Smoky Mountain Field School | March 2015 Course Schedule

Smoky Mountain Field SchoolWe are so fortunate that the Tellico Lake Area is just a short drive away from the beautiful Smoky Mountains which offer a world of outdoor activities.  The Smoky Mountain Field School presents high-quality workshops, hikes, and adventures for people who want to enhance their enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of the Smokies and the great outdoors. Click on the course name to be taken to the SMFS website for more information.


Hiking – Just Getting Started

March 14     9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Learn from a pro the proper clothing to wear and necessary gear for beginning hikers. Time will be spent on trip planning details, and then you’ll hike to see some of the wonders that lie ahead with proper planning and gear. The instructor brings knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to make for an exciting day of learning valuable skills and useful outdoor techniques!

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course.


Introduction to Orienteering

March 21     9:00 am – 4:00 pm

In the simplest terms, orienteering is the process of using a map and compass to travel from one place to another. Traditionally, orienteering has been associated with competitive events where participants race cross-country with map and compass to find targets in the shortest period of time. Through lectures, classroom activities, and field exercises, you’ll learn the fundamental skills of both competitive and wilderness orienteering.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course for the March session.


Advanced Wilderness Orienteering

March 22     9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Prerequisite: Introduction to Orienteering

Do you have some outdoor and/or orienteering experience? Then here is a chance to get in-depth instruction on using a map and compass to navigate in remote areas. Lectures and classroom exercises emphasize the advanced aspects of map reading, using an orienteering compass, declination, route projection, and improvisation. Practical field exercises enable you to learn first-hand how to navigate from one point to another in the wilderness.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course for the winter session.


Animal Tracking and Advanced Observation

March 22     9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Tracking is an ancient survival skill, but it can open up a whole new world to the inquiring mind. Tracking is a focus that enables us to be more aware, to experience, and to see much more of the natural landscape. We don’t need to see the animals to tell that they were there, what they were doing, and when they might come back; we’ll learn their stories from the traces they have left behind. Slow down, look closer, and accept the challenge of tracking in the Smokies. You may be surprised by what you find.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course.


Mountain Music – Beginner’s Old Time Banjo

March 28     10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Come prepared to learn the old time style of banjo that originated here in the mountains. This is a beginner’s hands-on workshop that will introduce you to several different methods of playing the banjo in the old-time way. You’ll be introduced to the basics of playing old-time and folk music and learn how to play by ear and join in on jam sessions while enjoying songs and stories of the Appalachian culture. What better opportunity abounds than a day of fun, tales, and music in a Smokies landscape alongside a true southern Appalachian songwriter and musician!

Click here for additional instructions and directions for the March course.


Polliwogs, Eggs, and Singing Frogs

March 28     1:00 pm – 6:30 pm

You and your children are in for a treat! Visit various ponds in Cades Cove and help find Spotted Salamander and Wood Frog eggs, tadpoles, and other amphibians. Weather and frogs permitting, we’ll hear choruses of singing frogs. If we’re fortunate and have quick hands, we’ll catch and get a close-up look at three stages of amphibian development—eggs, larvae, and adults. We’ll discuss amphibian biology, ecology, and research throughout the afternoon. You’ll leave a little wet but with new friends and life-long memories! Minimum child age is 7, and a parent must also accompany them.

Click here for additional instructions and directions for this course.


Posted: February 1, 2015