Thursday, July 30, 2009

Girls Rock!

Thursday, July 30. Day 4.
We're definitely over the hump now. The campers don't seem to be moving with much urgency, but the volunteers sure are. Most of the conversations I overhear from the kids are more about what they're gonna do onstage, and not about their actual song. I remember the thoughts I had when I played my first performance in front of a crowd...I talked a big game beforehand about my moves and how I would act and the little skits me and my bandmates would do. But once onstage, I just froze and stared at my instrument wishing I could hear myself, and then regretting that i did none of the fabulous moves I had fantasized about. Ugh. I wonder if the girls will go through the same thing. The volunteers are more focused on the showcase coming up (2 days away...yikes!) and are busy honing in on what needs to be done from now until then with both the logistics of the camp and the performance details with their bands.

We're also at the point in the week where we've all been around each other for so many hours that we are starting to relax more. The girls are more comfortable with each other and it seems like perhaps they're starting to lose some of their focus, replacing it with an overall enjoyment of new friendships and a preference for playing games and talking with each other. I noticed with my band anyway, that for the first time they came to our second afternoon band practice with less conviction than previous days. They were more tired and much more in the mood for play rather than playing in a band. Even I would have preferred to lay on the floor with them, asking silly questions and playing catch with whatever object was close by. Luckily Coach Seth had a plan and took each girl individually to go over their parts. Then she made them all play through the song about 5 times, making small corrections and last minute criticisms. Earlier, we had determined who's doing what for each of their solos. Maggie-May is actually gonna lift her bass behind her head and play a small riff of "Green Onions" for hers. Awesome...I just love that girl!
Anyway, I am much more hopeful about the band's musical togetherness than I was at the earlier practice today. I'm assuming tomorrow will be the day we just cement it all and play the tune 5 billion times (or as many times as we can in 2 hours). And I also suspect that tomorrow we may just begin to realize that it's almost over and we'll start looking at each other a little differently; as though we know we're about to say our goodbyes soon. My heart gets heavy just thinking about it.

Today we did a pretty cool excercise where we all taped a piece of heart-shaped paper to our backs and everyone else wrote on it why we rocked. It was great to see 5-8 kids and volunteers at a time, in a train writing on each other's backs. The kids really made sure that they got everyone; the girls shuffled around each other saying "Did I do you?" To see the faces of the girls as they read their hearts was really special. It would be really cool if we all did this once or twice a year, not only to be reminded of what positive things people think about us, but also to identify all the positive things we think about everyone else. It's so easy for us to focus on the things that annoy us, rather than on what we truly enjoy about each other. Perhaps instead of shoving our faces with enough food to feed plenty of homeless people on Thanksgiving, we might consider slapping a heart on our family's backs and writing on it all the things we love about them. For now though, I'm envisioning smiling campers clutching their hearts as they retire from yet another full day of self esteem building, getting even closer to realizing how truly special they all are!


Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn, I love that you're doing this! Fun to read. At first Record Store Day in April '08 Girls Rock Camp Atlanta was there representing at Criminal Recs----those women had a glow about them too. Good goin' and glad you're enjoying it! Yer Pal, Doug Wiley

John Wenzel said...

Yeah! I love what you ladies are doing too...

I talked to Monique yesterday about it, too: