Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont presents, ‘The Great American Camp-In’

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has announced a “camp-in” event taking place over Memorial Day Weekend filled with 48 hours of nature and camping-themed challenges that can be done in the comfort of your own home.

The event has been dubbed, The Great American Camp-In!

“We know that for most, travel, camping and outdoor adventure are still not possible, so we’ve created an event that will bring the adventure home to you and the people you’ve been staying safe with. Teams will earn points as they participate in our activity challenges designed to spark creativity and connectedness.”


What’s in store:

  • The first set of 30 mini-challenges were released on Monday to registered teams.
  • On Friday beginning at 12 p.m., the camp-in experience will go live with many activity challenges.
    • Your team will have 48 hours to complete the challenges that you find the most fun and exciting to you.
  • Sunday, beginning in the early evening, an interactive live stream campfire celebration, that will have Tremont Institute staff, along with special guests performing songs, stories, skits, and of course revealing the top camp-in teams and their prizes.


Teams may register through Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

  • Registration is free with an optional donation amount ($50/team suggested or set your own donation amount to support Tremont Institute, a non-profit organization)
  • Teams are intended to be made up of the people you are staying safe with during the pandemic – family, roommates, etc. There will be activities appropriate for all ages, from toddlers on up! Teams can have a maximum of 9 members, in accordance with current health guidelines.
  • A primary team contact will be established by providing an email address. That address will receive updates leading up to the event, access to challenges, submission information for completed challenge documentation, and access to the live stream campfire.

What to expect during the camp-in:

  • Each team will need to come up with their own Team Name and flag, themes and costumes are encouraged.
  • Online scavenger hunt
    • 30 mini-challenges that will invite your team to virtually explore nature and national parks were released at 12 p.m. on Monday. You can spend the next few days exploring the content and building up some points for your team.
    • Submission instructions for answers to the scavenger hunt challenges will be provided to your inbox
  • Memorial Weekend Camp-In Challenge (Friday through Sunday)
    • Participating teams will spend the holiday weekend “camping in” from home or wherever is safe and appropriate for your team and will receive team challenges promoting active indoor and outdoor recreation, exploration, and learning with one another in the backyard, courtyard and/or nearby green space or park. The challenges will adhere to social distancing practices while also encouraging you to explore outside and nearby parks as you are able.
    • A list of available challenges and point values will be emailed to team leaders at 12 p.m. on Friday.
    • Teams will be able to work on completing and documenting challenges from 12 p.m. on Friday to 2 p.m. on Sunday. At that time, all documentation of challenges completed must be submitted for review and scoring.
    • Challenges have a variety of flavors – from pattern scavenger hunts to bubble parties, to develop a new family S’more flavor, to hiking, to shelter building, sidewalk chalk nature art/map making, nature bracelets with masking tape, skits, etc. The goal is for challenges to be family-friendly, and to provide something for everyone, and families have plenty to choose from in deciding how to spend their weekend and accumulate points.
    • Pop-Up Challenges can be unlocked over the course of the weekend by tuning in live to Tremont social media or through your email inboxes. These challenges will be worth 2x the points.


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