The centerpiece of the GEMS organization is our summer program, designed for middle-school girls in central Vermont.
Each summer features a different theme and offers girls the chance to learn about themselves, increase their confidence, think critically about their world, and actively engage in the community -- all while having fun, making new friends, and expressing themselves in a judgement-free environment. The theme for our past summer was "stretch!" and encouraged girls to literally stretch as we enjoyed yoga and a climb up Camel's Hump, but also figuratively as we stepped out of our comfort zones to take on the role of change-makers within our communities.
Typical summer activities include:
teambuilding games and challenges
tye-dye, jewely making, and other crafts
Daily guest speakers who are female leaders and role models in their communities
Service learning projects
A half-day woodworking workshop
Camping out, of course!
Overall, our goal is to inspire girls to grow and lead, learn to support those around us, and have an amazing week of friends and fun.
In the fall of 2017, GEMS introduced our first school-year meet-up, designed to provide ongoing support to the girls in the program.
These regular meet-ups feature the same elements as the summer camp and offer girls a chance to reconnect with one another and safely discuss and work through challenges that the school year can bring.
In 2020-2021, we are increasing our meet-up schedule to provide girls with more time that is truly social, even while it's distanced! We host meetups in Randolph and Montpelier on a rotating monthly basis, but girls from any school districts are welcome to attend.