Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is all about connecting people and nature. Can you imagine a better place than Great Smoky Mountains National Park to connect with nature on such a grand and diverse scale? A place where you can actually live and learn, hands-on, in an outdoor classroom.

In 1969, Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, opened the Tremont Environmental Education Center in cooperation with the National Park Service. In 1986, the name changed to Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. The mission stayed the same: providing hands-on learning experiences in order to connect people with nature.

Still working closely with the National Park Service, Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont offers a number of educational programs. These educational opportunities focus on the bountiful cultural history and the striking diversity of plant and animal life within the park.

We invite you to plan your vacation around one of the events/programs below to experience the Smokies like never before! Return home with a deeper connection to, an appreciation for, and a renewed sense of caring for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Residential programs at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont include an organized program, lodging, and meals! No going back and forth to restaurants and hotels – invest your time in the park!

Adults & Families Programs

Spend a part, or your entire vacation at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Participate in activities planned especially for adults and families. The activities are fun and will allow time for family bonding in the park.

Enjoy events like camping with your child to learning how to develop your skills in photography.

Programs for 2017 include:

– Hiking Weeks
– Workshops
– Firefly Camp
– Women’s Backpacking
– Smokies Scavenger Hunt

Summer Youth Programs

Youth can have the time of their lives exploring, learning, discovering, camping, playing, and studying. The list is endless with opportunities to grow as an individual and as a team member.

They learn more about being an advocate for the continuing preservation, stewardship, and appreciation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Younger Kids (4-9) & Family

– Firefly Camp
– Family Adventure Camp

Kids (9-12)

– Discovery Camp
– Girls in Science

Teens (13-17)

– Wildnerness Adventure Trek
– Teen High Adventure
– Girls in Science
– Smokies Science Investigations
– Backcountry Ecological Expeditions

Educator Workshops

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has a line up of workshops that are geared specifically for the educator. These workshops are designed to instruct and guide teachers for experiential learning which they in turn can take home to the classroom.

Workshops for 2017 include:

– Birds of the Smokies
– Plants
– Aquatic Natural History
– Reptiles & Amphibians
– Southern Appalachian Ecology
– Mammals
– Teacher Escape Weekends

NOTE: Workshops are added as funding and staffing allow.

Citizen Science & Research

Simply put, citizen science is the public taking a role in scientific investigation or research. Citizen science is an indispensible tool in bringing people and nature together.

Hands-on experience in real research projects are exciting and rewarding to both students and volunteers. Participants get a sense of personal accomplishment in being able to assist scientists in learning and discovering more about the park.

They also gain a valuable sense of community in sharing with others, and working on something bigger than themselves.

Citizen science projects include:

– Bird Banding
– Monarch Tagging & Butterfly Identification
– Lichens
– iNaturalist
– Otter Spotter
– Phenology
– Amphibians
– Weather Monitoring

NOTE: All events require registration. For more information visit Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont website: