Smokies LIVE Blog

My experience at Tremont

My stomach was full of bugs in the car and even when I walked to the entrance on the first day. My dad and I signed me in and headed over to the bunks.

Bear cub in a tree.
On Wednesday, campers saw a bear cub in a tree. Photo provided by Violet Key.

I was very excited to pick the bunk I was going to be sleeping in for the entire week. I picked a bunk next to the window. We unpacked my stuff. Next, my dad gave me a hug and left, and I went off to make my nametag.

Kacey was the first counselor that I talked to. And he explained how the camp worked on our first tour of the grounds. We had a bonfire on the first night in the council house and I went to bed in my new bunk.

Tuesday’s schedule was full of events. My favorites were river time and supper theme, my pet rock. River time was great. Counselor Lindsay took us down and we cooled off in the stream. My pet rock was a fashion show for the rock we got at our dinner table. Ours was Fernando and he loved collecting ties and playing “rock paper scissors.”

Wednesday was the first day of the bravery swim, which was a 7 a.m. swim across the cold creek. I however did not do this. My friend Paige did, and she enjoyed it. Nature club was also extremely cool. We saw a cute bear cub hanging on the tree, which the counselor informed us to watch at a safe distance. It was such a neat experience. Wonder where the mom was?

Violet and camp friend.
Violet with one of the friends she met at camp. Photo provided by Violet Key.

Thursday was super fun. When it was river time, I got to pet a snake that one of our counselors John Mathew held. He wasn’t afraid at all and that gave me courage to give it a pet. It was really neat. He identified it as a rat snake. We also did a skit. I did it with all of my friends and got a lot of laughs. I came up with my character’s name: Fairy Poppins.

Friday was my favorite day. We went on an all-day hike to campsite 18. That led to our solo hike. We got in order, and after a minute and thirty seconds, they would send another kid and repeat. They would add notes on the trail with 15-second activities. I remember one saying, “scratch your back like a bear” and “dance for 15 seconds like no one is watching.” Those were pretty funny.

On our last night at Tremont, we all ate s’mores and passed around a deer antler. This was a Tremont tradition! You had to pass it around and tell your favorite part and thank Tremont. I said, “I want to thank Tremont for the wonderful experience and for the baked pasta. It was really good, and also, these guys!” Everyone laughed as I put my arms around all six of my friends I had met.

Saturday was time to go home. I was very upset to leave counselors Kenzie and Savannah and all my friends. Even though I had an amazing time, I was glad to be back in my mom’s arms. Thanks Tremont, you’re awesome! See ya next year.


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Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320