July 8, 2021

Morgan Lanza
Bellingham Girls Rock Camp

"To New Beginnings: Farewell From Morgan" Bellingham Girls Rock Camp Founder Passes the Torch

In a letter titled, "To New Beginnings: Farewell From Morgan," the founder writes, "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."

Mickey Wells-Teich will become Executive Director in September 2021, and Stephanie Huss is joining the staff. "It's time to pass the torch," writes Morgan, "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!" 

Morgan has been with Bellingham Girls Rock Camp for nearly 10 years and cites the organization as a major source of inspiration and self-empowerment. "I can honestly say that I’m a better person because of Rock Camp," Morgan writes, "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 [...] Rock Camp is great because of the people -- 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 us for what we’ve created together and I can’t wait to see how y’all continue the legacy."

The Rock Camp movement started in Portland, OR in 2001 with Rock N Roll Camp for Girls. Today there are Rock Camps all over the world connected through the international Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA). Rock Camp in Bellingham was first organized in Summer 2012 by Fairhaven College students, Casi Brown and Io Blair-Freese. For many, the Rock Camp experience is a transformative one; this was true for Morgan. "I was in college and just getting into music," Morgan writes of their first time at Rock Camp, "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!" Morgan took over organizing Bellingham Girls Rock Camp in Spring of 2013. "I knew Bellingham needed Rock Camp, and honestly I needed it," Morgan recalls. Since then, Morgan has organized over ten sessions of camp and hosted countless community events focused on creating space for youth of all identities to express themselves.  

"[S]ometimes 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," writes Morgan. "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)!" 

This will be Morgan's last summer with Bellingham Girls Rock Camp. The non-profit is hosting a virtual session of their Summer Rock Camp program, August 16-21st, with an in-person day of programming on Saturday, August 21st. More information about getting involved with Bellingham Girls Rock Camp is available at

You can read Morgan's full letter on the BGRC website at

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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