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.

Girls will spend every night at Mountain Shepherd, either sleeping in the cozy bunk room or camping near the lodge in tents or hammocks. For more information about the GEMS journey, check out GEMS 1: Shining Bright, GEMS 2: Digging Deeper, and GEMS 3: Rock On.

July 27-31, 2020

Course Price: $595

What else should I know?

What outdoor experience do I need to attend this course? Outdoor experience levels do not matter. We have students with no experience to weekend warriors. Everyone learns valuable information in this course. You will leave prepared to help yourself and others while on any adventure.

Do I get to eat bugs? You will learn which bugs are edible and how to find them. Eating them is optional!

What time does the course start and end? The course begins at 10:00 Saturday morning and finishes by 1:00 on Sunday. Plan to arrive by 9:30 on Saturday. If you prefer to travel on Friday, you can stay at the lodge. $50 includes a bunk and breakfast. $25 for each additional person in your group. Group, semi-private and private rooms are available on a first come first serve basis.

Do I sleep under the stars? This is your adventure! You can sleep in a tent, a shelter you improvise or stay in the lodge. The choice is yours.

Will my daughter sleep under the stars? This is her adventure! The camp is designed for challenge-by-choice. Camping options are available as is sleeping in the lodge. Camp counselors are available for both options every night. The choice is hers.

What should she bring? Click on the Gear List/Directions button on this page for the required and optional items needed for a week at GEMS camp. No special gear is required beyond personal items.

Is the camp taught outside? Yes! The benefits of learning in nature are astounding. More information on that is included in the information. Training camps are setup outside held under parachute canopies. We also have a large indoor space to use for inclement weather. Mountain Shepherd’s gorgeous 100-acre property bordering the Jefferson National Forest. Please check out more on our Facility tab.

Does my daughter need to bring a friend? If she comes alone she is guaranteed to leave with new friends! Of course, her friends are always welcome – please share with her friend’s parents.