get craaaaaazy, so it’s difficult for us to make alternate arrangements.

If your instrument/gear is a donation, please let us know when you drop it off so we can give you a huge high five!!


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at hello@ed6.349.myftpupload.com

Thank you again–YOU ROCK!

Hash It or Trash It

At Girls Rock Columbia, we work to provide a safe space where campers can explore their identities and express themselves–to recognize that these young women are real people with real ideas and, often, really strong feelings about those ideas. The question that frequently arises, then, is what do we do when those ideas and feelings that these girls express so powerfully clash? How does one make themselves heard while also maintaining the harmony of a happy, productive band?

Photo taken by Girls Rock Columbia camper

Photo taken by Girls Rock Columbia camper

To be a happy band, you have to be able to get along and accept other people’s ideas. If you disagree, you have to figure out a solution so you can stay in harmony. People don’t always agree and that is ok. One of the biggest challenges for all of us is to take a difficult situation and make it better.

By now, you probably know that Girls Rock camp is about more than music education. We want to empower girls and we feel super lucky if our guidance helps them reach their goals. At Girls Rock Columbia, we have a phrase:


Hash it or Trash it



Pretty simple, right? We think you should speak your mind, but we understand that you might be uncomfortable sharing your feelings. If you don’t want to express yourself, then accept the situation as it is and move on. No hard feelings. No whispers in the hallway. No rumors.

Conflict resolution is an important life skill. A wise person sees obstacles as something to overcome and not something to be limited by. The same goes for communication. We don’t allow other people the opportunity to really understand us, or to help us reach a solution, when we aren’t open about our struggles and our feelings. As girls and women, we are stronger when we are brave together.

Can you remember the last time you were really upset by someone? What did you do about it? Maybe Hash it or Trash it will help you next time.

What Are We Putting Up?

On June 17, 2015, nine people were murdered in Emanuel A.M.E. church in a racially-motivated terrorist act. In the wake of this tragedy, there has been a widespread call for legislators to take down the confederate flag, an emblem that many feel represents systematic racism and oppression, from the statehouse lawn.

As this historic moment nears, we must remind ourselves that this is but a single step–neither the first nor the last.  As the confederate flag comes down, what are we raising in its stead?

There is so much work left to be done. We must learn the stories of our past in order to  grow from our history. We must embrace the diversity of our community and champion the dignity and worth of all citizens. We must fight injustice in all of its incarnations.

Over 1,500 people unite for an anti-flag rally at the South Carolina State House on Sunday, June 21, 2015

Over 1,500 people unite for an anti-flag rally at the South Carolina State House on Sunday, June 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Jenni Brennison

At Girls Rock Columbia, we tell our campers “your voice is your most powerful instrument.” This is a time when we must use our voices–to cry out in sorrow and in joy, to sound a call to action, to promote accountability in our peers and in ourselves, and to plan a better and stronger future for us all.

Contact your representatives here! Tell them where you stand!

See who supports the decision to remove the flag at this live page and hold your leaders accountable! Call, email, send snail mail! Express your concerns.


Show us your POWER POSE!

Your body language tells people a lot about you. Some people even believe the way you carry yourself can change how your body functions. Power posing has been buzzed about since it was mentioned in Amy Cuddy’s influential 2012 Ted Talk. It can be, she explained, a powerful tool for success.

Girls Rock Columbia believes your power pose has the potential to awaken your self-confidence and inspire others to see the superstar within!

Says Executive Director Mollie Williamson, “We’re teaching the campers that they don’t have to apologize for holding their body confidently, and that it’s essential for them to make room for themselves in their communities.”



Mollie Williamson rocking the Girls Rock Columbia camp song at the Spring Fling GRC fundraiser for Midlands Gives. May, 2015


What is power? Is it defined by competition and domination, or is it something more? There is power in collaboration. There is power in vulnerability. There is power in celebrating those around you. For marginalized populations especially, there is power simply in daring to take up space in the world.

The very act of planting our feet and saying, “This is MY stake in the room/crowd/community and I BELONG here” is a defiant one–and needs to be engaged in daily.

Show us your power pose!

Upload a photo of your most powerful self to Facebook, Instagram and/ or Twitter and tag us! #GirlsRockColumbia or #GRCpowerpose

Galentine’s Day Happy Hour

“It’s only the best day of the year.” -Leslie Knope


Join us as we celebrate our sisters with a special Galentine’s Day Happy Hour at Jake’s on Devine.

Friday, February 13, 2015   4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Sip a cocktail with your bestie or come solo. Be ready to make some new friends and listen to some sweet lady jamz.

Dog-friendly! Girl positive! All the right things are happening here. Just bring your love for music, merriment and Girls Rock Columbia!


We Want to See YOU in the Spotlight!


March 28, 2015

We think our volunteers and supporters are rock stars! It’s time we get them onstage!

Women 18+

No music experience necessary!

In fact, we encourage people who have never been in a band to sign up!

Send us your info by January 19 and get ready to meet your new awesome band!

Please email the following to hello@ed6.349.myftpupload.com

1. Your name
2. Your phone number
3. Your first choice instrument
4. Your second choice instrument
5. If you need to borrow gear

Bands will be assigned by January 31 and Girls Rock Columbia YouTube tutorials will be available February 1 to help you get started.

Performance will be March 28 at New Brookland Tavern, time TBA, show is all ages.

Girls Rock and Your Mom

Applications are closed, and that means Girls Rock Columbia is even closer to rolling into  our second year of summer camp!

This year’s camp will take place on July 21st – July 25th. As you know, our one-week long day camp exists to foster a community of girls ages 8-17 through music, performance, and various workshops. The program specifically encourages an environment that cultivates self-confidence, challenges gender stereotypes, promotes positive female relationships, creativity, and leadership.

In honor of Mother’s Day coming up on May 11th, we are asking our community to donate in honor of their mother, or a mother figure in their lives. Donate any amount between now and Mother’s Day and share your story with us about how a mother has touched your life.

At Girls Rock Columbia we seek to empower women through mentorship and by providing role models; something we believe all mothers provide. What better way to honor a mother in your life, than by sharing her amazing story with our young campers! 

Here’s a story from one of our organizers and music instructors, Molly, about her Mom and how she influenced her:

“My mom is the person who thought I should have a guitar. She put me on a path (around the time this photo was taken) that I have never left. This summer Girls Rock Columbia is going to be working with a lot more girls – we have grown! We are a volunteer army of ladies who want to help your daughters experience this thing that is getting up and playing your own song. We are going to need a lot of microphones and guitars and drums and more! This Mother’s Day, any donation you can make (in honor of a mom-figure who encouraged you to follow your dream), helps us keep inspiring each other.”

Molly and her Mom

Molly and her Mom

Make a donation online (https://girlsrockcolumbia.org/) and share your story with us through social media.

Donate to Girls Rock Columbia in honor of your mom this week, make it your gift to her because camp will impart to our girls so many of the things that she has imparted to you, and to let her know how much she rocks.

Until next time, Rock On.


Girls Rock


Working on Workshops!

Camper applications have been rolling in here at GRC and we cannot be more excited about what we are seeing! We are counting down the days until all our campers meet and form their bands for the very first time.

One of the most important parts of camp is not only music instruction, but our educational workshops. Our super cool workshops are held in 45 minutes sessions twice a day during camp. Our workshops focus on many areas of arts education, female empowerment, and what it takes to be in a band. These workshops are each proposed by women in our community who are willing to volunteer their time and energy for our camps and have years of experience working in these areas. Instructors are welcome to stay for lunch with campers and watch the rocking bands who play each day before the workshops start!

This year we will have a total of 8 workshops, and while the proposals have started rolling in, we need more! Do you have a great idea for camp? Send us a proposal for a workshop by using our form here.

Last year’s workshops included stage presence, self defense, vocal instruction, women in history, screen printing, zine making, dance, and rock photography. Think of a proposal that fits into one of these areas or think of a totally new area to teach our young campers
! We can’t wait to see what you all have to come up with. If you have any questions, send us a shout our way at hello@ed6.349.myftpupload.com.

Counselor Jamie instructs campers during a zine making workshop.

Counselor Jamie instructs campers during a zine making workshop.



Counselor Mollie teaches campers how to kick butt during a self defense workshop!

Counselor Mollie teaches campers how to kick butt during a self defense workshop!

Growing Camp means Growing Gear

Have you heard the news? Yes, it’s true our camper registration forms for our second year of camp (July 21st- July 25) have launched! (Find them here!)

We’ve  kicked it into high gear to make this year’s camp the best it can be. We are looking to grow camp from our 17 campers of last year, to 40 campers this year. And growing the number of campers we have this year means we have to grow our gear! 

Last year our amazing campers formed 5 bands, and it was only through the outpouring of generosity from our community that we had enough guitars, basses, keyboards and drum kits to help each of our fledgling artists preform their original songs for the first time. While some of the gear was donated to our organization other items were loaned out from working musicians for the week of camp.


Campers rocked out with a variety of gear loaned or donated from the Columbia musician community- like this crazy cool Mortal Kombat themed drum kit!

Hosting 40 campers means that this year we get to form 10 bands! So what do we need this year to help 40 campers rock all week long?

This year we will need:

10 keyboards
10 drum sets
10 electric guitars
10 bass guitars (preferably small scale for younger bands)
10 guitar amps
10 bass amps
We also want to make vocals easier in each room. To do so we will need:
10 mics
10 powered speakers with at least 2 inputs 
We need your help again this year to rock! Dust off that guitar that’s been sitting in the corner, grab that extra microphone and loan them to Girls Rock this summer. Email us at hello@ed6.349.myftpupload.com (addressed to Molly L) or find us at an upcoming event and let us know what gear you want to donate or loan to GRC.
Last year we had so many GRC friends and allies help loan, donate and move gear throughout the week, so many people pitched in, it proves that it takes a village to rock! Let us know how you want to help this year!
Let’s rock together this year.
Until then, rock on.  Love, Girls Rock. 
Camp consoler, Diana rocking out the Mortal Kombat kit during assembly at 2013's camp.

Camp consoler, Diana rocking out the Mortal Kombat kit during assembly at 2013’s camp.


A Look at 2014 So Far…

This year the GRC team has been working non-stop to make 2014’s camp even better then last year’s. It’ll be a hard task, but we are ready to do it!

Getting ready for camp doesn’t mean waiting patiently until July. We’ve been out and about getting Columbia excited about another inspiring year of Girls Rock goodness. Here’s the highlight reel of where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to so far in 2014.

January found us getting back to our Riot Grrl roots with a screening of The Punk Singer at the Nickelodeon Theater. Members of Haus Werk and Those Lavender Whales (forming Haus Whales for the night) opened the evening exploring the story of Bikini Kill singer, Kathleen Hanna, and the Riot Grrl movement. Following the documentary, a panel of musicians and scholars led a rousing discussion with the audience. The night was another great opportunity to connect with the community and further GRC’s educational mission.

Hauswhales rocked some Bikini Kill tunes for the crowd, and the panel made up of  past GRC counselors, teachers and musicians.

Top: Haus Whales rocking some Bikini Kill tunes for the crowd.  Bottom: Panel made up of past GRC counselors, teachers and musicians. Right: a killer poster for the screening of The Punk Singer, the Kathleen Hanna Story.

With the start of spring Girls Rock got the chance to march in the annual Mardi Gras Parade as part of the Mardi Gras Queen’s court. Volunteers, musicians, past campers and parents got to reconnect and march the parade route with the rest of the community.

Campers and Volunteers made signs and banners to celebrate Girls Rock in the Mardi Gras Parade!

Campers and Volunteers made signs and banners to celebrate Girls Rock in the Mardi Gras Parade!


A great day to march with campers and friends at Mardi Gras!

A great day to march with campers and friends at Mardi Gras!

Friend and longtime supporter of GRC, Jasper Magazine, welcomed GRC as a beneficiary of their latest magazine release celebrating Women’s History month. Girls Rock organized talented female musicians to perform that night and debuted our brand new photo booth!

Ladies who rock at the Jasper release party- from left to right; Jade Blocker, Prairie Willows, Beth Dickerson,  and Stefanie Santana

Ladies who rock at the Jasper release party- from left to right: Jade Blocker, The Prairie Willows, Beth Dickerson, and Stefanie Santana


GRC organizers rocking out in the photo both! Join us in the booth

GRC organizers rocking out in the photo both! Join us in the booth this spring to take your best rock photo!









While we were busy in town this spring, three of our dedicated volunteers and organizers made the trek up to Philadelphia to join other Girls Rock Camp representatives at the annual Girls Rock Camp Alliance Conference. The organizers had the opportunity to learn from other camp organizers, musicians and volunteers from across the country. We cannot wait to take the learning that we gained from the conference and put it to good use during camp this July.

Girls Rock Columbia is now an official member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance!

Girls Rock Columbia is now an official member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance!

We brought what we learned back to Colatown to help put on our very first Gear Drive and fundraiser show held (and helped!) by the good folks at Hunter Gatherer. The crowd came out to see great performances by Buried Beds and My Brother My Sister. We hosted our very first live auction event that night, auctioning off incredible items like swag from Columbi-Yeah, prints from The Half and Half and a dance party from the Greater Columbia Society for the Preservation of Soul. We had a blast raising funds for camp while raising awareness for our programs!

Camp organizer, Mollie leading the auction and pepping up the crowd.

Camp organizer, Mollie, leading the auction and pepping up the crowd.

Girls Rock was pleased to be invited to participate in the opening home bout of the Richland County Regulators this past weekend. Girls Rock representatives were on hand to meet with interested parents, community members and youngsters to find out more about camp and how they can get involved. The Regulators named GRC their official charity of the night.

We’ve been busy all spring prepping for camp, bringing in new volunteers, and learning from each other and our other ally camps and partners. July is coming up fast and there is so much more to do, but we are here to roll up our sleeves and  get to work, come see us when we are out and about, and always, feel free to lend us a hand and join our team!

Until then, rock on. Love, Girls Rock Columbia.


Soda City Market on Main St

swagGirls Rock Columbia will be out at the Soda City Market on Main St. downtown this Saturday. The market times are 9am to 1pm – so come and see us! We’ve screen printed shirts, totes and patches – and we’ll also have our buttons out there too!

screentank 1


We are so close to solidifying our location and date for the camp this summer. That’s why we are starting our fundraising efforts now! We hope you’ll come out to the market and talk to us about the camp and what we want for our amazing city. Plus, we had a lot of fun making the stuff for you to buy.

We’ve also got Kristin at the GRCA Conference this weekend networking with women who run camps all over the country. We’re excited for her to come back with information from other camps so we can take our planning to the next level!

hustle team screen print 2

Girls Rock Columbia!

Hi! We are a group of women in Columbia, SC working together to organize a summer camp for girls to come and learn to play rock music together.

Our mission statement:

Girls Rock Columbia is a one-week long day camp that exists to foster a community of girls ages 8-18 through music, performance, and various workshops. The program encourages an environment that cultivates self-confidence, challenges gender stereotypes, promotes positive female relationships, creativity, and leadership.  The ultimate goal of Girls Rock Columbia is to empower everyone involved; both campers and volunteers, to take the sense of community learned from within the organization and carry that throughout the city they call home.

Girls Rock Columbia is in the process of becoming a part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, a coalition of Girls Rock Camp organizers across the country where over 10,000 girls have been inspired, challenged, and mentored in rock camps. That number is constantly growing. Many prominent women musicians have shown their support for GRCA by volunteering as instructors and coaches at their local rock camp chapters.

The overwhelmingly positive response girls rock camps have received (including features in the New York Times, LA Times, and a documentary) and the rapid rate that the camps continue to spread across the world indicate that this truly a global movement for cultural change. While each camp tailors programming and services to best fit the needs of its community, the basic mission is the same: to empower girls through music education. In one week of camp, girls are guided by mentors in music instruction as they learn an instrument, form a band, write a song, and play a show. Additionally, campers are led in a wide array of workshops, including songwriting, recording, self defense, zine-making, and media literacy.

Girls Rock Columbia will take place late summer of 2013 in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

For more information about the Girls Rock Columbia, including interviews, how to become a sponsoring organization, or information on the camp later this summer, please contact sign up for email updates.