Summer Camps FAQ
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is a not-for-profit, residential education organization that provides 3- to 10-day programs for 90 schools and hundreds of summer campers each year. Tremont has a mission of “connecting people and nature.”
Tremont Institute’s campus is located within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just 3 miles from Townsend, Tennessee, and a 45-minute drive from Knoxville.
Your child will be staying in a safe and comfortable dormitory-style lodge. The lodge is heated and cooled with central heating and air and has private bathroom and shower stalls. During summer programs, Tremont’s faculty chaperone the lodge at all times. Learn more about our facilities.
Tremont has an incredible professional teaching faculty that specialize in teaching outdoors and caring for youth in a residential setting. Many hold graduate degrees in education. All of Tremont’s teachers are trained medical first responders, have passed a background check, live on-site in private housing, and are available to assist participants 24 hours per day. Learn more about Tremont’s faculty.
Students will be served 3 hot meals per day in our family-style dining hall. There is a cereal bar at breakfast and a salad bar at lunch and dinner. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options are available at most meals. Occasionally, students will pack a sack lunch to enjoy during an all-day lesson or hike. Learn more about food at Tremont Institute. Please do not send snacks or other food items with your child.
Each day’s schedule is built around lessons and activities that encourage participants to explore their personal connection to nature, and positively engage with their peers. Most activities will take place outside on Tremont’s campus. Students will also explore the history of the national park and Southern Appalachian communities. Catch a glimpse into student life at Tremont online.
There is no cell phone service at Tremont. Prior to the trip, you will be provided an emergency phone number to contact Tremont and reach your child. Tremont has landline and internet phones throughout campus that can be used to call home if needed. Typically, Tremont restricts calls home unless there is a behavioral issue or a camper becomes ill.
Tremont is a great place for exciting wildlife viewing opportunities. We often see river otters, owls, bats, salamanders, wild turkeys, deer, and great blue herons. When groups are out on trails for lessons, we occasionally see black bears in the summer months. Tremont’s faculty is well-trained to help participants respect wildlife and observe safely.
Tremont programs take place outside unless unsafe weather conditions are expected. Lessons will continue outdoors during rain, cold weather, etc. Before each outdoor lesson, Tremont faculty will ensure that each participant has the appropriate clothing and gear for the expected weather conditions. If lightning, high wind, or other dangerous weather is predicted, the program schedule will be altered to keep all participants safe.
No. Tremont faculty will always be with your child, and no faculty member will ever be alone with your child. During activities, your child may participate in a ‘solo-sit.’ This is a time when the group spreads out in a fixed area to spend a few minutes sitting quietly and observing nature. During a solo-sit, campers are still being watched over by faculty. During all-day hikes, your child may participate in a ‘solo-walk.’ This is a time when each camper has the opportunity to spend a few minutes walking quietly and observing the beauty of the park. There will always be a faculty member in front of and behind the campers during the solo-walk.
“I have never had an experience like the one I had at Tremont. I think that we got to meet new people and get to know ourselves a little better. I will keep these memories forever, Tremont changed my life.” –Former Tremont Program Participant
“I want you to know that your program works. Please continue offering the type of experiences I had to children like me. I would not have found my passion for the sciences if it weren’t for this Institute.” –Former Tremont Program Participant
We share in your disappointment and will work to get your payment either refunded back to you or applied appropriately. You have options. You can request a full refund, rollover your payment for a future program, or choose to count your payment as a tax-deductible donation to Tremont. Once you have decided how to proceed, please complete this Google Form letting us know your preference.
Once you have completed the Google Form indicating you would like a refund, we will begin processing your request. Refunds processed within 6 months of your original payment can be credited back to the original form of payment. Refunds processed after 6 months of original payment will be mailed to you via check.
We will do our best to process refunds within two weeks of your request. We ask for your patience at this time as we are still working from home, and all requests will need to be processed remotely.
Yes! Your payment can be applied to a future Tremont program. We are bummed we are having to cancel 2020 summer camps, and want to make it up to you. If you decide to roll over your payment to a 2021 summer camp, we will offer you priority registration (before our general registration goes live) and will honor 2020 prices. You will be provided a discount code to register for the 2021 camp once these programs are available.
Yes! Tremont is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and your contribution is tax-deductible AND it helps us at a very difficult time. With the loss of revenue, Tremont is faced with unprecedented circumstances. We were lucky to receive federal assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, but this is limited. We need your help. Any amount donated will assist us in serving our mission during this critical time.
We know that at camp, traditions can be important. If your child enrolled in a 2020 summer camp but will be aging out in 2021, we are happy to consider age exceptions for that program. We will work with you to determine if this will be the best fit for your child next summer.
We are still working on 2021 dates, and expect general registration to open in October. We are working on ways to ensure enrollees from 2020 will get priority registration in the camp of your choice. We will keep you updated as we have more registration details!