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Caleb Carlton


Live and learn in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Achieving our mission through:


residential programs

research that complements our learning laboratory

advocacy for outdoor learning

community engagement

Tremont Institute is situated about four miles from the Townsend, TN, entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is surrounded by miles of trails, a rushing river, and a half million acres of mountains and forests. We can house up to 135 people onsite and have a full kitchen staff serving three hot meals a day. Table of Contents Programs at a Glance Adult & Family Summer Youth School Programs Teacher Development Community Science Faculty & Staff Grow with Us Support Tremont Volunteer Program Partners & Affiliates

4–5 6–9 10–11 12–13 14–15 16–17 18 19 20 21 22–23

David Bryant

Living and learning inside a national park certainly has its rewards. Feel your worries melt away as you cross the bridge over the Middle Prong to this quiet place tucked into the mountains. Roll out of bed each morning and walk outdoors to a breathtaking view of Fodderstack Mountain —a perfect way to begin a day in the national park!


Rooted in the Smokies while serving an audience drawn from around the country, Tremont Institute is celebrating 51 years of transformative education.



We welcome schools year-round for a three- to five-day experience in our Smoky Mountains classroom. Our lessons integrate state and national standards and allow teachers and students to live, discover, and learn in a community setting. Read more on pages 12–13.

Education creates lasting positive change for people and our planet.


That’s why Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont works to provide transformative learning opportunities that are personal, local, and relevant.


We facilitate experiential learning for youth, adults, and educators through programs that promote self-discovery, critical thinking, and effective teaching. In partnership with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our research and residential programs investigate the diversity that sustains all life, develop a sense of place, and cultivate a stewardship ethic that will influence lifelong decision-making.

Our professional development trains teachers for experiential learning both at Tremont and back in their classrooms and schoolyards. 21–23 Climate Systems


15–19 Teaching & Learning


AUGUST 22–23 Teacher Escape I

SEPTEMBER 12–13 Teacher Escape II 26–27 Teacher Escape III DECEMBER

4–6 Teaching & Learning


“While education may be the most powerful tool we have in saving the places we love, we also know that those places we love can save us. At Tremont, we are working to inspire the next generation of stewards through a connection to nature and believe through that connection we will all benefit physically, emotionally, and collectively as part of stronger communities. As we look toward our next 50 years, we invite you to grow with us.” Catey Terry, President & CEO 4

David Bryant



5–12 24–26 24–26 25

12–17 24–27

Wilderness First Responder Course Wilderness First Responder Refresher Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program (SANCP): Naturalist Skills Winter Woody Plant ID—Day Program

FEBRUARY JAN 31–3 Winter Photo Masters Class 21–23 SANCP: Skills for Sharing Nature

Road Scholar: A Hiking Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains Springtime in the Smokies Photography Workshop

MAY 8–10 SANCP: Birds of the Smokies 8–10 SANCP: Plants



6–11 Smoky Mountains Family Camp 27–29 SANCP: Aquatic Natural History 29–31 SANCP: Reptiles and Amphibians

4–9 8–11 18–23

SEPTEMBER 6–11 18–20 18–20

Road Scholar: A Hiking Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains SANCP: Southern Appalachian Ecology SANCP: Naturalist Skills

Road Scholar: A Hiking Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains Women’s Fall Backpack Sierra Club: Autumn Glory in the Smokies

NOVEMBER OCT 30–2 Autumn Brilliance Photography Workshop 6–8 SANCP: Mammals




We work closely with faculty to customize programs, tailor experiences, and meet academic requirements in various fields of study. Programs focus on conservation, natural resource management, wildlife biology, and more. Opportunities for lectures by National Park Service staff are available. Costs for 3–8 days include food, lodging, and instruction. Learn more at gsmit.org/college.


8–13 8–13 8–13 22–27 22–27 22–27

Discovery Camp I Wilderness Adventure Trek I Girls in Science Camp Discovery Camp II Wilderness Adventure Trek II Backcountry Ecological Expedition


JUNE 30–3 Firefly Camp 13–18 Discovery Camp III 13–18 Smokies Science Investigations 13–23 Teen High Adventure 27–AUG 2 Maryville College

Great Smokies Experience

FINANCIAL AID Thanks to our generous contributors, we offer need-based financial aid through the Tremont Scholarship Fund. Visit gsmit.org/financial-aid.

Register online at gsmit.org. 5


ADULT HIKING & BACKPACKING Road Scholar: A Hiking Adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains April 12–17, September 6–11, October 4–9

Through daily hikes, you’ll explore the cultural and natural history of this region with its unique traditions and rich biodiversity. For pricing and registration information, visit roadscholar.org using program code 2263.

Sierra Club: Autumn Glory in the Smokies October 18–23

Come hike with fellow outdoor enthusiasts through the hiking club founded by John Muir in 1892. Beginner and experienced hikers are welcome. For pricing and registration information, call (415) 977-5522.

Women’s Fall Backpack October 8–11

Enjoy early fall with a group of adventurous women on the trail and around the campfire. Join two experienced naturalist guides on a three-day (twonight) beginner backpacking adventure. Food, permits, transportation to and from the trail, group equipment (including tents, cookware, backpacks, and sleeping bags), and extensive knowledge of the Smokies will be provided. Cost: $440

Register online at gsmit.org 6

John DiDiego

NATURALIST CLASSES & CERTIFICATION The Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program (SANCP) is a fieldbased program that offers “basic training” in southern Appalachian ecology and interpretive techniques. Sign up for the classes that interest you or choose a class to begin working toward your certification. Our SANCP exemplifies rigorous learning that is FUN. All courses are taught by Tremont faculty complemented by other experts, researchers, and park professionals. Graduates receive a certificate from The University of Tennessee.

David Bryant

Elective Course

In addition to the 8 core courses, we periodically have bonus classes available. These electives are not required for certification. Enjoy these SANCP extras!

Winter Woody Plant ID—Day Program January 25

Discover characteristics that will help you identify trees even in the wintertime.

Cost: $65 per person. Includes a sack lunch.

SANCP Core Courses

Cost: Each course is $367 per person. Includes instruction, meals, and lodging.

Naturalist Skills

Aquatic Natural History

January 24–26 September 18–20

July 27–29

Skills for Sharing Nature

Reptiles & Amphibians July 29–31

February 21–23

Birds of the Smokies May 8–10

Plants May 8–10

Southern Appalachian Ecology September 18–20


Sign up for eNews to be notified when elective courses or workshops are added throughout the year.


November 6–8





Ask about our Louise Barber Scholarship for first responders!

Wilderness First Responder Course January 5–12

Led by instructors from Roane State Community College, the program curriculum meets the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and national registry standards for First Responder training. Includes instruction, meals, and lodging. Cost: $926

Wilderness First Responder Refresher January 24–26

This program satisfies the requirements for the renewal of your First Responder certification. It is also an excellent review of wilderness medical information and skills. Includes instruction, meals, and lodging. Cost: $469

Winter Masters Class January 31–February 3

Our Wilderness First Responder Courses prepare you for First Responder testing PLUS add the intensive wilderness component.

David Bryant


Instruction, meals, and lodging included. Photography workshops at Tremont feature renowned photographers such as Will Clay, Bill Lea, and Tom Vadnais guiding you through the best photo spots in the Smokies. Whether you are a beginner or a professional photgrapher, you will receive one-on-one assistance and helpful critiques during these energizing weekend workshops. Cost: $708 each Springtime in the Smokies April 24–27 Autumn Brilliance October 30–November 2

Diane Burgett

Susan Milinkovich

FAMILY EVENTS Spring Open House May 22

Join us for a day of fun hands-on activities for the whole family. Learn how to get involved in our scientific research and more! Firefly Camp

David Bryant

Beginning June 30 (One, two, or three nights)

See page 10 for information. Family Camp July 6–11

Family Camp activities geared toward ages 6 and up.

With so many options like hikes, swim time, classes, crafts, music, and more, the hardest part will be deciding how you want to spend your week together. Let us host your family vacation in the Smokies! Cost: $1,917 for a family of four.

David Bryant David Bryant





Firefly Camp

June 8–13, June 22–27

Beginning June 30 (One, two, or three nights)

Bond with your child during a one, two, or three-night stay in the park! Play games that build confidence and awaken the senses. Learn about the forest and wade in a mountain stream. Sing songs around the campfire and watch the fireflies as dusk falls. This popular camp fills quickly so sign up early! Children ages 4–9. Cost: One night—$110 for child and parent. Visit gsmit.org for additional pricing.

NATURE EXPLORATION Discovery Camp June 8–13, June 22–27, July 13–18

This is a great introductory camp for those looking to discover the Smokies by swimming in the rivers, playing in the forests, hiking over mountains, and more. Ages 9–12. Cost: $613 10

Wilderness Adventure Trek

You’ll start by learning the skills necessary for planning and enjoying a safe, successful backpacking trip. And before you know it, you’ll be climbing a mountain, carrying everything you need to survive for four days and three nights. Ages 13–17. Cost: $683 Teen High Adventure July 13–23

Spend six nights and seven days backpacking in the national park. You will be amazed at the skills and confidence you gain from this 10day adventure. Ages 13–17. Cost: $1,336

Register online at gsmit.org Emma Chapman

SCIENCE Girls in Science June 8–13

Join other intrepid girls for the adventure of your life, getting up close and personal with critters, plants, and the forces that shape our natural world. Ages 12-15. Cost: Varies based on financial need, as low as $100 Backcountry Ecological Expedition June 22–27

Explore relatively undisturbed areas of the park, conducting field experiments and recording observations. You’ll explore creeks and hollows in search of the next organism new to the park or even to science! Ages 13–17. Cost: $721 Smokies Science Investigations July 13–18

This program blends the best of the science camps into a short oneweek experience. Kids will observe, explore, and investigate all while creating their own research projects. Ages 13-17. Cost: $721


if registered by February 29, 2020.* *Restrictions apply. See gsmit.org for more info.

Kimberly Weber

EARN COLLEGE CREDIT Maryville College Great Smokies Experience July 27–August 2

Hike, paddle, and explore in the mountains while learning about biodiversity, sustainability, and sense of place. Students spend half of their time at Tremont, and the other half living on campus at Maryville College. For rising high school juniors and seniors, this once-in-a-lifetime experience offers the most fun you can have while earning three credit hours in environmental studies. Visit www.maryvillecollege.edu/about/community-education/gse for more information.



A DIFFERENT KIND OF CLASSROOM WHAT WE BELIEVE • Belonging to a healthy and happy school community is an important right. • School communities are happier and healthier when teachers and students are learning with curiosity and a sense of wonder. • There are cascading academic, health, and community benefits to learning in the natural world.



sparking excitement for learning

Gar Secrist

Engage teachers and students through hands-on experiences Help students build critical thinking skills and scientific literacy Challenge teachers and students to develop personal and meaningful connections to the land and to each other

Rich Experiences

facilitation that captures a full cycle of learning

Model best teaching practices through cooperative teaching Immerse participants in the biodiversity and beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

All grade levels. 12

All subjects.


emotionally, socially, academically John DiDiego


Immersive. Residential. Three to five days.


• Rediscovered joy in learning • Increased willingness to act as stewards of the environment • Better understanding of science and the natural world • Closer relationships with classroom community

For Teachers

• Closer relationships with classroom community • Professional development • Renewed love of teaching • Meaningful, real-world context for students to meet classroom standards

FINANCIAL AID You showed me how fun it is to explore and learn about nature. I never knew I could explore my own backyard until I went to Tremont. Going to Tremont made me want to explore more of the world. –Elementary School Student

Don’t let lack of money stand in the way of a life-changing educational experience. Tremont provides limited financial Contact our aid and can share successful youth programs fundraising strategies from other manager schools just like yours! Call us at today. (865) 448-6709. (865) 448-6709 Visit gsmit.org/financial-aid

John DiDiego





Teachers who embrace outdoor experiential education unlock student potential in relevant ways that are accessible, inclusive, and culturally relevant. We can help teachers get there.

Cooperative teaching is a nationally recognized model that connects classroom learning with experiences at Tremont. It works.

WE ENVISION SCHOOL COMMUNITIES WHERE: • Outdoor experiential education is integral. • Teachers and students share curiosity about their subject matter and their world. • Deep student-teacher relationships are foundational.

BENEFITS Increased student learning Student-teacher bonding Teacher support network for experiential education

It was such a big deal for us to do something out of our comfort zone, and for the kids to see us willing to take a risk. We showed the kids that they weren’t alone—we all get nervous sometimes. Our kids got to cheer us on and build that relationship. That changes the dynamic. David Bryant


–Elementary School Teacher


Climate Systems: Effectively Communicating about Climate, Air Quality, and Energy

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and Great Smoky Mountains National Park offer intensive, multi-touchpoint teacher workshops that lead to:

February 21–23

Let us help you with regional implications and techniques to facilitate this complicated yet critical topic. Cost: $75 for K-12 educators. Space is limited!

Kristi Parsons

Teacher Escape Weekends

Student Achievement

August 22–23, September 12–13, & September 26–27

This fun retreat will demystify the power of experiential learning and the Tremont cooperative teaching method. Whether you are a first-timer or a 20-year veteran, you will meet other teachers, share best practices, embrace the power of experiential learning, and prepare to bring your students to Tremont.

Teacher Confidence Using Experiential Learning

Student Engagement and Authentic Learning

Cost: $75 per person for one weekend.

Improved Teacher and Student Morale

Understanding the Value and Power of Community Science

Email Manager of School Partnerships and Teacher Devevelopment Jennie McGuigan at jennie@gsmit.org for more information. Kristi Parsons




Public involvement in scientific research People of all ages can take part in the scientific process through our nationally recognized community science program. We will train you to collect data that are shared with collaborating scientists, park resource managers, national databases, and the public. You won’t believe how fun science can be!

Visit gsmit.org/community-science for project dates and more info about community science. Community science brings participants and volunteers together with research partners including: • • • • •

Caterpillars Count! Discover Life in America Hands on the Land Institute for Bird Populations Maryville College

• • • •

Monarch Watch National Park Service National Phenology Network University of Tennessee

*Formerly citizen science. See gsmit.org to learn why we made the change! 16

Some of our current projects include:






GET INVOLVED Monitor salamander populations as hemlock forests decline. Count caterpillars to help us determine food sources for migrating birds. Those are just two of our community science projects you can take part in. Email erin@gsmit.org to get involved!

FOR TEACHERS Stephanie Bowling

Projects can be woven directly into your school programs. At Tremont, students can take part in monitoring daily weather patterns in Walker Valley or assessing the water quality of our river, the Middle Prong. Many community science projects can be adapted and taken back to your own schoolyard.

YOU CAN Contribute to research that informs REAL management decisions. Develop a deeper sense of place in the park and your own backyard. Be part of global efforts to understand how our world works.

Learn how you can help by visiting gsmit.org/community-science David Bryant Kimberly Weber



FACULTY & STAFF teacher naturalists Lauren Anderson Emma Chapman Elizabeth Davis Tyler Gonzales Matthew Herron Scott Maas Luke Schutzman Joey Terlizzi

manager of science literacy & research Erin Canter

youth programs coordinator Emily Stein

education director John DiDiego

BOARD OF DIRECTORS manager of school partnerships & teacher development Jennie McGuigan

manager of field programs & collegiate studies Jeremy Lloyd

youth programs manager Logan Rosenberg

chef manager of food services Beth Steele

assistant chef manager of food services Abbey Goss


Sherry Presley Claudia Watkins

grounds & facilities manager Doc Johnson

development manager


past president

marketing manager


Kimberly Weber

Connie French


sales associates


Caleb Carlton

grounds & facilities assistant Dalton Read

Gail Amatangelo Lisa Conner


office manager

DeWayne Britt

Bridget Loland


director of finance & administration

Julie Brown

community development specialist David Reedy

Tonya Campbell

president & ceo Catey Terry

Your hands-on lessons and engaging staff members made learning both fun and attainable for our students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Thank you for hosting us for a week of environmental education and a thorough opportunity to get lost in nature. –High School Teacher


Hank Dye

Billy Carroll Bill Cobble Joe Emert Kim Friar Mack Gentry Jim Haslam Chuck James

Elizabeth Estill Cathy Ackermann


Daniel Green

Steven Kramer Ed Pershing Dick Ray Tim Topham Bill Varner (ex officio) Keith Widmer


JOIN OUR TEAM We are educators, professionals, and leaders aiming to make a positive impact on education in the region and world through our overnight programs inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

WE ARE INSPIRED by the power of place and our distinctive setting in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to teach people of all ages invaluable lessons about the natural world.

As one of the premiere experiential education centers in the country, we pride ourselves on our ability to train young teaching professionals through summer jobs and internships.

WE BELIEVE connections to nature hold the potential to enrich every sphere of culture, leading to better outcomes in education, healthcare, business, non-profits, manufacturing, public service, the arts, and more.

Visit gsmit.org for job postings and internship opportunities.

WE DELIVER experiential learning for youth, educators, and adults through programs that promote self-discovery, critical thinking, and effective teaching and leadership.

WE VIEW access to nature as a basic human right and an essential ingredient for fostering healthier communities and happier futures for all. WE TRAIN today’s educators in experiential education and learning in order to cultivate the next generation of conservation leaders. WE STRIVE to build a future in which schools are places where students, teachers, and communities tap into curiosity, discover, and wonder. WE ENVISION national parks and public lands as regional hubs for education and for bridging cultural and political divisions. WE MOTIVATE citizens, leaders, educators, communities, and decision-makers to work to conserve nature and the culture that sustains it. WE INFLUENCE our world through research with diverse partners in education, community science, health and wellbeing, conservation, and more.

David Bryant

WE INVITE YOU to join us on the journey ahead. Learn how at gsmit.org. 19


CREATE LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCES IN THE SMOKIES Participants of our programs show greater appreciation for their surroundings, increased enthusiasm for learning, and deeper connections to nature and one another. Our community of supporters includes individuals, organizations, foundations, and corporations who value our mission and want to enrich and empower their communities. As a non-profit organization, we depend on contributions from you to equitably provide educational experiences that lead to life-changing discoveries and inspire the next generation of nature’s stewards and champions.


Visit gsmit.org/donate to make your impact today!


All proceeds from the store support Tremont programs.

PLANNED GIVING – Planned giving ensures a future gift to Tremont through your financial and estate plans. Anyone can engage in strategic planned giving, creating a lasting legacy for Tremont’s future. 20

–High School Student


Mail your donation to: Tremont Institute 9275 Tremont Rd., Townsend, TN 37882

Contact our Development Manager, Caleb Carlton, to explore additional ways you can make an impact on Tremont’s future. ENDOWMENT FUND – Our goal is to ensure a future where no person misses out on a Tremont experience due to lack of money. By contributing to our endowment fund, you are building the foundation of support for future generations.

I’ll never forget this experience. I’m now closer to nature than I was before. I was able to find myself through nature.

(865) 448-6709 caleb@gsmit.org

DONATING STOCK – Please contact Caleb if you are interested in donating stock or other securities.

CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS – Tremont has many opportunities for corporations to partner with us through sponsorships, from featured events to specific programs. Contact Caleb to learn more. SUPPORT THROUGH SHOPPING – You can also support Tremont while shopping through Amazon Smile and Kroger. Learn more at gsmit.org/donate.

Kimberly Weber

SUPPORT THROUGH SPECIAL EVENTS Our annual special events are a great opportunity to have some fun getting to know Tremont Institute while also providing the support needed to bring more kids to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit gsmit.org/events.

Open House - Spring -

Endowment Fundraiser - Summer -

Homecoming - Fall -

VOLUNTEER Throughout the year, our dedicated volunteers assist with a variety of activities such as event planning, friend-raising, fundraising, community science, and maintenance projects. If you enjoy working with others who believe in environmental education for all ages, and you want to be part of a group that is really making a difference in the lives of all who come to Tremont, contact us today to let us know how you might help us fulfill our mission. Visit gsmit.org/volunteer.

Richard Reading



GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK As Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is my honor to welcome you to some of the most rewarding experiences we offer for students of all ages at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. I’ve had the privilege of experiencing firsthand several of the unique educational programs provided by Tremont. These immersive programs are an integral part of the park’s overall Resource Education mission to help connect people to this special place and also to the overall lifelong benefits of having a relationship with the natural world. The memories created at Tremont now span several generations. What a legacy! Park rangers and volunteers with the National Park Service provide a variety of educational experiences for school children and park visitors throughout the year. Tremont’s multi-day residential environmental education programs expand upon these opportunities and serve to deepen the connections between the


history, diversity, beauty, and wonder of the Smokies. Through these overnight experiences, participants have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in this incredible natural laboratory, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the temperate world. And, as we discover more about the world around us, we end up discovering much about ourselves. The Smokies has long been a place of discovery and we invite you to explore the forests and waters of these ancient mountains with us. Thank you for supporting the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and their efforts in changing the lives of thousands by introducing scores of teachers and young people to these precious cultural and natural resources, here at the Smokies, who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity. We hope you enjoy your stay in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and that you will be inspired to return again soon.

Cassius M. Cash, Superintendent

PARTNERS & AFFILIATES Only a handful of residential education centers around the country can call a national park home. Tremont Institute serves park patrons by providing in-depth education experiences in one of the most biologically diverse and beautiful locations. Tremont Institute depends on partnerships with local and national organizations and institutions like Great Smoky Mountains National Park to further our mission. Thank you to the following partners, affiliates, and the many others who help make the Tremont experience possible year-round.


9275 Tremont Rd. Townsend, TN 37882 (865) 448-6709





programs in addition to our school group experiences

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Profile for Tremont Institute

2020 Program Catalog  

Tremont Institute is situated about four miles from the Townsend, TN, entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is surrounded by m...

2020 Program Catalog  

Tremont Institute is situated about four miles from the Townsend, TN, entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is surrounded by m...

Profile for tremont