Summer has flown by, and each and every Egg Press-er has a story to tell. Collectively we've been busy! Our first summer re-cap comes from Aaron Miller, one of our skilled printers who was a driving force behind our MLC class this Spring. Aaron is a talented guy with lots of knowledge to share. This summer, he traveled to Pendleton, Oregon again for his 6th year at Pendleton Rock Camp. In addition to mentoring bands, he taught classes on guitar, screen printing / poster making, and how to book a tour. Here's what he had to say about the camp experience this year:
Pendleton Rock Camp is the best week of the year, I get to travel to my honorary hometown and hang out with like minded Portland musicians and be inspired by kids half my age. This year was our biggest yet, 82 teenagers participated in the camp, all from Pendleton and the surrounding area. Teenage boys and girls fill the rooms with their instrument of choice. They learn how to write songs, play instruments, work with each other, and perform on stage. They learn about women in rock and roll, screen printing posters, promoting a band, booking a tour, and rock journalism. One of the major elements of the curriculum is that the students get to form their own band. They work all week in these bands, they write a song or two with the assistance of a counselor, they argue, goof off, drink weird energy drinks, all the while playing the same song over and over until it’s just right. At the end of the week the newly formed bands (21 this year!) perform on a stage in the middle of Main Street to a huge crowd of supporters. Every band despite lack of experience, musical ability, or dreaded stage fright, get up there and play the song they have been working so hard to write.
With a small group of amazing supporters and organizers in Pendleton and a dedicated band of musicians from Portland, year after year we are able to pull this off. But the underlying thread that makes this camp so special and inspirational is – these kids learn that there is a place for them in music. We don’t push any certain genre or style, we don’t tell the kids what to play or how to play it. We work with what they have and encourage them to keep working at it. Over the past six years I have watched these kids grow up and have formed long lasting relationships with them and their families. We have past students who’ve since moved to Portland, entered College, formed bands of their own, and they travel back to Pendleton for Rock Camp and are now counselors, teaching right along side with us. It’s an amazing experience and one that I am truly proud to be a part of.