About GEMS

GEMS 1: Shining Bright

This introductory session is designed for girls going into grades 6-8. During Shining Bright, girls discover the seven survival priorities: positive mental attitude, first aid, shelter, firecraft, signaling, water, and food. This experience introduces girls to the parallels between each survival priority and their lives in the “front country.”

GEMS 2: Digging Deeper

This session is also a five-day overnight experience during which Girls Empowered will be challenged to step further outside their comfort zones by building on the skills and understandings they gained during GEMS 1.

GEMS 3: Rock On

Avid Girls Empowered are invited to Rock On for another intensive five-day overnight experience focused on personal development and empowerment.

GEMS 4: Be Genuine

GEMS who have already shined bright, dug deeper, and rocked on are ready to Be Genuine on their fourth exciting endeavor! This session invites GEMS back to Mountain Shepherd for five days of personal growth and leadership development, plus plenty of outdoor adventures. Be Genuine challenges girls to use the survival, communication, leadership, and safety skills they’ve gained to plan an outdoor adventure, explore civil debate and compromise, investigate environmental issues, practice public speaking, and discover nutrition and personal health. Additionally, GEMS in Be Genuine will take day trips away from camp to practice land navigation on a hike to Huckleberry Knob, dive deeper into stand-up paddling and hit the trails on mountain bikes at Carvin’s Cove, experience nature on horseback at Hollins University, and practice their confidence pose in mid-air while ziplining in New Castle! GEMS will grow to be GEMuinely authentic, adventurous advocates in GEMS 4: Be Genuine.

GEMS: Polishing Up

Polishing Up is designed to introduce older girls to the GEMS program by combining the GEMS 1 and 2 experiences into a single five-day overnight session.