I wanted to let you know I’m transitioning out of leadership at Bellingham Girls Rock Camp. It’s bittersweet, but I’m choosing to leave for a few reasons. I moved in with my partner in the Seattle area about 6 months before the pandemic hit. Even though quarantine was scary, it gave me time to reflect and focus on my music. I realized for years I’ve been encouraging others to be creative, but haven’t given myself that same love and support. So during quarantine, I started work on my first solo album! I’m writing, recording, and producing the whole thing at home with some help from my friends, do-it-together style #DIT. I’m also teaching voice lessons from home, and my vocal studio is growing!
One of the biggest lessons I learned from Rock Camp is that it’s okay to take risks and try new things. Even though I’m scared to leave, I know it’s time for me to try something new. Part of me doesn’t even know who I am without BGRC, but I’m excited to find out -- I’m nerv-cited (nervous and excited)!
I’ve been rockin’ with BGRC for nearly 10 years, and sometimes I wish I could be Executive Director forever… But I don’t live in Bellingham anymore, so it doesn’t really make sense for me to be leading. It’s time to pass the torch. Mickey Wells-Teich will become Executive Director in September 2021, and Stephanie Huss is joining staff! I’ve watched Mickey and Stephanie grow into amazing leaders, first as Rock Camp volunteers, then board members, and now staff. I am so proud of them <3
Rock Camp is great because of the people -- like YOU! Thank you for being part of the magic over the years, whether through your time, resources, expertise, connections, or as one of our fans! I’m proud of all of us for what we’ve created together and I can’t wait to see how y’all continue the legacy! Shout out to all the campers, volunteers, parents, Board of Directors, donors, and partners. You rock!
A little history: The Rock Camp movement started in Portland, OR in 2000. Today there are Rock Camps all over the world! I volunteered at the first session of BGRC in Summer 2012 (organized by Casi and Io). The experience was transformative! I was in college and just getting into music. Watching youth in our community take creative risks and make music for the first time was so inspiring. I felt like if they could do it, so could I! The next year I ran into Casi and asked if Rock Camp was happening again. Casi said no, so I asked if I could do it. I knew Bellingham needed Rock Camp, and honestly I needed it. With Casi’s help, I organized my first session of Rock Camp in Summer 2013. The rest is history! Since then, I’ve organized over ten sessions of camp and hosted countless events focused on creating space for youth of all identities to express themselves.
I can honestly say that I’m a better person because of Rock Camp. I’m a better leader, musician, a better friend, and accomplice in the fight for racial and social justice. This community has brought so much joy into my life, and I am so grateful. Joy is a revolutionary force! I will always be part of the Rock Camp movement, and Bellingham Girls Rock Camp is a part of me. I love you, Bellingham!
Who ROCKS?! WE ROCK!!
With Love and Gratitude,
Morgan Paris Lanza
P.S. This is my LAST SUMMER at Rock Camp soooo if you want to hang out with me at camp, you better register now or sign up to volunteer! ;)