DENVER — Though this camp is all about rock and roll, Tehya Hairston-Chase said for her and many of the girls here, Girls Rock Denver is about something else.
"I know that it's called Girls Rock, so you would expect me to be like, I like rock bands," Tehya said. "But I hate rock bands."
That's not stopping the 13-year-old from playing guitar in her band formed this week at camp.
"My band is called ELemonate," Tehya said.
She and her bandmates are learning how to play their instruments together while writing original songs.
"A thing that we're trying to do is like make all our songs have like a lemon in the name, but like our songs have nothing to with lemons," Tehya said.
Program Director Shannon Webber said that's perfectly OK. She wants these girls to express themselves in a judgment-free zone - especially those going into middle school.
"Once they hit 11, they tend to kind of look around at each other with fear of not being perfect," Webber said.
So, along with the music, Webber organizes workshops focused on self-care and self-esteem. The kids also work on making arts and crafts. Tehya spent part of the day making bath bombs for a certain group of women.
"Usually running away from domestic violence," Tehya said. "We're making bath bombs for them to kind of relax."
So, while the theme of the camp focused on a rock band, Webber said the camp is really about the girls themselves.
"Music is our vehicle for really giving the campers the opportunity to realize what they already possess," Webber said.
Tehya is attending camp for her third year in a row. For her, she said it's working.
"Self-discovery is a big thing," Tehya said.
At the end of the week, the girls and their new bands will perform their original songs live at the Oriental Theater in Denver.
"Essentially, they just leave believing in themselves and music is the proof," Webber said.
Tehya believes the camp has given her strength.
"You never get over being nervous, everyone's always nervous," Tehya said. "But you like get better at coping with it."