Why I'm a Girls Rock Camp ATL Sustainer
Don’t Be Sorry, You Rock: A Superhero Origin Story
One of the first things you’ll hear at Girls Rock Camp Atlanta happens the first time “I’m sorry” leaves your lips. It’s “Don’t be sorry! You ROCK!”
But wait, let’s back up a second.
We’re not talking about a heartfelt “I’m sorry” after a tear-filled conversation or serious discussion. No, we’re talking about the kind of knee-jerk, automatic, high-pitched “I’m SORRY!” that leaves your lips after getting excited, or expressing an unpopular opinion, or forgetting where you placed something. This happens more often than you’d think.
As girls, women, and gender non-conforming individuals, we are often socialized to apologize for taking up space. It’s truly amazing how many times a day the words “I’m sorry” can be uttered if you stop and count. For many, apologies are often linked to politeness, and women especially are taught to be as nice as possible, with no hints of confidence or assertiveness. These are not bad traits, however. And they’re certainly nothing to be apologetic about.
That’s why at camp we institute a policy when it comes to the incessant, ingrained apologizing that many of our campers are used to, and this goes for volunteers as well! Here’s how it plays out:
<Enter counselor and camper>
Counselor: Alrighty, let’s head to the rock room for assembly!
Counselor: Does everybody have their belongings?
Camper: Oh no! I forgot my lunchbox. I’ve got to get get it. I’m sorry!
Counselor: Don’t be sorry! You ROCK!
<Exuent all for rocking and merrymaking>
When we do this, it’s to reinforce to the campers that these apologies are NOT necessary. We also throw in the YOU ROCK because, well, we do that a lot and it’s important to continually support them and drive home positivity.
That’s the magic of camp. It’s one week out of life where campers–and volunteers–agree to charge forward and surround themselves with joy and energy and positivity and community building. Even if you don’t necessarily think you rock, by the end of the week, you’ll come to believe it.
And that’s what we’re here for.