The week of GEMS camp is jam-packed with guest speakers, teambuilding activities, community service, and discussions about real-world problems. Girls take time for self-reflection at the beginning and end of the week as they answer questions about their ideas about leadership, service and personal growth. We also ask parents to fill out a questionnaire every year and use this data to assess strengths of the program, as well as places the program can grow. Below is a sampling of testimonials from campers and families.
What changes did you notice in yourself this week?
“I became more confident. (I danced and sang on Main Street.)”
“I didn’t care what I looked like.”
“I became more outgoing and I got to meet new people and learn new things”
“I had more fun every day and I could be happier here than sitting at home doing nothing.”
“I was happier and I was not as lazy as I was before I started GEMS!”
"I made friends and was not afraid to talk to people!"
What is one thing you learned that you’ll be able to apply to your life going forward?
“To be yourself, even in front of complete strangers.”
“Even if you lead by example you will be noticed.”
“Always be yourself.”
“To build people up, not down.”
“I can sing and dance in public and I learned a lot that I can share.”
“What I can do to help people.”
What was one the most challenging part of the week? How did you overcome that challenge?
“Speaking in front of people. I’m scared to speak in front of people, but I did it anyway!”
"That it was only a week long - I will come back next year!"
"The HIKE! But, I learned that I can push through something that is hard."
How did you see your daughter grow?
“Became more social—seemed to like when other girls called on her.”
“Groups of girls and positive talk was good for her mood/attitude.”
“Happy, relaxed, and social.”
“Positive things and happy.”
What did your daughter enjoy?
“She liked the girls, the leaders, and the [service] trip to the retirement home.”
"She loved woodworking, and is so proud of her bench!"
“Thank you for providing this girls with an ‘empowering’ week. This is such an important time for them as they grow and mature. It is great for them to have strong, purposeful role models."
"(Camper) had an incredible week and came home today saying she is DEFINITELY going to GEMS again next summer. Thank you, GEMS, for a fabulous week! It was an amazing experience for my #1 girl!!"
"(Camper) had an Amazing time! Thank you for a wonderful experience GEMS, we will see you again next year!!"
"What a great camp! She loved every moment. Thank you for providing such a powerful experience for these girls."
"This has exceeded my wildest dreams! Thank you for giving our girls a magical week of summer."