GEMS are Girls Empowered through exploration of seven survival priorities: positive mental attitude, first aid, shelter, fire, signaling, water, and food. During a five-day overnight experience, GEMS will learn the practical skills associated with each priority. Girls will also discover the parallels between each survival priority and their lives in the “front country.” GEMS will gain an appreciation for their natural and social surroundings through fun — and deceptively educational — activities such as night hikes, team-building games, and biodiversity studies. After five days, GEMS leave with confidence and compassion, knowing more about themselves and how they interpret and interact with their world. GEMS: Girls Empowered at Mountain Shepherd! A fun week finding courage, developing confidence with compassion! Sign up your daughter today!

Price: $495

What else should I know?

What is the age requirement of this camp? Starting age for the GEMS 1 course is designed to meet the needs and challenges for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls. As the girls attend GEMS 2 and GEMS 3 camps they may begin high school. GEMS: Polishing UP is designed for rising 9th-12th grade girls. Camp size is limited to 10 to maximize the learning and fun while keeping a low counselor to camper ratio.

What outdoor experience does my daughter need to attend this camp? She will learn which bugs are edible and how to find them. Eating them is optional! All food is included. While at the lodge meals are prepared in our commercial kitchen. On our excursions the girls will help prepare meals with camping stoves or over a fire. Please let us know if you daughter has allergies or special diet requirements.

Will my daughter get to eat bugs? She will learn which bugs are edible and how to find them. Eating them is optional! All food is included. While at the lodge meals are prepared in our commercial kitchen. On our excursions the girls will help prepare meals with camping stoves or over a fire. Please let us know if you daughter has allergies or special diet requirements.

What time does the camp start and end? Drop off time is 7:00 am to 9:00 am Monday morning. Pick up time on Friday is 4:00 – 6:00pm. Arrangements can be made for a Sunday drop off and Friday evening or Saturday morning pick ups. Airport pick up and drop off can also be arranged.

Will my daughter sleep under the stars? This is her adventure! GEMS 1 camp is designed for challenge by choice. Camping options are available is sleeping in the lodge. Camp counselors are available for both options every night. The choice is hers. GEMS 2, GEMS 3 and Polishing Up adventures include tent/hammock camping.

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

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 sue for inclement weather. Mountain Shepherd’s gorgeous 100 acre property bordering the Jefferson National Forest. Please check out more on our Facility here (put in link to Facility page)

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 friends parents

GEMS 1: Shining Bright


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June 18 – 22, 2018
July 23 – 27, 2018


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GEMS 2: Digging Deeper



June 25 – 29, 2018


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GEMS 3: Rock On



July 16 – 20, 2018
August 6 – 10, 2018


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GEMS: Polishing Up



July 9 – 13, 2018


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