Members Weekend FAQ

Find more information about the donation process and where your donation goes here.

The registration fee is $109 – $139 per person.

The registration fees – $109 for members and $139 for non-members – covers the cost of courses, sessions, films, lake tours and hikes. Friday and Saturday night dinners are included in the registration fee.

Yes! We encourage you to bring your children and introduce them to this Community in the Wilderness. Acorn level members (children up to age 14) can register for $65; all others to age 17 can register for $85. Call 865.436.7318, Ext. 349 for details.

Yes. Your non-member registration for this event automatically enrols you as Buckeye level member for one year.

You must call Fontana Village Resort directly to make your room reservations. Lodging fees are not included in the event fee. To book your room, please call 800.849.2258, Option 1, and tell the reservationist you are part of the GSMA Members Weekend. Discounts for this event are only available by phone by July 13. 

No. Weekend participants are NOT required to stay at Fontana Village Resort, though doing so will make for an easier weekend, as most of our events take place or meet on their campus. Other recommended accommodations in and around the area can be found by searching “Cabin Rentals,” “Campgrounds” and “Hotels”.

You will want to bring sunscreen or a hat, sturdy walking shoes, bug spray, maps, an umbrella or rain jacket, and something to take notes with! 

Planning your course schedule is entirely up to you! Sign up for the classes that excite you most and feature something you’ve always wanted to know more about. Just make sure your class times do not overlap – you’ll find a course listing with times below.

Courses can last anywhere between 45 minutes for a lecture to all-day tours and excursions. Make sure you consult the schedule of events and event descriptions to find the session lengths best for you.

Several of the sessions are open to all attendees with no limit on participation. Even if all classes are full, you’ll still meet lots of other members, and Fontana’s multiple on-site activities are yours to use for the entire weekend. We can help you enjoy the area in other ways, too.

No. While one of the benefits of your Hemlock member is the ability to attend Branch Out events at no charge, we are unable to extend this benefit to the Members Weekend.

If, when reviewing your chosen courses, you realize you’d like to attend another excursion, our staff will do their best to accommodate your request. All changes to your schedule must be finalized by 7 PM on Friday evening.

Yes! We encourage you to explore the food culture of Western North Carolina.

Fontana Village Resort offers full-serve hospitality, but Graham County, NC, prides itself on being the only truly dry county left in the state. You may want to think about bringing a favorite beverage with you. The only event we will host that includes alcoholic beverages will be our Board/NPS Reception, which is open exclusively to Dogwood, Hemlock, Installment and Lifetime members.

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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