Our Mission

GEMS (Girls Empowered, Motivated, Strengthened) began in 2013 as a summer program to build confidence, promote and develop leadership skills, and empower young women to become active contributing members and change-makers within their communities.

Based in Randolph, Vermont, the focus of GEMS is a one-week intensive leadership camp for middle school girls from Brookfield, Braintree, and Randolph. We have also offered camps in Montpelier as well as camps with more specific themes, such as creating change through art.

During the camp week, participants engage with each other, develop skills as leaders, and learn how to engage in and impact their community. They participate in activities and presentations led by community leaders and role models, connect with community service organizations, practice group problem solving, and learn discussion skills. Girls plan a hike and campout, which is a first for many of our participants! Personal reflection at the beginning and end of the intensive week offers participants a chance to reflect while revealing their growth. Camp scholarships are available so that GEMS can fulfill its goal to reach girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds.


GEMS offers girls the chance to be immersed in peer support, act silly without judgment, participate in intelligent discussions about what it means to be a girl and a community member, learn leadership skills, and engage in community service.

GEMS is a 501(c)(3), led by a board of advisors made up of local women leaders.

We are thankful for support from the Dorothy Byrne Foundation and the Lamson Howell Foundation. Support for our work is always appreciated, and as a nonprofit all donations are tax deductible.