49th Annual Leadership Conference

Redeemer University College | Ancaster, Ontario | July 13-15, 2018

Join us in July!

The GEMS Conference is more than just another training event. It’s a worship experience designed to refuel your relationship with Jesus. Join us!



Register Now

We will celebrate all God has done through 60 years of ministry.


Learn from speakers who will help you raise a generation of girls ready to boldly live for their King.


Powerful worship and reflection opportunities as well as sweet fellowship with other women.

Special Features

Worship and encouragement

Be encouraged through powerful worship and gifted international keynote and workshop leaders.

Meet girls' needs

Gain an understanding of current cultural trends so you can best meet the needs of girls today.

Pre-Conference workshop day

Come early to experience unique, Friday-only workshops by featured speakers.

Be a Blessing Annual Theme

Discover what it means to receive God's blessings so that we can pass along these blessings to others.

You choose your lodging!

Stay on-site at Redeemer or a local hotel—your choice! Lodging not included with registration.

Fellowship with friends—old and new

Fellowship and warm conversations with like-minded women from around the world

Unique Opportunities

Let's Celebrate!

GEMS is celebrating 60 years of ministry! We want to stop and honor God for everything He has done in and through women like you! Come celebrate the life-changing contribution you’ve made to girls around the world. On Friday evening, an opening worship celebration will kick off the weekend. On Saturday, we’ll end the day with a 60th Birthday Party. There will be lots of fun opportunities for fellowship, reflection, and—of coursebirthday cake!




Extend the Invitation!

You don’t have to be a GEMS counselor to attend this Conference! The event is open to:

  • All GEMS counselors­—present and past
  • Women who have gone through GEMS or Calvinettes themselves
  • Friends and supporters of GEMS
  • Women who want to broaden their understanding of girls today

Please share this registration information. For any non-counselors who attend, there will be personal encouragement workshops. A few examples include: learning to identify the lies in our lives, actively pursuing a prayer life, finding purpose in all activities at all ages, deepening your trust in Jesus, walking with others through mental illness, and learning what it means for busy women to rest.

Half Off for CITs

This year, all Counselors-in-Training who have served for at least one year are invited to attend for half price! Encourage your CITs to come enjoy a pre-Conference hike, special CIT only workshops, a CIT reception, and the opportunity to be loved on and appreciated by fellow sisters and GEMS counselors. CITs who register before March 10 will receive registration and lodging on-site at Redeemer at half price. Use code CITsat2018Conference when you register. CITs who register after March 11 will still receive half price registration, but not lodging.


Cindy Bultema is the Executive Director of GEMS Girls’ Clubs. She loves the Lord, loves life, loves her family, and loves to celebrate! With over 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is also a popular women’s speaker, Bible teacher, and communications coach. Cindy has been a Children’s Director, written children’s curriculum, served as a Compassion International ambassador, and been a Grief Share seminar expert. Cindy lives in West Michigan with her husband and their four children. cindybultema.com

Cindy Bultema

Executive Director, GEMS Girls' Clubs

Lenae Bulthuis is the Training & Club Development Manager for GEMS Girls’ Clubs. For fifteen years her work has encouraged counselors and girls across North America. In addition to her work for GEMS, Lenae writes for blogs and magazines and speaks to women about the life-changing truth that God didn’t just save us by grace, He invites us to live by grace. She lives with her husband, Mike, on a grain and livestock farm in west-central Minnesota where she reads, writes, and wraps her arms around their grandlittles. gemsgc.org

Lenae Bulthuis

Training & Club Development Manager, GEMS Girls’ Clubs

Lynn is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for women of all ages. Lynn is a national conference speaker who is passionate about helping women, tweens, and teens feel empowered to understand and boldly live in the power of Christ. Lynn and her husband, Greg, along with their three adult children, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. lynncowell.com


Lynn Cowell

Author & Speaker

Sheila Gregoire is a popular author, speaker, blogger, wife, and mom. She is affiliated with FamilyLife Canada and World Vision’s Girls Night Out Program. She isn’t afraid to challenge the conventional Christian culture that says Christians need to have it all together. She loves speaking to women and encouraging them in authentic relationships with God, their families, and each other. She and her husband spend a lot of time touring North America bringing her signature “Girl Talk: Straight Talk about Marriage, Sex and Intimacy.” sheilawraygregoire.com

Sheila Gregoire

Author & Speaker

Maggie John is a Senior Executive Producer and host of 100 Huntley Street, Canada’s longest running daily television show. Maggie has interviewed a variety of guests in her career. She considers it a privilege to listen and be encouraged by people who continue to make a difference in their community and actively live out their faith. Maggie is a wife, mom, and founder of a ministry called The Baby Depot, which helps families in need in the Hamilton, Ontario area. 100huntley.com

Maggie John

Host/Producer of 100 Huntley Street

After a 12-year career in business advertising with Ernst & Young, and six years in full-time student ministry, Chris manages educational content for Covenant Eyes and is the founder and CEO of protectyoungeyes.com. In a world where technology is native to our kids, Chris and the PYE team have done hundreds of hours of research in order to level the playing field for parents and to inform teens of the risks of recklessly using the Internet. protectyoungeyes.com

Chris McKenna

Founder of protectyoungeyes.com

Cathie is a Biblical and leadership writer and teacher who trains, consults, and coaches individually and in non-profit and corporate organizations, across Canada and as far as Africa and Australia. Cathie is Co-Founder and Lead Catalyst at Gather Women – a movement that  exists to connect, equip and champion Canadian women. Cathie lives in Oakville, Ontario.


Cathie Ostapchuk

Author & Speaker

Amelia is an author, speaker, and storyteller with a passion for connecting people to God and each other. As a recovering perfectionist who has been freed, by God’s grace, from the grip of perpetual anxiety, Amelia encourages women to discover who they are in Christ and to deepen their relationships with each other. Her favorite activities include coffee breaks and pizza parties with friends and family. Amelia lives in Lowell, Michigan with her husband and two children. ameliarhodes.com


Amelia Rhodes

Author & Speaker

Carissa spends most of her time chasing her seven kids and raising them to love Jesus. Her experiences as a missionary have given her a global heart and she loves to travel with her family. She believes kids are powerful enough to change the world. carissayoder.com

Carissa Yoder

Carissa Yoder

Colleen Reinders and Grace Moes, also known as Unity Music Ministries, have been working together in ministry for over 30 years. From Oakville, Ontario these ladies have lead worship at 20 GEMS Conferences, have facilitated worship at countless large group events, and are counselors within their own local clubs. Along with the Unity Band, Grace and Colleen love leading women in worship at Conference. colleenandgrace.com

Unity Band Worship Team

Worship Leaders


The GEMS ministry is committed to investing in the lives of the women who selflessly pour out week after week. Through the Conference workshops you will receive opportunities to strengthen your team, engage with women who understand club dynamics, and stand in the gap for your girls through powerful worship and prayer experiences. You’ll be equipped and encouraged to partner with parents and churches to develop the character, heart, and faith of each girl you encounter. Through the knowledgeable speakers you’ll leave understanding current cultural trends and how to connect with girls today. Conference offers a multitude of workshops that will enrich your personal life, your spiritual life, and your life as a mentor to girls.

Speaker Bios »»

Friday Workshops

Unique, Pre-Conference workshops designed as a great add-on experience to extend your weekend of learning and growing!


Friday Workshops »»

Saturday Workshops

31 fantastic workshop options to equip you for service lead by knowledgeable, entertaining, and Jesus-loving men and women!


Saturday Workshops »»

Sunday Workshops

Experiential worship options designed to draw you closer to Jesus as you close out your Conference weekend.

Sunday Workshops »»


Have questions? Here’s where you find the best person to answer everything you need to know about the conference.